How Self-Validation Can Boost Your Emotional Well-being and Increase Happiness [Episode #730]
This week’s topic is: How Self-Validation Can Boost Your Emotional Well-being and Increase Happiness
We aren’t always taught this as children as we’ll get into today in our show. And I know that I struggled with this whole concept of self-validation. I didn’t really understand what it was until actually a few years ago. And when we learned this skill, we learned to create healthy boundaries with other people. Our relationships start to flourish. They become a lot more about connectivity instead of attachment, trying to get this validation outside of ourselves. In turn, we feel more peaceful. We feel fulfilled.
This topic falls into our emotional wellbeing category. However, just as all of our Cornerstones, the others being, food, body, and spiritual growth, they all work together. They all affect each other. I know personally, for myself, learning about this topic has had enormous benefits for my body, my sleep, my relationships, just so much in my life. I can’t wait to get into our show today because I think this could be a big missing piece of the puzzle towards coming into our wholeness, our power, our full potential of health and wellbeing.
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Kimberly I am often very hard on myself and tend to beat myself up emotionally when I make mistakes or things don’t go as planned. What can I do to shift my mindset away from this as it is affecting all my relationships and daily mood?
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Namaste loves and welcome back to our Thursday q and a podcast where our topic this week is a very important one, I think, and a very practical one for many of us. How Self-Validation Can Boost Your Emotional Well-being and Increase Happiness. So we aren’t always taught this as children as we’ll get into today in our show. And I know that I struggled with this whole concept of self validation. I didn’t really understand what it was until actually a few years ago. And when we learned this skill, we learned to create healthy boundaries with other people. Our relationships start to flourish. They become a lot more about connectivity instead of attachment, trying to get this validation outside of ourselves. So we in turn, feel more peaceful. We feel fulfilled. Our bodies, which we may not realize, have been running at a certain amount of restlessness and just, um, over vigilant, over, um, stimulated nervous system, which creates degradation and breakdown in our system.
Inflammation. So many things happen from this sort of being on high alert and constantly looking outside ourselves to feel okay. So this topic falls into our emotional wellbeing category, but just as all of our cornerstones, the other ones are food, body and spiritual growth. They all work together. They all affect each other. So I know personally, for myself, learning about this topic has had enormous, enormous benefits for my body, for my sleep, for my relationships, just so much in my life. And I can’t wait to get into our show today because I think this could be a big missing piece of the puzzle for you was as it was for me, or just a piece of missing piece. And really, um, again, just continuing to come into our wholeness, into our power, into our full potential of health and wellbeing.
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Question around the topic of: How Self-Validation Can Boost Your Emotional Well-being and Increase Happiness: Kimberly I am often very hard on myself and tend to beat myself up emotionally when I make mistakes or things don’t go as planned. What can I do to shift my mindset away from this as it is effecting all my relationships and daily mood.
Okay, let’s get right into our show today. I’m very excited about this topic, self-validation, how this boosts emotional wellbeing and increases your happiness. So our question today comes from Jordan with two um O’s. Hello Jordon in Michigan, sending you so much love out there. Got my hands on my heart.
I’ve never been to Michigan, but actually I have been once in passing. And so, um, sending you love. I can feel the energy out there in the Midwest starting to get a little colder as it is here on the west coast, although it’s probably a little bit more, a little bit more windy. You write Kimberly, I am often very hard on myself and I tend to beat myself up emotionally when I make mistakes or things don’t go as planned. What can I do to shift my mindset away from this? It is affecting all my relationships in daily mood. So thank you so much, Jordan. I think that many, many of us relate to this. So I really appreciate your question and coming in to just share with all of us because it really does, um, make such a difference in our day, our energy with ourselves.
It does affect our moods, it does affect, um, it has a cascade effect on our body from our hormones to our, um, organ functionality. It’s, it’s really deep when we start to get this that everything is energy and everything is interconnected. So let’s take a step back and talk about what validation means and self-validation. So for many of us, it’s easy to validate other people. We look outside ourselves, we can see that a friend is sad or is in need of support, and we’re there, right? And you know, a lot of us can feel empathy for other people. We are quick to give other people compliments to validate that they were trying hard. You know, I know with my children all day long, especially with Boby Emerson, who’s now six, and all his drawings, everything, I’m like, Oh, this
Is is so amazing, you know? And then when he has big, big feelings, I validate his feelings and I say, Oh, it looks like you’re feeling a lot of this. Or, you know, I, I notice that, you know, this seems to be coming up so it’s easier outside of ourselves. But self validation means that we are validating our own thoughts and feelings and opinions and ideas. So it doesn’t mean that we sink into rigidity or like this is the way, but we can feel like this is my experience and this is what I’m going through, and I really am feeling sadness right now, or grief or pain or rage or anger and acknowledging that it’s okay to be in the messiness. It’s okay to feel our feelings and to have these different experiences when we don’t validate ourselves. We’re constantly looking outside the boundaries. And our relationships can get very murky.
