What is Self-Validation?
Self-validation as a concept, is closely linked with self-acceptance as it relates to accepting your thoughts and feelings at any point in time. This does not necessarily mean that you see or believe those thoughts or feelings to be correct or appropriate, as at times they may surprise you and not in fact, be aligned with your values or how you see yourself. It’s about accepting your internal experience whatever that may be, without judgement rather than fighting or blocking it.
Why is Self-Validation Important?
Accepting our thoughts and feelings through self-validation is an important way of learning what’s going on for us in any situation, and it’s a critical step in understanding ourselves better. Self-validation also helps us to process strong or difficult emotions to manage them more effectively, ultimately allowing us to develop greater authenticity.
How to Practise Self-Validation?
Self-validation is a skill that requires practise as we tend to have a critical voice that dominates our thinking. Try practising some of these self-validation techniques at least twice a day and see how you feel.
- Use mindfulness techniques to build awareness of what you’re feeling or thinking
- Name what you’re feeling (be careful with your language. e.g. say “I’m feeling sad” rather than “I’m sad”)
- Accept whatever you’re feeling or thinking with a gentle statement. e.g. ““its ok”
- Use the voice of a kind friend with whatever’s going. e.g. ”its ok to be upset” “it’s not a big deal”
- Normalise your experience as part of being human. e.g. “its normal to feel this way”; “others too struggle when trying something for the first time”; “everyone makes mistakes”
- Remember your strengths and encourage yourself. e.g. ”you did your best” ; “you are worthy ”, “I’m a work in progress” ; “look how far I’ve come”
- Identify what you need. e.g. “I really need to rest” or “go for a walk”
- Practise gratitude
Throughout November we will be exploring the topic ‘Validation’. We will look at understanding the term, it’s impact on relationships and childhood, why we may find ourselves craving external validation and how we can practice self validation