It’s a simple shift.

I recently joined Nikki Sharp on her amazing podcast “A Sharper Life”. I could write an entire newsletter on how awesome she is.

We dug a lot into confidence or lack thereof.

A Sharper Life podcast interview with Lynn Smith

Why do we or do we not have the confidence to take big risks, ask for what we want, or deliver the message so people will listen?

Here is my take.

It is all about where we seek validation from.

Is it internally or externally?

Here is the difference.

Internal Validation: Nurturing Self-Worth from Within

Internal validation is like the fuel we create for ourselves. It is the practice of recognizing and appreciating our achievements, values, and qualities. When we internally validate ourselves, we are not reliant on others’ opinions to feel good about our choices. Here is why it matters:

1. Authenticity: Internal validation encourages us to embrace our unique selves, rather than conforming to external expectations. It promotes self-awareness and acceptance.

2. Emotional Resilience: Relying on internal validation empowers us to weather criticism and setbacks more effectively. We trust in our abilities and decisions, even when others doubt us.

3. Empowerment: This form of validation propels us to take risks and pursue goals without waiting for external approval. It is the driving force behind self-motivation.

External Validation: Seeking Recognition Beyond Ourselves

External validation stems from the approval and recognition we receive from others. While it can boost our self-esteem temporarily, it has its own set of implications:

1. Fragility: Depending solely on external validation can make us vulnerable to fluctuations in others’ opinions. Our self-worth becomes tied to others’ perceptions.

2. Comparison Trap: Seeking external validation can lead to constant comparison with others, resulting in feelings of inadequacy or envy.

3. Limiting Choices: If we make decisions primarily to gain approval from others, we may compromise our true desires and values.

I don’t suggest you give up seeking constructive criticism or feedback, but when you realign the source of validation and seek this primarily from yourself, you remove the friction you have created for yourself.

Check out the podcast here.

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