It means that we need our husband or our friend or strangers on social media to help us feel better by validating that we look pretty or we’re skinny or we’re doing something right. And this creates very unhealthy attachment to the outside world where we can shift our behaviors to try to people please. We start to lose a sense of who we are. We lose a sense of what feels right to us. So self-validation is very important to groundedness. When we feel grounded, when we feel centered in ourselves, what happens is our heart opens up naturally. So we come from this very strong place of groundedness confidence, but still love, right? So this love brings strength. And so it means that, oh, you have this idea, or you are having these feelings about things. And we can recognize that within oneness there is duality, there’s different ideas, but yet I feel good about my choice or my feelings and, and so we can coexist with others.
There’s a piece that comes from that. We’re not chasing. We’re not trying to convince someone to agree with us. This opens up so much in relationship. You know, I know in my relationship with my husband, we see things very differently with a lot of things. Our core values are the same, but we have different ideas about many things. And so we’ve learned to recognize that and to really come from this more peaceful place where, you know, he just has his ideas, I have my ideas, and we are okay with that. And this in turn has just met, helped me feel a lot more peaceful because in the past I think I’ve dated people that were similar. They were also plant based, they were yogis. They saw everything in a similar fashion. So there’s been great growth that has come from being in relationship with someone very different, at least on the, you know, surface, in the workings in life because it’s allowed me to, to really dig into this self-validation concept and to benefit from it when we have a lack of self-validation.
This can really cause impulsive behavior. It can cause chaos, codependent codependency, lack of confidence, and just a lot of anxiety. And again, this plays out in our bodies in terms of, um, just general inflammation and impaired functionality. So let’s also look back on some of the reasons why we may struggle with self validation. And a lot of this does come from our childhood. As babies, we, um, need support from our caregivers and we need for them to be there for us and to really give us that undivided attention to feel really safe and recognized and seen. But for many of us, we don’t, we didn’t have perfect childhoods, and our parents are doing their best. They might have been busy, they might have been occupied, maybe they didn’t get that care themselves. So they’re struggling with their own needs. So what happens is we can develop an anxious attachment style as a young child where we’re already looking outside of ourselves for that care and validation.
And so it’s a learned behavior from a very early age. Another way our childhoods can affect us is if our caregivers didn’t model self-validation, if they were always invalidating themselves, if they were always, you know, overly self-deprecating or looking to others for what to do to feel okay, we could have picked that up from an early age as well. And so we also start to, um, experience trauma in different ways from relationships. Things that might have happened early on in school, or again, back in our, in our homes where something happened, we got teased or we got called out, or somehow we felt separate, isolated. And from these formative experiences, we could start to feel that, oh geez, like we, we start to lack that real sense of groundedness and self validation. So as I look back on this, and trauma’s a word that has come up a lot in society.
We’ve had trauma experts on here, which we’ll link to in the show notes. And Bezel, VanDerKolk, who wrote the wonderful book, Your Body Keeps the Score. He’s, he estimates that about 75% of Americans have experienced some form of trauma. And this informs our behavior as adults. So the trauma could be not just isolated incidences, but general neglect or general, you know, just sort of busyness in the house, which is what I would say I, for my experience, I had really loving parents, but you know, they were struggling to make it work financially. They were hustling with work. There was a lot going on. And so as a child, I did look outside myself, and I did become a perfectionist in attempt to have that validation, to have that attention, to have that love. And so only now in recent years, and here I am a grown woman.
I’m a mother now myself, I’ve really started to understand that we stand alone within ourselves. We are unique energies. We have our unique perspective, we have our unique experience of reality. And yes, whilst we are all connected, we are all in one nest. It is so important that we connect to ourselves and that way we can meld more into the oneness and see the quality of everything. Because we value ourselves. If we don’t have that self value, we overvalue external validation opinions. We’re chasing, like I said, it could change what we post on social media or trying to get attention. Maybe we do something or we overshare or we, um, constantly look to friends to feel okay or our spouse or children. And so instead of connection, we go into attachment. And so if you’re listening to this right now and you’re starting to feel like, yeah, you know, sometimes that happens or sometimes things don’t go my way and I just messes up my mood, which relates to Jordan’s question, things don’t go as planned.
