Over the years I have watched nearly every episode of Chopped. In watching the show, I have observed something quite interesting.
For some contestants, in this case chefs, Chopped is their way of seeking validation. What I find fascinating is from whom they are seeking validation. The validation is rarely ever for themselves.
In fact, these contestants work against the clock with crazy ingredients to prove their worth to someone else.
Oftentimes that someone else is a parent who disapproves of their career choice as a chef.
Not Gaining the Validation You Seek
Imagine going through all of that pressure to prove something to someone else, and then losing. Where's the validation in that? And why would it take winning on some show to prove their value and passion?
As I typed that, I laughed at myself. I wrote that so a matter of factly as if I have always thought that way. Not!
In my own professional career, I have busted my butt seeking that same type of validation without winning the prize I had hoped.
It has taken several years to get to this point, but I understand now my validation need only come from me.
What follows is what I know now. Know that the validation you seek should come from you. Your greatest prize is you. I hope from this post you will find the value in you.
Rewards do not validate you. In life there are winners and losers. Losing does not mean you are not worthy. You may not have been the best at that moment, but you are still valuable. And if you do happen to lose at what you are seeking, work on improving. But let that improvement be for you.
Pleasing everyone will wear you out. You cannot please everyone. No matter how good, talented, or bright you are, there is someone who will find fault with you or who will not recognize you. Do not wear yourself out trying to please such people. Do you the best that you know how to do in order to please yourself.
Expand who you are. We miss opportunities when we get too focused on one area or one experience. Be willing to break from who you are to challenge yourself with something new or unexpected. You might surprise yourself by who you become.
Trust and believe in yourself. When we lack trust in our abilities, we rely on others to validate our abilities. Start trusting yourself and believing in who you are. Take small steps to build upon who you are. That is how you build that trust.
Remember you are human. This task of self-validation will not always be easy. Nothing worth doing or having ever is. Know that we are human. In being human, our emotions, feelings, and our egos sometimes trip us up. Expect that, but do not allow your humanness to control you.
Do You Know You are the Only Validation You Need?
Over the last few years I have become a better and wiser person as a result of what I have shared above. In fact, I am continuously working on that last one.
And yes, there is certain recognition that I have hoped for and have yet to receive, but I have also gained rewards I was not seeking. That is the better type of win in my book. As such, I feel validated.
In the end, I am the only validation I need. That is why I say to you, you are the only validation you need.
Here's a question for you: How are you going to start validating you for you? Share in the post comments.