8 Reasons to Stop Seeking External Validation

In a world filled with 8 billion people, it is impossible to please everyone all the time. It is solely your opinion that should matter to you.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

Approval 1

We all tend to ask for opinions, especially of our loved ones and of the people we respect. Be it family members, friends, mentors, or peers, getting a second opinion is important. Especially when it comes to important decisions in our lives like accepting a new job offer, joining a university, dating, or going on even going on a vacation. This is extremely important.

However, the problem begins when we are not just asking for an opinion but when we are seeking to placate others, making decisions based on what would make others happy, or because we are too afraid of what others will think of us. The issue becomes deeper when we try to seek validation or approval for tasks and activities which require solely our judgement.

Now, don’t get us wrong here. We aren’t asking you to be a complete rebel or at least, not in a bad way. We aren’t asking you to disregard the people we love and respect. There lies a fine line between respecting authority and respecting ourselves. All we are saying is that it is your life, and as far as we know, you’ve only got one.

Here are 8 reasons why you should stop seeking external validation

Here are 8 more reasons why you should stop waiting for others approval to live your life:

Life is too short

Life is a gateway to opportunities. However, opportunities do not wait for you to come around. If you want to win a lottery, you’ve got to buy a ticket!

Not doing what we truly want creates feelings of anxiety, depression, and frustration. Listening to our hearts is important to be truly happy from within. Use the Carpe Diem philosophy to actually do some of the things that have been on the bucket list forever.


Sometimes, we can sense danger, or we cannot put our finger on it but something just does not feel right about a person or a situation. We’ve all been there. We all have a 6th sense or an intuition that is built into us. We are able to process millions of data points at a moment’s notice and judge a situation. We may not always be able to tell what is bugging us, but most of us can detect an eerie feeling.

We are even able to detect the beginnings of something exhilarating. For instance, the feeling when we meet someone, we ‘vibe’ with. This happens when our wavelength matches, and we form a strong bond with them over a period of time.

When honed, our intuition can be an important tool in our arsenal to navigate life and tough decisions. When faced with a dilemma, seek to go within instead of seeking validation outside. You’d be surprised at the amazing decisions you can make for yourself in life.

You have the first-hand experience

No one has lived your life. People can be there to give you suggestions and to guide you, but no one has had the exact same experiences that you have had in the exact order. You have lived a unique life and you have experienced things that nobody else has. Give yourself some credit. No one can tell you if the decision you are making is good for you or not, except yourself. Trust yourself and your life experience.

External validation and approval is just another opinion

You have to understand that people are always going to give you their advice, even when you don’t ask for it. Most of it is based on their life experience and their insecurities (not yours). They don’t know what’s best for you. It is not wrong for them to voice their thoughts and guide you along the way. But remember, at the end of the day, it is just another opinion. So, it is best to take it with a pinch of salt and continue doing what is best for you!

It is better to fail than never to try

Failure is essential for growth and success. Some may also say that failure is a part of success.

Sometimes, seeking validation from people may stop us from trying something that we want to or that we’ve always dreamed of. The problem here is that till we don’t try something how are we going to learn? First-hand experiences are a must. If we fail, it will hurt us, sure. However, it will also help us to grow. Any experience is important and no experience is a waste. There is always something you will learn and grow from. We often regret not doing something in our lives. We rarely regret something we’ve risked and done.

So go ahead, take that calculated risk, and don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll bounce back stronger!

Only your approval matters

No one else can truly live with your decisions, only you can. If you don’t listen to your heart, you are going to be unhappy anyway. So why not just listen to what you truly want and be happy if it works out? If it does not work out, well, you were going to be unhappy anyway had you not listened to your heart.

This is your life. There’s no guarantee that following what others have said is going to make you happy. You will not only end up blaming them but also yourself for seeking their validation and approval. Be accountable for your actions. It is only your approval that matters.

We all have different journeys

Let’s look at life as a long journey that is never-ending. We are all trekking our way up to the end. Some people who cross our paths stay with us throughout our lives. Others are just guests, here to help us along the way. We are all on different paths in our lives. Waiting for validation or approval from others (especially those who are just guests in your life) is going to make you unhappy. We all must walk on our own path. There are no guarantees, except that you are always going to have yourself. So, seek only your approval. You decide what you want in life.

You cannot please everyone

There are billions of people in this world. All unique – each DNA strand, fingerprint, ideology, behavior, everything. How is it logically possible to make everyone happy with your decision all the time? If we stop to think what others will think, we will likely be extremely indecisive in life. Everyone has different opinions and experiences. It is not possible for you to please everyone. The only person you can please is yourself.

How do I stop seeking external validation?

  • Journal your thoughts and reflect on them once a week.
  • Shower yourself with some thoughts of positive self-affirmations.
  • Recognize your self-worth. You’re a beautiful, wholesome human being who is capable of making your own decisions.
  • Learn from experiences and grow. Try to reflect on your past actions in order to avoid the same mistakes in the future.
  • Grab opportunities and learn from them.
  • Surround yourself with people who uplift you and push you to learn more.
  • Be accountable for all your actions.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. We all make decisions sometimes that are not in our best interests. If you’ve made a mistake, be patient. Hang in there. Do the inner work and truly listen to yourself. You got this!



Simple and elegant writing. The elaboration on difference between taking opinion and taking decisions based on others is apt.

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