“Television, movies, and advertising all surround us with pictures and tell us that we should own this thing or we should be like that person, that success can be measured in dollars and significance measured in sound bites. I’ve been behind those images, though, and the truth is often very different. The people who live for affirmation outside themselves never seem to have enough – enough fame, enough applause, enough love.” – Tim Storey
By Dawn Onley
Never rely on another person for validation. Never put your sense of value and worth into someone else’s hands.
Sure, it’s fine to seek out an opinion from someone you admire. Yes, it’s great to learn different approaches to solving a problem or getting something done. True, it’s wonderful to study the practices and results of our beloved friends and even associates that we’d love to emulate while still being true to our best selves.
However, it’s dangerous territory to allow another person to tell us who we are and what we’re capable of – and more importantly, for us to believe them. DON’T DO IT. I can’t stress this enough.
And make no mistake about it, this happens often in a myriad of ways.
- When we compare ourselves to others who are more accomplished or who have more “stuff” and allow what appears on the surface to reinforce our own negative beliefs about ourselves.
- When we are overlooked or ignored and we think it’s because others are more deserving.
- When someone else gets the job and we are told the company found a “better fit” with another candidate. This quite possibly is true, but it’s not because we are “less than.” Don’t believe that lie. You are the only you there is. I am the only me there is. This makes us BOSS. Walk in it.
- When your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend leaves you for someone else and makes you believe it was all your fault because of something you did or didn’t do.
- When you’re shunned by the “popular” kids in school and you let that frame your adult sense of worth.
- When your co-worker treats you mean, doesn’t value your contributions to the team and you feel ostracized at work and become silent.
- When someone gushes about how beautiful/smart/successful someone else is and this makes you feel ugly, dumb and like a failure. Remember this: No one has the power to make us feel inferior until we give it to them. We hold the key.
None of these scenarios should be affirming who we are. No television or magazine ad, no model, no actress, no ‘Employee of the Week’, no man, no woman, no boy or no girl. NO ONE should be validating who we are or who we are not.
No one but us. This needs to always come from within.
We need to seek our own affirmation and learn to value our own worth. We should never feel threatened by what someone else brings to the table. We all possess different gifts — unwrap yours and learn to appreciate how much it sparkles.
We should stand firm in knowing who we are. We are a creation in God’s own image. We possess limitless capabilities. We are brilliant and captivating and loving and beautiful.
Only we know what we know. Only you have lived your life and know the journey you have traveled. The same is true with me. What I allow you to see is not my full picture. It is not your full picture, either. Only you know what’s inside of you. Only you and God know your heart.
You are irreplaceable. It doesn’t matter if no one else knows it or believes it, as long as you do. It is a fact. No two snowflakes are alike, so how can someone possibly be exactly like you and speak definitively of your boundless possibilities? You are limitless. Only you can place limits on your abilities — no other human has that power.
Once we believe this, we become unstoppable.