It does not matter what your life looks like to anyone else. Their validation does not give your life value. Their admiration will never make you feel loved. The only thing that approval from others will do is create pressure on you to keep being more, and more, and more.
Its easy to convince yourself that your life must be valuable and special, like rainbows and sunshine, just because someone else thinks so. Sometimes, achieving approval from others seems easier than giving ourselves the inner respect we all deserve to pursue.
There are ways and means that a culture will make you believe these things are enviable — Money, labels, cars, shiny love, shiny friends, and shiny things. Sounds familiar? Because that’s what our consumerist and image-based culture has fed us ever since we were what? Infants?
It annoys me so much because I see it happening in my own life. I have two different groups of people that I gain validation from and I’m not afraid to admit that. Whenever I find myself not living up to their standards, anxiety kicks in. I start beating myself up on the inside because I don’t think that I’m good enough, and the truth is, I never will be good enough, at least not for them.
The thing is, you can follow all the ‘shoulds’ until you’re tired and on the verge of giving up, but you still wouldn’t find self-fulfilment or self-respect. If you chase the opinion of others to validate your life, you will do so forever. Its like running in a hamster wheel. It will never, ever end. Their standards will just keep going higher and higher.
You will never be enough, because there will always be a way to discover your inadequacies. The system of needing external validation is set up to fail.
You must define your life. Only you and God have the last and final word of what your life looks like. It doesn’t matter if anyone likes you or loves you or thinks you’re worth more a million bucks.
If you always feel that you will never be enough, and in many ways, you’re right. You won’t ever be enough if your enough-ness lies in the hands of others. You need to realise that your happiness and peace of mind was in the hands of strangers and friends and family members and lovers, but not anymore. From now on, you have full control of your own happiness.
When you are the arbiter of your own life and you have no one to answer to except yourself, you are free. You will tell yourself that what you did it was a job well done; You will tell yourself that hey, this thing that you just did is not acceptable, it is something that goes against your values, so you need to change.
Freedom is not a place. It’s not a shedding of responsibility or people or work or anything like that. It’s inside you. You can either imprison yourself to the mind of a world that will continue to tell you that you are not enough or you can find freedom by embracing and being someone that you are happy to be.