On my bad days, I have a tendency to look for it everywhere. Everywhere except for the most obvious place.
I rummage through every word exchanged, try to lift up the curtains of each adjective to see if I can catch a glimpse of it. I dig in the folds of each smile, comb through every gesture, or wait until it finally shows up.
And too often I forget that the best way to find it is by looking in, not out.
What I have come to realize is that validation is most potent when it is founded from our inner source, not when it comes from the outside. Outside validation feels good and I definitely don’t deny that we all need it once in a while, but if you don’t have a strong inner foundation of self-worth, then outside validation will be nothing but a momentary, fleeting wind.
So how do we anchor ourselves down to enjoy a solid sense of self-worth? By being in constant awareness of our strengths and remembering the value we can offer in any situation. What makes you unique, special, and talented? What do you bring to the table? Make a list. When you can name all of your positive traits, you tend to remember them better. Besides, how can anyone else recognize them if we don’t see it in ourselves first?
Too often, we forget to stand in a position of power because we fail to recognize and express how truly valuable we are. We act like passive receivers, waiting for opportunity, when the truth is that we are active contributors to every situation.
And you know what? The thing that you want actually needs you just as much as you need it. Whether it’s a personal or professional “want”, every single prospect should be approached by your own questioning of whether or not it is a good fit for you, not just the other way around. You are the boss of your own life, and you are interviewing every prospective job and investigating every potential relationship to see if it brings enough value to your own path of growth.
So don’t forget to look inside. You can stop all the external rummaging and the turning of every stone. Simply look in, open the window, and let the light shine in on your inner power.
The treasure is already within you.
Exercise: Make a list (at least 10 items) of all your strengths. Remind yourself what makes you valuable, and show up from that space. When you stand from a position of power and self-appreciation, everything changes.
I'd love to get your feedback! I'm thinking about putting a collection of essays like this into a book. Would a book of these self-reflections be helpful for you and your journey? Do let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and or reaching out to me via social at @rubyveridiano :)