Liberating Yourself from the Trap of External Validation

The pursuit of external validation is a pervasive aspect of human existence, driven by an innate desire to fill an internal void with external praises and approval. Yet, this quest for validation often proves unsuccessful, leaving us perpetually chasing an elusive sense of fulfillment.

In our search for external validation, we turn to a multitude of sources: peers, friends, romantic partners, family, employers, managers, and even strangers on social media. The absence of this validation can evoke stress and anxiety, highlighting our inability to derive self-worth from within. 

Our fixation on external validation is deeply rooted in childhood conditioning, where our worth became intrinsically tied to our performance, success, and productivity. This upbringing often breeds perfectionism, further perpetuating the cycle of seeking external validation as a means of affirming our value. The more we engage from this subconscious place in our life, the more that hunger for external validation thrives.

What we fail to realize is that our worth is inherent and immutable, existing independent of external validation. However, this truth is obscured by negative beliefs, unconscious behaviors, unprocessed trauma, and shame, perpetuating the cycle of seeking validation from external sources.

This cycle not only keeps us trapped in a never ending search for validation, it also fosters unhealthy comparisons with others and undermines our sense of self-worth, confidence, and agency. The impact reverberates through our well-being, relationships, and overall functioning in the world.

“Our fixation on external validation is deeply rooted in childhood conditioning.”

To break free from this cycle, we must shift our focus from external validation to inward validation. This journey begins with heightened awareness—recognizing when, how, and with whom we seek external validation. Through introspection and self-awareness, we gather data to understand the underlying processes and patterns driving our behavior.

Next, we cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves, tuning into our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and nervous system state. This self-awareness enables us to identify our needs and desires and take steps to fulfill them independently, rather than relying on external validation.

Moreover, we learn to communicate our needs and boundaries clearly to others, fostering healthy relationships grounded in authenticity and mutual respect. This transformative process leads us back to our authentic selves, liberated from the shackles of external validation and empowered to navigate life on our own terms.


In embracing inward validation, we reclaim our sense of worth, agency, and self-compassion, ushering in a newfound sense of fulfillment and contentment that transcends external validation. This journey leads to more satisfying connections and relationships with others that feel genuine and in alignment with our true selves.  You don’t have to do this journey alone, we’re here to help.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary call with an experienced anxiety therapist.