Hi, I hope you enjoy this Ponder, it’s a reflection on a theme that I have been pondering over the past week. I always love the input that comes from readers of my Ponderings, it adds to my knowledge of the topic and helps me personally and professionally, so thank you.

This week I researched the words around ‘validation’ for our shared ponder, and read this sentence, which sums up why I want to ponder this with you…

‘Validation has evolved with society. In the past, validation may have come from one’s role in a community, while today, it can often come from social media and the number of likes or followers’.

I felt sad when I read this, what a disconnected world we are in danger of being part of. Being validated is a human need and how we receive validation is also critical.

The funny thing is, when I googled the definition of Validation, the top result was very clinical, and then, thank goodness it served me this..

  • ‘recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile’

At times, our need to be seen can be higher than other times, perhaps through a number of factors.

  • Due to the way we have been parented, for good and for bad
  • Depending on the depth of relationships we have that make us feel significant to others.
  • Our need can also heighten when things are tough, and we lose belief and confidence in ourselves.
  • Our needs can also vary depending on the success we are having already, either in business or in our personal relationships. There is nothing worse than the trap of online comparison.

It is important to note, that no matter who we are, having our work, our choices in life and our efforts validated is something we all do need, and as I say in my book, ‘your definition of success is very personal’. I now judge myself against my own definition of success, not someone else’s life choices.  I don’t say that lightly, that has been a journey for me to achieve. Feeling validated is about knowing yourself, so that those you respect and know the real you and you have the self-worth to have different values and choices.

Self-esteem, self-worth, is low for a lot of people now, and it is not surprising. We have moved from a world of deep conversation to a world of broadcast. So many of us now build our identity online, relying on ‘likes’, and are failing to have deep, meaningful conversations with people who are open, trustworthy, and kind.

In a recent talk I gave about the importance engaging deeply with one another, I asked the room to vote on whether they were ‘lone wolves, or pack animals’, 70% of the room said ‘Lone Wolves.

Modern life has created a ‘lone wolf’ mindset. Being a lone wolf requires you to have very high levels of resilience, skills, and self-validation to ensure that the bumps in business don’t knock you over. I believe, and have witnessed, that over reliance on the online world of social media validation, is not healthy. From the deep conversations I have had, I am aware that anxiety is higher when people are lone wolves.

It’s a competitive world out there and we need not only to be ‘pack animals’, but we also need to belong to a ‘Super Pack’. The difference between hunting in a pack and being in a super-pack is the emotional intelligence that enables deeper understanding of one another, our vulnerabilities, and our needs, this in turn enables contribution and support.

Maslow and his ‘Hierarchy of Human Needs’, so often quoted, places ‘self-esteem’ above ‘belonging’, meaning that without a sense of belonging, it is hard to build self-esteem. This is why I believe so strongly in the power of belonging to a community not a network. 25 years of observing networks, generally supports our belief that ‘Networks are for Pack Animals’, while ‘Communities are for Super Pack animals’.

Being validated inside a ‘super pack’ can make an enormous difference to our confidence and therefore our performance, the power of deeply knowing people helps us all to share, support and grow.

So this week, as your ponder your life, consider the depth of relationships around you and take time to think about whether you are being validated for the right reasons, how many people really know you, truly like you, and definitely have your back?

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@2024 POWERnomads | All rights reserved
Designed by POWERnomads
Privacy Policy