Stupid approval! That’s what I’ve been singing for the past few months. No, not self-approval, approval from the masses or better yet approval from my peers. I know that I am smart, beautiful, funny and all that but it sounds so self centred and vain when I say it. However when someone else says it it’s like heaven just opened and I was kissed by an angel. I feel happy when I’m praised or when I get compliments. Maybe that’s the problem. We get a sense of pride and joy mostly when someone else appreciates and approves of us. come on, I mean even baby Jesus was adored by the Magi at birth, so can’t these people who we’ve lived with for so long and did so much for adore us? No I don’t mean get us gifts of gold and all, (it would be really awesome though) no. I think we just want someone to say ‘Well done or you are beautiful and oh my God you are the bomb’.
I bet you’ve felt that too. wanting to be praised and acknowledged. Wanting someone to pat you on the back, pull their thumbs up and and say way to go, you did it.’
Why does it matter though? Why does your value rely on someone else? Have you ever thought that maybe you are enough? I don’t mean being tired or over something but enough in terms of being complete, being the ultimate package. Just being whole and not needing anything?
I won’t judge because there was a time in my my life where the masses would matter and so did their opinions of me.
I remember not feeling good enough. I used to feel complete in the eyes of Someone else or rather what they thought of me. If they thought positive of me then I’d be content and if it was negative then I’d sit down and curse myself.
I think this happens with everyone. When you get a new hairstyle its not a big deal until someone says ‘Oh my God you look amazing’. We measure ourselves based on how people see or classify us. Take me for instance, I completed my degree, I’m smart, I’m beautiful, funny and all that but I didn’t feel this way about myself until someone else said it. For me to believe all that about myself I needed to hear it from someone else. I needed someone to put value and validate me.
Here is my crazy story: A very close friend of mine is a photographer and I’ve known the person for years. Not once has the person ever taken a picture of me or pretended to take a picture of me and that put a dent on my confidence. I started feeling ugly and didn’t appreciate myself only because this one person didn’t take a picture of me.
Looking back at it or writing it down I’m thinking man, that was stupid but at that time it was a big deal and it hurt. I knew that I’m beautiful don’t get me wrong. Just that this one person or rather their photographic opinion if you would call it that meant so much that I belittled myself and started feeling low about how I looked all because they never took a picture of me. In my mind it felt like if Beyonce never wrote or sang a song about or for Jay-Z, imagine how Jay-Z would feel. That’s where I was.
Regardless of what I knew, it still hurt and bugged me. I think that’s our problem, we know but we still want to be told . If you know something for a fact then why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel the need to be praised by someone else. Personally I figured what if I took different poses, the butt pose, the smile, the shy look and all these other poses then the person would have to take a picture of me. This one person would find me beautiful. The sad thing is other people did take pictures of me, they offered and some even begged me to send them my pictures but this one person, this one person mattered so much that I saw myself as ugly and I just saw negativity in myself.
Its the same way as a wife with a new hairstyle hoping the husband compliments her but what if he doesn’t compliment you, what if he doesn’t see the change in you, he just stares blankly at you while you are busy swaying your head from left to right in the middle of a soccer game and he is just not paying attention to you, does that mean the fault is with you, are you incomplete without his compliments?
Why do we need validation? Why is it that someone’s approval of us matters much more than how we see ourselves. No one can say I don’t love myself because I woke up feeling that way. No, some magazine said you need to be a size 28, someone didn’t take your picture or find you beautiful enough to capture, someone said you are too dark.
That’s why you have a problem with yourself. What if you just woke up and felt like the bomb. You just woke up, got in your size 40, took your own picture and posted it on Facebook and just decided to tell yourself that you are the bomb and actually believed it. You wouldn’t need the Magi to adore you. It wouldn’t matter what anyone did or said because you know better and you know yourself much better. You adore yourself enough for the masses, you find no faults and flaws in who you are. You don’t need fake validation. You don’t need fake praises.
Perdonally I feel like this is a sickness that we all suffer from and the only cure is to look at ourselves and see ourselves for who and what we really are: beautiful, handsome, smart, intriguing, complete and amazing people amongst other things. The truth is that no one has to look at you and put a stamp of approval on you but yourself. Your happiness is not and should not be found or should not lie in someone’s words.
Don’t ever give someone that much power over you. You are enough and people don’t have to say it for you to know it. You know that you are enough and that’s enough on its own.
You don’t need someone to validate your existence and praise what you already know is amazing. Be content with who you are and adore yourself. Your life will be filled with peace and so much of love.
Be okay with who you are and how you look. Love yourself. Loving yourself can be many things, find your beauty, write yourself letters and poems, be crazy, take yourself on dates, face your fears, take pictures of yourself, motivate yourself. Don’t give anyone power over how you see yourself. Never give them so much power that when they don’t do what you expect of them then you are left shattered. Take that power back, compliment yourself, praise yourself and just be happy with yourself. Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself.