The Validation Distraction

I found my master’s degree sitting in it’s envelope underneath a stack of clothes in my basement. I remember the day I got accepted, I felt validated, that I could make up for the times I messed up in high school and college.

“Getting my master’s will mean I’m smart again.”

I really believed that. I was searching for an external validation to my intelligence because being accepted by a school or classmates meant I’m smart. It was an excuse to overcome my failings as a high school/college student because I never fulfilled the potential everyone saw in me.

It didn’t matter I was knee deep in building a startup because “meh, that’s a business with a few of us”, school is what really matters and it will take me places. (I was just a little brainwashed)

The degree didn’t fulfill anything. It’s an “accomplishment”, but aside from meeting some wonderful people, my validation was only fulfilled when I realized that I didn’t need a degree or whatever to prove I’m smart.

When you’re searching for validation to satisfy fulfillment, it means that you’re not satisfied within yourself. I’m talking about asking people or statuses to validate what you’ve done, like without their stamp of approval, your accomplishment is worthless.

Some validation does matter; your partner’s love validating a relationship, your client/boss approving of a project to continue a business relationship, or a moral validation of actions to know right from wrong (so you hope).

I spent most of my life looking for validation, whether it was the master’s or being right on a decision, it didn’t change things, results weren’t different because my business partner was wrong on a decision and I thought “I told you so!” If anything, it’s pathetic on my part to wish for negativity to ensure it validating my decision.

My friend was upset with me because I didn’t validate his job move. In fact, I told him that it was the worst decision that he ever made. I’m glad he didn’t listen to me because he enjoys his new job and the freedom it gives him. My validation meant nothing in the scheme of things because if he listened to me, he’d still be unhappy, working long hours to no benefit. Just do you.

If you go looking for it in every place but your soul, you’ll die never finding it. There’s a never ending supply of people that are looking to be impressed, don’t fall for the trap. It becomes a distraction because there’ll always be a one-upper who will be better than you or try to out do what you’ve accomplished. Focus and be comfortable and happy with what you feel, enjoy or accomplish.

Forget the validation distraction because if we’re filled with joy or it’s making us better people, then that’s all the validation we need.