A Guilty Pleasure that Speeds up Success
I used to feel guilty about needing validation.
Whether it was an idea I had, a presentation I delivered, or a course I wanted to create.
I needed someone to tell me:
This is good.
You’re on to something, you should keep going.
This was even more prevalent when I was writing my book. Looking back now with 100% certainty, I can say that I could not have crossed the finish line without validation.
Validation from others was instrumental in any of the big ideas and projects I embarked on.
However, we get embarrassed or think less of ourselves when we feel the need to go out there to ask someone what they think.
‘Do you like it? Is this good?’ Underneath it all, what we’re really asking is, ‘Am I good enough?’
I want us to stop feeling bad about going out there to get validation.
The fact is your brain is wired to look at what is wrong and not working. It’s pre-programmed with negativity bias. Its default is to pick apart your ideas, client interactions, or the last post or comment you put up on LinkedIn or Instagram. This negativity bias is a fear response. It’s not “out to get you” or knock you off your game; it’s there to keep you safe. It’s scary putting your ideas, services, and ambitions out there for others to see and judge. Your brain defaults to negativity bias to safeguard you: saving you from risking potential ridicule, while at the same time, holding you back from following your dreams.
This is where validation helps. It can broaden your perspective. It gives you more information than the limiting point of view your negativity biased brain resorts to. It gives you context and confidence to move forward. That was what I got every time I submitted my pages for review or did a dry run of a presentation or ran a pilot program for one of my workshops or courses. I received in-the-moment feedback on what worked and what didn’t. Even more than that, I scored a point for the home team instead of the fear visitor.
Also, research has shown that about 50% of our personality and our self-worth feelings are inherited; the rest is environmental (Horsburgh, Schermer, Veselka, & Vernon, 2009; Svedberg, Hallsten, Narusyte, Bodin, & Blom, 2016; Bleidorn et al., 2018 as noted in this article).
In other words, 50% of the confidence you have in your own worth and abilities comes from your nature – it’s innate and part of your DNA. That could be good news if you naturally feel confident, don’t take things personally or don’t get crushed by fear’s force. But what if you were born with 50% shaky self-esteem?
What I love about this research is that even though our brains are programmed with negativity bias, and even though some of us are more susceptible to crescendo to self criticism and judgement… we can do something about it. The other half of the confidence equation is environment. Your environment informs and influences not only who you are, but who you become.
If you could get the confidence boost you need from someone telling you, this is good, you’re on to something, keep going; if you were working within an environment of support and encouragement – would you be quicker to decide, launch, try, post, invent?
Why not use this powerful technique – validation – to help you get unstuck and get moving?
Do you know what question Oprah gets asked by every guest she interviews? Whether it’s Beyonce or Barack Obama… “Everybody that I ever interviewed after every interview at some point somebody would say, ‘How was that? Was that OK? How’d I do?”
So you see – validation is normal! Even those who we’d categorize as ‘making it’ or ‘having it all’ or ‘got it going on’ need to know they did well and are good enough.
I invite you to surrender to asking for help, feedback, and, yes, validation. It’s not a humiliating act, rather one that takes bravery because you chose to make yourself, your ideas, and your work visible.
What idea, program, service are you hesitating on? Could asking for validation – without feeling guilty or ashamed – be the one thing you do today to get you moving onwards and upwards?
Are these 3 Selling Myths holding you back from sales, clients, and money? Find out how to replace fear, discomfort and anxiety with ease, grace, and integrity – for a profitable business you and your clients will love.
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