The Need for Validation
I had an interesting realization yesterday. I have this need for validation that can stop me from moving forward. I know it's been brought to my attention before, but yesterday was the first day that I got it.
Without diving too deep into the details, basically, I fretted and debated about posting in a Facebook group for athletic trainers about my new path at She Moves Athletic Wellness, and how I had chosen something different to be able to work as I wanted. This group was formed to support and advocate for athletic trainers working in non-traditional settings and I have done some volunteer work for them in the past. I've spent the past year watching the accolades they've given to others in the group for their progress and effort, and I was ready to get mine. But that didn't happen - at least not from the group leaders as I'd hoped. And in fact, I was questioned a bit about my decision. Basically I was dumped back to being a kid on the playground that everyone left to stand alone. I was pretty disappointed in this and it led me to question if I'm doing the right thing. And then that questionning led to me being pretty ticked off at the group and their admins.
Finally, I had to ask myself why I was having such strong emotions to something that was so minor.
Validation. That's why. It's something I've struggled with for my entire life. I think the root stems back to my childhood and my efforts to be good enough to others. Was I a good enough gymnast? (No). Was I getting good enough grades? (No, the only one in my family who didn't get the $100 each semester for straight A's - I got A's & B's). Was the college I chose good enough? (No, small private college didn't hold up again my sister's decision to head to Northwestern).
Every time I've sought to be "good enough" my perceived answer is "NO". But really that's all bullshit, and at 45 I can finally admit that. The only one who really needs to validate my decisions is me. Is it good for me? YES. Even if I only engage in a new activity or career interest for a short period of time, at that moment it's a perfect fit for me and just adds to my life experience. Somehow I need to drop the need for external validation and stop being hobbled by the disappointment. I must stop the constant asking for accolades from others in order to dictate my worthiness. I'm pretty sure Brene Brown would slap me upside the head and tell me to get my shit together. I am more than what others think of me..
And so I plan on moving forward with this realization in mind. I had thought about writing a criticizing message to the admin of the group letting him know exactly how I felt, but I'm not going to do that because it doesn't matter. Instead, I will continue moving forward know that this path is perfect for me right now and fulfills so much of what I want to share with women. And frankly, I can develop what I'm looking for to assist me on my path to share with others. Maybe I can help validate their efforts if that is still a need.