Change isn’t always easy. Old behaviors linger for longer than we’d like, especially when we’re still living the same life we used to. It’s hard to remember doing things a new way when you’re still indulging in the same routines and hanging out with the people you always have.

The need for validations is one of those things which can be hard to get past sometimes. You know it’s not good for you, and you might even be pretty good at self-validation instead, but still, you slip up from time to time. You start saying ‘yes’ to every project people pass your way, or you find yourself agreeing with people around you on things you really feel differently about but are too shy to speak up about.

So, what do you do?

First, try not to let it faze you. Everyone messes up from time to time, especially when trying something new. Next? Try these three alternative actions, which will halt your need to be validated in its tracks.

Ask What’s Really Going On

What’s happening right now which is tripping you up? Are you trying to impress a specific person, or are you simply falling into an old pattern? Understanding what’s at the root of your need for validation will help you address the problem and derail the old behavior you’re trying to squelch.

Have an Honest Conversation

You’re expecting another person to validate you. Instead of jumping to impress them, try talking to them about how you’re feeling. Be honest about your fears and be open about what you’re thinking. It could be you’re getting worried about saying “no” to something or expressing a different opinion from the rest, and it’s not as big of a deal as you’ve been making it out to be. Sure, it’s scary to be a little vulnerable, but you’ll feel so much better in the long run.

Change the Dialogue

Finally, you were hoping someone else would validate you. Wouldn’t it feel much better if you could validate yourself? Check your self-talk for negativity and instead reword what you have been telling yourself into something more positive. Remind yourself of all the great things you’ve done and the talents you have. Reassure yourself it’s normal to feel whatever emotion you happen to be feeling, if only because it’s your emotion.

The best way to derail your old behaviors is to adopt new ones to replace them. By keeping these techniques in your tool kit, you will always have a more positive alternative to validation-seeking. You’ll also start discovering just how amazing you really are!

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