EXTERIOR VALIDATION: IS IT CRIPPLING YOUR NEXT BIG MOVE?
The need for exterior validation is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember.
From the type of sports I played, to the various passions I pursued, to the top grades I was for ever chasing – and falling short of. Exterior validation seemed to be the number one reason for whatever I was choosing to do.
And you would think that with age, being in my early forties, I wouldn’t need it so much or at least I wouldn’t go in search of it or worst, let it dictate what I was doing in my life or in my business.
But as I’ve taken inventory of how things are going for me right now, I’ve come to the debilitating conclusion that exterior validation still plays a big enough role on my life.
More than I’d care to admit.
And by talking to some of my highly successful clients, it seems that I am not the only high achiever that is in the grips of this unsavoury mental model.
Why you shouldn’t rely on external validation for your decisions
First, it’s important to understand what external validation is.
External validation is the need to have other people’s opinion validate how we feel, what we do and how we act. It is the need for praises, or in our social media heavy world, the need for likes, comments and thumbs up.
External validation in and of itself is not bad. It takes an ugly turn when you depend on it to base your decision instead of turning inward and validating with yourself if this next move is the right one for you.
As social psychologists C. H. Cooley and Han-Joachim Schubert wrote in their book On Self and Social Organization, external validation can be summed it up as follows: “I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am.”
Basing your life decisions on what I think that you think I am is a slippery slope. Because it is no longer about what you think or what you believe in your gut to be true and right for you.
It is about you think others think is true and right for you.
Big difference with big consequences.
So how to loosen the grip of external validation in 3 steps?
1.The first step to loosen the grip of external validation is to realize that it is a part of your decision making process. If you won’t acknowledge that it is a part of you, then it will be very difficult for you to realign your thought process or as mental model.
2. Now that you’ve acknowledge its presence and its impact, turn to internal validation and ask yourself:
What is it about what your decision, your message, your business, your next big move… that resonates with you?
Why is it about those elements (decision, message, business, big move…) that make them important to you?
What value do they carry with them that resonate with your values?
3. The third and final step to loosen the grip of external validation is to come back to your mission statement: what is your reason for being – what is the reason for being for your business. Once you’ve figured out what it is that you are here to accomplish, it won’t matter as much what others think, because you are on a mission.
External validation looses it’s power when you are grounded in your mission.
Think of it this way:
If Rosa Parks had stopped and let external validation dictate her actions, she wouldn’t have became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She fearlessly pursued her actions because they were grounded in her mission to end racial injustice
If the Wright Brothers had let external validation and social mockery dictate their actions, they would have quit on their dreams to see man fly.
I could go on and on with an endless list of amazing inventors, creators and world-shakers that shaped the way we see life and do business today because they didn’t let external validation dictate what they needed to do or what their next big move should be.
You may be thinking that you have no desire to become an international icon of some sort or revolutionary inventor but your purpose remains just as important and crucial to be realized.
Realizing your purpose is the only way you will find fulfilment. It is the only way you will know why you are here, why you have this life and why you started this business.
It is then no longer about them or even about you but about what you are here to do.
The message you share through your work your business, your services and your products; that is what is important. It is the message itself that is important.
How to get clear on your mission
Understanding the mission you are on is the catalyst to letting go of what others may or may not think of what you think they think of you.
When you are on a mission, think Mission Impossible and Tom Cruise, the mission itself is what’s most important.
So as you start thinking about your own mission, think about what it is you want to accomplish in your life and why.
Ask yourself what are the ACTIONS you would take if nothing held you back and if you had no fear.
Then write them down and let them sink in for a bit.
That’s the first step I want you to cover today: simply look at your mission in terms of actions.
To help you get started, take out a dictionary – or look one up on your smart phone- and browse through verbs that ignite a fire in you.
Think of verbs like “inspire”, “ignite”, “change”, “create”, “build”, “save”, “spread”, “encourage”, “enlighten”… Whatever verb feels right to you in terms of what ACTION you would take if you had no fear and no one was holding you back.
Write them down on a piece of paper (yes with a pen and paper, not on your smart phone – there is actually a cognitive reason behind this that makes your writing a lot more powerful and meaningful) and allow those verbs to sink in.
And while you let those sit and sink in, I’d love to hear what those action words are for you. Leave a comment below or send me a quick email. I’m always eager to hear from you.
To your success,
P.S. I know what it feels like to want so much out of life and to run a business that has a positive and powerful impact on the world. I know what it’s like to read endless self-help sand business mastery books, looking for that edge that is going to calm the overwhelm and give direction to your life and your business.
I know how all of it feels like because I was stuck there for years. And so have all my clients.
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE self-help and business mastery books and still read them to this day. But now I know what I was missing that none of these books could give me and that is A CLEAR MISSION OF WHAT I WANT IN MY LIFE AND FOR MY LIFE.
It took me years and thousands of dollars spent on coaches, mentors, workshops and online courses to get to this point. And let’s not forget the two decades I spent travelling the world and working as an international corporate lawyer alongside top business leaders.
All of that got me to here. And HERE is to help you. Because my own mission is:
To inspire and lead others to find clarity and affirm their purpose.
No matter what stage you are at in your life, finding your purpose and getting clear on your mission is the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It is what will bring you the greatest fulfilment. Not to mention, the greatest abundance.
Abundance, yes. When you are clear on what you want, you can focus all of your energy and your willpower on making it happen. Things start flowing, new opportunities are presented to you, ideal clients and partners and adventures are directed your way.
You may not understand how this is all happening and this is far from being “magic” or some woo woo concept. This is simply you getting clear on what you want and channeling your energy accordingly.
If you are looking for that transformation, if you have reached that point where you know there is more to get from your life and your business but you just don’t know how to get there, then I can help you.
I can guide you through the step by step process of getting clear on your mission and claiming your purpose.
This mentoring is tailored to you, your needs, your experiences and your desired outcomes. This is not some cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all kind of coaching. This is for those that are willing to put in the work to get more out life and their business: more money, more abundance, more joy, more freedom, more fulfilment.
If this sounds like you, if you are like all of my other succesful clients that came to me searching for something more and getting even more out of their life and business, then I urge you to CLICK HERE and get in touch with me directly. I will directly respond to your email. Not my assistant or another coach. I will personally assist you.
But let me make this clear for you, before you click that link. You are going to have to work for what you want. I am not the “cheerleader” type of coach. Yes I will support you 1000% but I will also call you out when you need it most.
Remember, this is about YOU. THIS IS ABOUT YOU GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LIFE. In order to get you there, you will need to work through the process.
If you are ready then I can’t wait to work with you. CLICK HERE.