There comes a point in your life when you truly, seriously let go of validation.
The good news is that it does happen.
The truth, though, is that you cannot predict when it will happen.
If you read my last post here, where I talked about overcoming distraction, you’d know by now that Instagram validation truly does not matter to me anymore.
It was such a tiny incident (set of two incidents, actually) that sparked the change.
But what a massive difference it makes to your life!
Similarly, I let go of validation when it comes to my writing and my blog too. This happened around the beginning of 2020.
I now create content with the dual intention of helping people and honing my writing practice.
Everything that happens as a result of the content- a click/a share/a tweet/ a comment/ an e-mail- is incidental and a lovely bonus; but it isn’t necessary.
How you can learn to let go of validation
- Work on platforms that don’t give you instant gratification
This is the first thing you need to do if you want to break the validation cycle.
Platforms that promise instant gratification are high on the dopamine and ego -boosting factor but do very little for your creativity and bottom line.
Case in point: Instagram
Whereas, working on a platform like Pinterest ensures that you dig your heels in and focus on the long game.
2. Invest in deep work that makes you happy
Identify what makes you happy when you work on it without distraction.
Is it writing? Painting? Creating something?
Now, ask yourself if you can continue to do this without the lure of likes, shares and retweets.
For me, that’s writing. Pure and simple. That’s why I work on writing here everyday on Medium. It may or may not get people over to my blog; but that is not my focus.
I write because it makes me happy.
3. Redefine what Success means to you
Many of us fall into the trap of assuming that validation= success or that more money means you are more successful.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In my opinion, you have to personally determine what success means to you.
If, through my writing, my free resources and my blog I am able to make people understand the sheer joy that is blogging, that is success.
The best part is this success is not quantifiable. But the feeling of self-worth that you get is incredible.
4. Break away from FOMO
This may be hard for those of us in the digital space, but it’s necessary.
You can never be everywhere at once. Trying to do so is harmful on two levels:
A) You risk burnout
B) You never get better at the one thing that you’re really good at
Gently, slowly, purposefully disengage from the idea of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Make more time for the things, hobbies and people in your life that matter.
Validation is an eternally hungry beast and the only way to deal with a beast of that kind is to starve it and stay out of its way.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get there.