We beat ourselves up over and over again. This is not healthy behavior and it definitely has such a detrimental impact on our lives and on our days. So let’s go into some of the tips that we can learn at any point in our life. It doesn’t matter if you are listening to this and you’re 15 years old, or you are 92 years old or 108 years old, at any point in your life, we can learn these skills. And I can say I have learned them in the last few years as a full-fledged adult. So this is why it’s so important. If we’ve noticed that we’ve been leaking energy in this external validation, now starting today, we can make these shifts to the number one thing is to practice mindfulness and awareness nest. Just be aware of when we are looking outside ourselves to validate an experience.
Um, or when we’re trying to get some sort of recognition from the outside. So when something doesn’t feel good or we’re trying to avoid or we’re trying to distract and we, you know, immediately go outside, we call a friend, we don’t sit with something and we’re not feeling good, um, be aware that could be going to someone else. It could be having a drink of alcohol or, you know, stepping ourselves down with food cravings or, you know, running away from something. Just start to be aware of what is going on here. Part of self validation is being okay with feeling the whole range of human emotions and bringing our light to that which we’ll talk about in a moment. We want to understand that everything isn’t supposed to be shiny and perfect all the time. We’re not always supposed to be just perfectly happy. We are going to experience this range.
And so noticing when things happen, when things don’t go as planned, um, what do we do? What are our go-to behaviors? So just starting to be aware as we go through life, what are we stuffing down or what are we taking outside to try to feel better about ourselves? Where are we distracting? And the number two, practicing uncompromising honesty with ourselves. So accepting that we’re imperfect is very difficult for most of us, especially, um, something I’ve experienced. We often think that if we’re great at something, it means that we’re worthy. We can show something to the world, to our parents, to loved ones. That’s certainly what my idea of love was for a very long time. So then I was driven to getting perfect grades and to having perfect achievements and always having things to show versus, you know, really being honest that trying to show something or I’m, you know, I’m, I’m trying my best, but things are messy.
Things didn’t work out so well. This honesty is allowing us to see the messy, dark parts of ourselves. And what I was saying a moment ago is we bring our light to that. So what that means is we bring the love underneath all these experiences of life. The so-called good, the bad, the messiness, the great parts. Underneath that is love. We can still bring our love and our wholeness to ourselves in every situation. So when we feel pain, when we feel anger, when we feel sadness, we don’t wanna over-identify with that emotion. We wanna be honest that we’re feeling it, but we can bring love to ourselves. We learn the very important skill of soothing ourselves. And so this is really, really huge with self-validation. When things don’t go well, we don’t have to try to fix it right away. We don’t have to do something, We don’t have to run to our best friend every single time right away.
Of course, it’s great to have community and to have support, but we need to show up for ourselves. So we want to notice, be honest with ourselves and then to say, I need, what do I need right now? I need a hug. You know, this is some somatic healing that the trauma expert Peter Levine teaches. Literally, wrapping yourself, your arms around yourself. You can give yourself a physical hug. You can notice that you need a couple minutes to cry or to be by yourself or to take a break. Something feels too overwhelming, the situation or something’s happening at work, or it’s happening in your relationship. You need to go in the bathroom for a minute or whatever it is. We want to be honest with our needs and see them. This is how we break the pattern of going somewhere else, whether it’s to the cookies or to the ice cream, or in my case, like constantly going to a friend or to my partner.
Um, without really taking the time to process and sooth myself because I didn’t feel that as a child, I didn’t have that skill. When I didn’t feel good about myself, I would beat myself up, beat myself up, and then, you know, it would be unrelenting. I have to get an a plus on the next test. I had to get a hundred and just work that much harder without dealing with a feeling underneath of the vulnerable, feeling underneath of, hmm, like, this makes me sad. Or, you know, this doesn’t feel good to me. When we learn real self care as adults, we can really start to understand what we push down, what we didn’t process as children, and let some of that out now. And also learn healthy ways of dealing with our emotions now. So bring the light to your feelings, bring the love, and allow yourselves to feel what is there with honesty. And this is such a huge part of self allegation. We are not meant to be perfect. We are, it’s okay to feel rage, to feel sadness, and then to allow ourselves to process that within ourselves. And of course, again, support maybe needed therapy community, but it’s an important skill to be able to self soothe as well and in the moment.
