External validation: 4 reasons why and when it’s okay.

Ikram Al Mouaswas
5 min readFeb 2, 2021
Some random image I found on the internet

“True confidence is knowing that you alone are enough, without the need for anyone else’s validation”.

How many times have you heard this? How bad are we taught to feel when we find ourselves vying for external validation?

The western culture is obsessed with individualism, it took us so far down the spectrum, we now claim individual validation is all we need.

Today, I want to break this myth.

Is it ok to get external validation? Or is it only internal validation we should be seeking? What of this myth we believe is true, and what did our beliefs make us forget to notice?

Can you love yourself yet also validate this love from others?

Is it either/or, or both/and?

Talk to yourself with love.

What is the language of love? It is the language of someone loving us.

What we forget is, we are loved by others before we love ourselves — whether it is your parents [if you are fortunate to be born in a loving home] or otherwise, you learn love through others’ love for you.

It is arrogant of us to ignore this genesis, and believe we can simply love ourselves without the need for anyone else’s love first.

When does internal validation enter the scene then? Once we learn what love is. This is when internal validation plays a key role. For if you don’t love yourself, nothing anyone will say or do will get you to do so.

If you recall Amy Schumer’s movie I Feel Pretty, she never felt pretty until SHE felt pretty, and from then on, everything else validated that concept.

You need to know it yourself before others validate it.

External validation works when people speak your own language. The trick is: you have to know what your language is first.

You need to have the seed inside you to believe.

Otherwise, all those dopamine hits from social media or a kind stranger or anyone else is just that — a temporary dopamine hit. Not a permanent fix.

Brene Brown’s research focuses on self-worth through understanding shame. Brene claims we need to…

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Ikram Al Mouaswas

Consultant by pay, writer by passion. Love listening to podcasts, books, and people. All about philosophy and psychology of life, happiness and humans.