Validation – Can We Truly Validate Ourselves?

Kelly Martin Adam Fotheringham BE SEEN BE HEARD
I am sitting at this computer to help me understand what I need to know right now about this subject of validation. It is not until I started questioning where I am coming from that this subject keeps coming up for me.
When I felt part of the human tribe, an insider, a person who belonged to a group or sector of society, my validation, my reason for being came from reflections my mind saw in another’s eyes. So when I belonged I felt validated.  The only problem was I had to cross streams, leap tall buildings and be someone I wasn’t, to receive this validation. I had to fit in to feel at ease in the world I was living in.
In the earlier years, it was wearing the right clothes, listening to the same music.  We all fitted together as a clan, a group. In my later years I drank a lot of alcohol to fit in.  Alcohol drowned out the voices of insecurity and esteem issues. Yet I fitted in. My drunken behaviour, my uproarious laughter and doing what my friends did validated me.  I ate sugary substances and overindulged in many things so that any sense of not feeling validated was numbed and blocked out. 

Wanting Validation

Now, I am sat here wanting to experience the ageless quality of my soul, yet I feel defined in my own head for my age group. At 35 the subject of validation is screaming at me. This time I have dichotomous feelings of wanting validation for what I am doing, but also feeling not validated when I receive it.  And then I feel rejected and insecure when nobody seems to see me and what I do. It’s almost as if I wear an invisibility cloak.
I feel as if I have come full circle. My initial excitement and thrill at writing, creating art, photography has waned somewhat and I feel left with the age old question again – who am I?
At 35, I struggle with the feelings and thoughts that I should be doing something different from what I am doing.  And even though my inner wisdom, in periods of clarity, tells me I am exactly where I need to be, I still have my moments like this.
I have nothing solid to validate myself with.  My soul is all I know and it has no concrete substance to it.  My love of nature and this planet, has no concrete substance to it. It’s a feeling.  My ego feels hurt or rather my ego gives me thoughts that hurt, that there is really no point in anything.
I feel all these years I have been seeking self validation and no amount of what I have done so far has brought this feeling inside me.  There is still a seeking outside of myself, for the world to say “Hey Kelly, you are okay!”.
Yet, even if the entire world were to say this to me, it would not matter or touch me, in all honesty. For the void inside where validation needs to be cannot not be filled by anybody else but me.
And I know not how to do this, or feel this, or bring this from within me.
What worth is my writing, my speaking, my photography  if it does not benefit me in some way? I have lived too long with the feeling of wanting to help others and support them, when I know I want help and I want support – and I want it all from me. Nobody else.
While people can trigger inspiration or understanding or clarity in me, it is still down to me, here.

My Purpose?

I can’t see my purpose on this planet anymore.
If the purpose of life is to feel good and enjoy life, what am I, Kelly, meant to do in life?  My ego is telling me that all of my writing, all of my creativity, is absolutely pointless.  I can see no reason to continue other than something in me wanting to be expressed.
Are those that are confident and full of esteem, people who were validated in a healthy way as children? Encouraged to be who they are?
I am annoyed right now because I felt that my self-esteem had increased so much this past 8 years, and I felt finally, FINALLY, that my creativity, that I had buried for so long, was coming up for air and I thought this meant that my reason for living, being, was finally here!
And while my intellect knows that my reason for living and being is simply that, being, here, now, and intellectually I know that my soul, my unique expression of me, is all that I need to be here on this planet, emotionally, I still have big sucky moments!
And even though, I know that embracing the unknown, allowing life to unfold, is what I am supposed to be learning here and allowing…I still have freak outs when I cannot see where my creativity is taking me and as a result my mind screams “SO WHAT’S THE POINT?”.
At the moment because of fear of the unknown, because of not trusting in the process of life, I see no point in art or playing or anything.  Yet here I am writing. Go figure!?
I cannot be the only person that feels a need for validation.  Don’t most people? Is it not why people strive on their career paths to get people to like them, validate them as persons? Or are many people so high in esteem they simply want their work validated? Or do many people see themselves as separate from the work they do? Or is it a small minority that are able to feel validated for simply being alive?
I want to live a life of passion.  Doing something I am truly passionate about.  And I want to want to do this for me, not for validation from those outside of me.
I had hoped by writing this I would understand or gain some clarity but I guess not.  I may even delete this post.  Why? Because it may not be of benefit to anyone else.  And why do I care? Because I want validation! No, but I don’t.  I want validation from me.  So why write or post it.
I guess maybe just by getting it out, I can go and have a big old cry and maybe just let myself be for a while.
Additional Notes:
(This is a nice movie but tends towards validation from other people)
(And another blogger with similar thoughts)
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. June 10, 2011 / 7:28 pm