So now also, um, being able to connect to our bodies responses is the third part here. So some of us have become so disconnected from our bodies and our feelings because we’re used to these coping mechanisms. We haven’t validated that something has triggered us or something feels very off. So we wanna just notice, oh wow, my heartbeat really sped up in this conversation. Something happened, something was said, something really triggered me. And so we wanna just, you know, this goes along with the mindfulness. Notice the thoughts, but notice what’s happening in our body. And this way we can recognize, oh, um, I need a little bit of care right now, or I need a moment. I need to reregulate my system before we go down. Um, or we don’t even recognize it that something’s happened here. And so we continue a pattern. So really just start to be aware of your body.
And then finally, number four, and this is a really important one, is we self validate and acknowledge our past experiences. So one of the reasons that we carry a lot of shame or we don’t like to look at what happened to us is we feel a lot of guilt. We feel that, oh, you play in our mind. I could have handled that better. Um, I didn’t do the right thing there. Or, you know, whatever we’re thinking in our heads. And it’s really important to acknowledge that we were doing the best at that time, and we can reflect on this, we can journal about it. This has been really helpful for me. Um, I talk about this a little bit in the new book, in the ur whole chapter where, you know, and I use examples of, um, people I’ve worked with and myself where we carry so much shame about, Oh wow, I really messed up there.
And so then we start to feel like we’re not a good person. In some ways, this guilt keeps us from feeling confident about, you know, dealings. Like, Oh, well I really messed up so I have to go outside myself to deal with things better. Or maybe I’m not a good person, or whatever the stories we’re telling ourselves. So sometimes it’s really helpful to replay things that keep coming up and to acknowledge lessons and to see, oh, you know, I really got angry there. I I didn’t have the skills to cope. I can bring, again, bring the love, bring the self-compassion to see with honesty, yes, I could have handled that better, but at the time I was overwhelmed. I didn’t feel, um, the support that I needed, I didn’t have the skills yet. So reflecting back and validating that we were doing our best allows this compassion and healing from the past to come in so that going forward we can feel more clear.
We have integrated these experiences so then we have more confidence going forward. And this is also an important part of self validation, is being able to trust ourselves. So the self-reflection about the past allows us to see where we could have, you know, perhaps handled something in a different way, but without the guilt, without holding on. It just gives us the perspective so we can recontextualize, we can learn the lessons and we can move on. So as we we’re seeing here, you know, Jordan, with your question, we don’t want to allow this beating up to affect your daily mood and your relationships. We wanna see, oh, there’s a pattern here. Um, so to sum up, we wanna bring our mindfulness
And practice awareness. You know, what are my patterns in the first place? Am I even dealing with when things don’t feel good or things go off? Um, go off plan. Like what do I do? How do I handle that? And number two, being honest, feeling our feelings, bringing love to our experience. It’s okay to feel all these feelings and we bring this loving awareness. We bring the love and the light to ourselves. We start to self soothe. Number three, we understand more about our body. What is the wisdom of our body showing us? Our heart is getting really fast. Our voice is changed. We’re starting to feel this anger rising up. We notice what is being triggered in our body and we start to bring our bodies back to regulation so we have more clarity of thought we can better soothe ourselves. And number four, we self validate by acknowledging self past experiences and see where we’ve learned lessons and where we can just give ourselves a break and let go.
So there’s a lot more. Um, again, as I mentioned in the whole chapter, the you are whole chapter of the new book, which is chapter six. I wanna also close with a quote from the chapter, something I wrote on page 74. Non-duality means that you will have many different aspects of yourself, rise and fall like waves, but underneath it all, you are still you. The deep down essence of you has always been there even through all of your behaviors. So the real you, the true, the true self you is this energy, the stable energy that’s always, always there. And so we learn to recognize the behaviors on top from the, from the ego, you know, these stories, the trauma, everything that’s sort of shift our shifted our perception. And more and more we connect inside. And from the this inside place we are aware, we bring the love to self soThe and then we integrate our behaviors more.
And then we just start to feel more calm and fulfilled. So this is a big topic, um, but really wanted to bring this up. We can continue this discussion in different ways, but please do check out the show notes firstname.lastname@example.org, where we also have amazing interviews with trauma experts, other articles, podcasts, um, recipes, meditations that will support you in this way with emotional wellbeing, validation, feeling grounded, There’s so many other tools on there. So I look forward to continuing our connection, our journeys together. Thank you for listening today. We’ll be back here Monday for our next interview show. So to then take great care, check out all our resources and know that I’m always here to support you. I’m always listening, so please keep the questions coming into the podcast. Sending you so much love. Namaste.