I’ve always been either a student or an employee until January of 2021, when I decided to cut myself loose from everyone and strike out independently. It’s only now, as I’m running into this want for validation, that I realize one of the reasons why it took me so long to go solo is because I’m the type of person that needs to know immediately that my effort will be paid off.
Whether that’s in the form of exam results or performance reviews, I know that I can always dial my effort up or down and eventually “succeed.” It’s a big part of why I’ve been in school for so long (I have a bachelor’s, two Master’s Degrees, and countless certificates) and why I stayed in Corporate America for the better part of 10 years.
This need for validation has been with me ever since I was a young child.
I always wanted to know how I stacked up next to others. I attached my self-worth to my results, so I pushed myself to be the best in everything. It’s the reason why I got promoted or changed roles every 18 months since the beginning of my career.
I always looked for the next level of validation.
But now? I don’t have any authority hovering above my head. I’m my own authority. I call the shots every day, I decide what to work on, and how to spend my time, or how not to spend it. And at the end of the day? I have no clue if I’m getting closer to my goals. Sure, I review my week, and I journal my progress, but there’s no one giving me a bonus because I put out a video. Or because I wrote 10 blog posts in a week.
In fact, there’s no one checking up on me to see if I’m going in the right direction. There’s no grade at the end of this, darn it.
And it’s mind-blowing to me because it feels like I’m spinning my wheels, even though I know that every day I’m making some progress.
But in the back of my mind, all I keep thinking is YouTube Gods, PLEASE send me a sign! ANY sign! I need to know that I’m spending my time on the right things! I have a serious need for validation these days.
And, on other days, I keep thinking: Internet Gods, PLEASE send me a sign! ANY Sign! I need to know my content is somehow helping the right people!
But a few weeks ago, something clicked.
See, the past few months have been very taxing on me mentally.
I’ve been focusing on creating content and trying to grow Honestrox, but always with the following thought in the back of my mind: When I get to X followers/subscribers, that’s when I’ll do X, Y, and Z. Because then when I have those X followers/subscribers, I’ll know I’m on the right path (AKA NEED FOR VALIDATION).
But then I realized that I don’t need ANY external validation to go ahead with my idea for a Social Anxiety challenge. I don’t need anyone’s permission, so what am I waiting for?
I’ve been holding myself back lately because of the limited belief that I need to FIRST have validation before doing something.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!
I cannot tell you how freeing it is to do things because I want to do them instead of doing them because of the response I’m hoping to get.
Think about it. How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you thought: What’s the point? No one’s going to care, so why put effort into this?
Or: If I go through with it, people might hate it and (even worse) give me negative feedback.
Yeah, let’s stop this nonsense.
I made a video this week on why I’m doing this 21-day social anxiety challenge. It’s about my journey with social anxiety, what I did to get over it, and why this challenge is so personal. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
And remember, you don’t need anyone to validate YOU or what you’re DOING, so go forth, be free, and show the world what you got.