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Self-Validation By Josh Pogonitz

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Over the course of the past few years, I have learned about self-validation and how helpful it is to practice each day. I want to share with you all knowledge and insight that I have learned. I hope it can be helpful to you as well! 

Many, many times in my life, I have invalidated how I was feeling. For me, as someone who is hard on themselves, a lot of my anxiety stems from worries that I am a bad person based off whether or not I am enough as a person, etc. As a result, I often invalidate myself as a person. My anxiety and OCD want to imprison me by my emotions and thoughts creating a barrier that is comprised of self-invalidation and being hard on myself. One way I avoid defining myself by these worries, by this anxiety, and instead combat them, is by validating what I am feeling and thinking, as well as validating myself in general.  

you're worthy

What are some ways to self-validate? 

1) Actively listen and pay attention to our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors  

2) Allow and be tolerant of ourselves to feel whatever we are feeling whether it is anxiety, depression, distress, anger, or other. Also, trying not to judge ourselves for how we are feeling can be very valuable.  

2a) Similarly, it can also be helpful to not “should“ on how we’re feeling. For example, “I should not be feeling depressed.” By trying not to use these types of phrases, we are allowing ourselves to feel.  

2b) Judgements include both positive and negative ones. An example of not judging how we are feeling is, “Wow, I am feeling very sad right now.”  

3) Respond to how you’re feeling in a way that we’re taking ourselves seriously by accepting that how we’re feeling is okay. An example: “it is not pathetic, soft, nor stupid to be feeling how I am feeling.”  

3a) This step, in particular, may be subconsciously skipped over and so it is important to pay attention to not doing so. 

4) Perceive our emotions, feelings, and thoughts as acceptable, making sense, and accurate in a current situation even if it is not felt to be necessary. 

4a) Oftentimes, we may feel that self-validation is not going to be helpful, necessary, or is not deserving. It can be difficult to practice it, and still it is important that we still self-validate until we reach a point where our mindsets are clearer so we can then better deal with the pain we're experiencing.  

4b) I can’t count how many times I have felt that I did not deserve validation and/or it would not help. Then, after some time, it helped me cope with my anxiety and depression. 

5) What would you say to your friend if he or she came to you about how he or she was feeling? For me, this can be a helpful technique while self-validating because I find it beneficial to imagine a friend coming to me about how he or she is feeling. I would never tell a friend that he or she deserves to feel the pain they are experiencing. I would only treat myself like that. So, I like to tell myself to validate myself like I would validate a friend, or to “be my own friend.” 

6) When it comes to being harder on ourselves, it is important that we try and resist saying invalidating and mean things to ourselves.  

7) It can be helpful to hang up a sticky note on our bedroom walls, make a background, or even just keep a card in our wallet that reminds us to validate ourselves  

What are some signs of self-invalidation? 

Sometimes invalidation can be unintentional, so I wanted to share a few ways we recognize it. Some signs include associating our emotions, thoughts, and feelings as an overreaction, pathetic, stupid, soft, weak, not tough, not worthy of our time 

What are some of the benefits?  

Can deescalate intense emotions 

Helps self-esteem and helps to increase self-love 

Can be used as one of the first steps to coping  

Last but not least, a concept I have found interesting when it comes to self-validation is that in order to validate, we do not have to agree with, nor justify, the situation at hand. Even if we do not agree, it is important that we still validate how we’re feeling. For me, sometimes I do not agree, and after I validate and practice another coping technique, I have been in a clearer mindset and can better cope and soon love myself more, as well as be less hard on myself. An example of this concept is a case of mindreading a situation. The behavior of assuming and making judgement is unjustified and while the worry and anxiety associated with it is unjustified, the feeling is still valid.  

Once again, I hope sharing what I have learned about self-validation can be helpful to some of you readers! 

Sending my love to you all! Peace out! 

#selfvalidation #selfesteem #selflove #copingtechnique #youarenotalone #yougotthis #wegotthis