When our self-worth is tied to our ability or skill, no amount of validation or admiration is ever enough. It may seem as if we are looking to feed our ego, yet it is our deep insecurities telling us we are not good enough, through internalized messages, urging us to seek others’ approval. Validation from others trick us into believing we are enough, but it is short-lived. We may look at our work and think it is good, but our insecurity sneaks in and lets the internal voice take control. When one person validates us, we get a high, then another person recognizes our skill for another high. It is in those moments of recognition that our inner voice is quieted.
When we look to others to make us feel good about something we have done, we start to question our ability. If subsequent attempts to gain attention are unsuccessful, we fall apart. When ability becomes worth, with one dependent on the other, our internal voice gets louder. Therefore, we seek more validation, and even then, if we don’t see our worth or value or creativity, no magic number of people will ever convince us that we alone are enough.
The truth is, people who look to others for confirmation of their skill or creativity are not conceited or full of themselves, or overconfident. The people who seek the most approval are the opposite, they are insecure or feel worthless. The reason for this need for constant attention or approval of our work is because we are afraid of rejection or criticism. Rejection in what we create for others is directly related to who we are and what we feel we mean to others, and how we feel about ourselves. We overcompensate and appear as if we think “we” are better than “them.” This false bravado is a defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves from those “out there” confirming what we believe “in here.”
Your inner voice is what guides you. It is your motivation and your sense of self. Let that voice be enough, regardless of what your clients, bosses or others may think.
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