    I don't think I've ever quite got the whole career working-your-way-up thing when most people wouldn't be in their jobs if they had sufficient money. I used to get drummed in to me about 'purpose' in my old Christian days but I think that my purpose is to be myself, whatever that is.
    But hell, I still crave validation from others! Which is one reason why I've always wanted people and things to come to me rather than make sufficient effort myself. Something I am working on right now ..
    I must say you've been helpful to me whilst I've been struggling a bit with this whole aloneless thing .. sending blessings your way x

  2. June 10, 2011 / 8:24 pm

    Thanks Andy, its really helpful to know you understand. I sometimes find myself needing to truly express my rawness here. I recognise the need to not be a 'Bob Proctor' or other positive thinker person who always 'appears' to the outside world to be happy happy high high. I am glad I left this blog here. Like most humans experiencing this journey I have up days and sometimes real down days. I welcome your blessings xxx

  3. June 11, 2011 / 3:19 am

    No! Don't delete the post. Wanting validation is normal, the problems begin when everything we do is for validation and not part of our divine purpose. The fact that you're aware of this is the true gift.

    I just corresponded with an online friend about this very thing. She said to me, and I will say to you ~ It's courageous for you to share this. It is inspiring. People think that following a spiritual path is a decision we make and "ta-da", like magic everything is evolved and hunky dory. When the exact opposite is true. The spiritual path is filled with challenges and self doubt as well as revelations and self growth.

    Keep that creative fire going and keep 'em coming 🙂

  4. June 13, 2011 / 4:03 pm

    Hi Marla, thanks. I felt it was good to leave it here. Your friend is right, we question and understand, get clarity, get confused, feel sure of ourselves and have faith and then we have doubt. I am acknowledging all of me and its okay 🙂

    Much love and keeping creative fire going,
    Kelly xxx

  5. June 17, 2011 / 7:24 am

    Great, thought-provoking post. I think it's completely normal to wonder about our validity in any given moment.

    I like to remind myself of what Byron Katie says: "your life purpose is whatever you're doing in the moment".

    Our mind would tell us differently – when it starts firing the "shoulds" and "what ifs" at us. But the reality is, we are where we are.

    My work is about guiding people to consider whether what they are doing right now – in this moment – is expressive of their unique capacities. In other words, if you're a writer, write (don't worry about publication – yet). If you're an artist, paint or draw (don't worry about selling your work – yet.)

    Doing what's expressive of you in this moment prepares you for the next, and when you're in step with that, it becomes your own validation – so it's less necessary to seek it from others.

    I'd say, from what I've read, that posting your thoughts and speculations is a great expression of you; I love that you left this post here, because I think it will help others too.

  6. June 17, 2011 / 7:29 pm

    Hi Brian, welcome to my blog. Great to hear your thoughts on this subject.

    I love the Byron Katie quote.

    Your right on the whole expressing for expression sakes and the value in that. I have been reading a lot of Julia Camerons books lately (Artists Way, Walking In This World & The Vein Of Gold). She also speaks about write and paint because you cannot, not write or paint or express yourself and how its all about the process not the product. I am getting to understand this more each day. For example when I first started doing my blog again after years of not doing it, I wrote for the love of writing and then I freaked out checking my stats and wondering where all the people were. I then realised I started 'trying' to write for an audience and this did me no good whatsoever. So I am back to writing as I feel inspired to write, writing when it feels great to express. It has taken the edge off and taken the self imposed pressure of my shoulders. As fledgling creatives its important to nurture and nourish and to not take a leap to the end of the track, its impossible to do anyway.

    I felt the message from my inner self last week that by doing what feels good creatively speaking creation will keep on giving me, exactly what I need, when I need it. So I am keeping the creations going.

    Thanks Again Brian,
    Hugs x

  7. September 20, 2011 / 7:41 am

    I am glad that you haven't deleted this post. I stumbled on your blog by accident and scrolled down to this post. I have sought validation my whole life and the words you expressed are exactly how I feel but have been unable to put into words. Thank you Kelly.

  8. September 20, 2011 / 4:31 pm

    Hi Simone, so glad you found my blog. It appears many of us are starting to question how we validate ourselves and its a good thing. No longer looking to others and looking to self is the key for me.

    Hugs to you xxx

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