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Validate Yourself

Validate Yourself

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to present the second in my series of lifestyle success principles for New Year’s resolutions and goals: Validate yourself.

First a quick update:

Newly posted radio interviews
“The Top 10 Celebrity Meltdowns of 2008”
– Russ Morley show on News/Talk 850 WFTL; “Surviving the Holidays” – Diana Falzone “Cosmolicious” show on Sirius XM Cosmo radio. The interview with Diana contains timeless suggestions and strategies for how to get along with the family. To listen to my interview visit here.

“Body language insights”
Watch the E! TV “10 Most Inappropriate Makeout Moments of Celebrities” where I reveal the hidden subconscious message and communication of what is really going on in celeb relationships via photos of the celebrity couples. E! TV

Now, let’s talk about success strategies for the New Year.

In last week’s Success Newsletter, I explained that too much of anything is bad for you, be it over-eating, over-working, over-exercising, over-thinking, etc. In other words, the extremes are dangerous and it is balance in life (equilibrium) that leads to inner peace. I also outlined that we need balance in all areas of our lives as well as balance within each of those areas or realms: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. We cannot just try to experience life in any one realm; we need equilibrium in all four.

The same principle of balance applies to validation.

Javier was experiencing martial trouble with his second wife complaining that he is much too needy. When speaking with Javier’s wife, I ascertained that what she was referring to was not his requests for them to spend more time together or go away on vacations without their three kids, but rather, that she believes that he constantly seeks her validation. Thus, her complaints refer to his sense of insecurity and desperate pleas to confirm his value as an individual, a father and a husband.

Javier grew up in a large, poor family with a strict, highly critical and judgmental father who was very busy working, and whom almost never praised or recognized the talents of his children. Javier’s mother was the subservient mother who also was not raised to praise or encourage her children. As a child, Javier felt that no matter what he did, nothing counted and “it was never enough – never good enough.” Thus, Javier grew up with major insecurities and self-doubt because no one ever validated or confirmed his self-worth; Javier never felt he was good enough.

Now, as an adult, Javier turns to everyone around him for the validation and recognition that he never got as a child. Javier wants the world to convince him that he is good enough, that he is worthy, special and significant.

The question now remains: Whose responsibility is it to validate Javier: his wife, children, best friend, boss or himself?

The answer is “balance.”

You must first start by validating yourself. When you recognize your own talents, gifts, abilities, hard work, contributions, self-worth, etc, then you no longer desperately keep seeking it from others. Remember, that when we approach anything with desperation we can easily turn others off because of the pressure and expectation we place on them. Second, if we cannot first validate ourselves, no one and nothing outside of us will make a real long-lasting difference because we must first believe it. For example, the woman that truly believes she is ugly will still believe the same thing despite her boyfriend or husband’s compliments and reassurance.

It is true, though, that even if we do validate ourselves, we will still have moments of self-doubt; we will still fall and yes, we will still need the validation of others around us, particularly the person with whom we have the closest relationship. The key here, the balance, is not to solely rely on one person or persons for that validation.

For the wife’s part, yes, her husband does need to be told or shown that he is significant, that he makes a difference; yes, he does need to know that he is valid and worthwhile to her. In Javier’s case, his wife, Marianna was raised in a family where her father was always ‘needy’ and her mother was critical and emotionally aloof. Thus, Marianna is simply repeating her childhood pattern.

Accordingly, here are my suggestions as we combine the theme of balance with self-validation:

First, maybe your partner or parents can’t or won’t validate you; so begin by validating yourself. Write out a list of all of your qualities, talents, hard work and contribution, as well as the people whose lives you positively impact. Imagine you are the person from whom you want the validation and write out a letter to yourself giving the praise and validation. Yes, this is a weird exercise but try it and see how you feel and respond. Also, pause to consider why your parents never gave you the validation you wanted; seek to understand at a subconscious level that it was never about you. Forgive them and understand it is over and in the past. You are good enough. Now seek to give from your heart without expectation.

Second, pause and observe your own behavior. Are you validating your partner or children? If not, why not? Who didn’t validate you? Why does it make you uncomfortable to give praise, recognition or appreciation? Begin by giving small compliments and thanks to your partner as well as to yourself.

Third, if you are a parent, validate your children. That does not refer to simply telling them that they are wonderful and special without cause or reason or ignoring the wrong things that they do, otherwise that leads to a false sense of entitlement and narcissism which is what we are experiencing as rampant in our society. Rather, identify and praise your children for their unique qualities, gifts, achievements and contributions, and; help them to identify when they make a mistake or screw up so that they can learn from it; teach them gratitude, caring, giving and humility so that they can learn to express acceptance, compassion and understanding which, in turn, lead to responsibility, maturity and inner peace.

Add your comments and questions to my blog and read my past Success Newsletters, if you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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