7 habits of people who rarely need validation from others to feel good about themselves

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We all want a bit of validation from time to time. Come on, even you enjoy the occasional ego boost. It’s part of being human. No need to pretend – it’s just you and me here.

However, there is a difference between taking joy in a bit of praise or recognition once in a while and thirsting for it as if you were lost in the Sahara desert and an approving nod was the only thing that could save your life.

I know what I’m talking about – I used to be a typical validation-seeker, from getting straight As at school to always behaving like the perfect daughter.

And do you know where that got me?

Nowhere. I just continued to feel rubbish about myself.

Then I realized that the only person who could ever give me the validation I needed was… drumroll, please…

Myself. That was when my life completely turned around.

So, without further ado, here are the 7 habits of people who rarely need validation from others to feel good about themselves.

1) They are motivated intrinsically rather than extrinsically

When you’re constantly striving to impress other people, you will eventually realize that five seconds of “Wow” and “You’re so cool!” are not worth pursuing a job you hate or a project that drains your soul.

This is why people who don’t let themselves get constricted by their hungry egos go after what they genuinely want in life rather than something that will good look on their resume and impress relatives at a dinner party.

Out of the two kinds of motivation – intrinsic (that is, you take joy in what you do) and extrinsic (you are motivated by external factors, such as rewards) – they will always choose the intrinsic kind.

They know their life is ultimately theirs to live and others’ to observe from the sidelines.

And if they’re the ones to go through it all, they might as well fashion it to their own image, no matter what anyone says.

2) They are in touch with their authentic selves

In order to know what you want in life, you first need to know yourself – which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Many of us are conditioned to go after what society tells us is the right thing rather than what we want deep down, and what’s more, plenty of parents teach their children that the only way to earn their love is through external accomplishment.

Awards, medals, good grades, high salaries, you name it – there are many motivators at play here, so it’s no wonder that so many people are out of touch with their authentic selves.

If you are in the habit of frequent self-reflection, know yourself pretty well, and listen to your intuition, though…

You’re much more likely to rarely need validation. And that’s because you’re already validating all your feelings and experiences yourself, which means you don’t need other people to do it for you.

3) They enjoy their own company

A vital part of self-validation – aka, the practice of giving yourself the love and respect you deserve – is solitude.

When we’re alone, we’re better able to separate our feelings from those of other people, unpack our thoughts, and truly get to know ourselves.

The result is that we actually have lots of fun on our own because we get to be our best friends.

Personally, I have grown to adore my alone time.

I treasure it, and every time I’m finally able to enjoy the peace and quiet of my bedroom, I read books, do DIY, journal, craft stories, and have a blast probing the corners of my own mind.

Plus, carving some time out of your day to be in your own company is amazing for your resourcefulness and self-sufficiency. It helps you realize that you absolutely can be on your own; that you often don’t need the help of others; that it is possible to self-soothe and show up for yourself.

It’s incredibly empowering.

4) They don’t give in to external pressure

Have you ever been in a raging crowd?

If so, you know fully well just how difficult it is not to join in. The emotions floating in the air are contagious, and before you know it, you’ve lost a sense of personal responsibility because you’re no longer an individual – you are now part of a larger organism.

According to crowd psychology, it’s very natural for humans to feel this way when we’re surrounded by a large group of people. The external pressure is too much, and we simply succumb to the craze.

This is why it’s quite rare to meet someone who is so independent that they don’t fall for the trick, someone who has such a stable basis of who they are that they refuse to go with the flow and never lose a grip on their sense of self.

If they’re arguing against a whole group of people, they don’t back down. If they are skeptical about a new trend in society, they don’t follow it just to fit in.

It’s rather impressive.

5) They have integrity

The reason people who rarely need validation stand by their opinions even in the face of external pressure is that they have such strong core values and principles that nothing can throw them off.

In other words, they have integrity. All aspects of their personality are in harmony and their values are clear as day.

They are the kinds of people whose actions are extremely predictable because you can trust them to always abide by their integral principles and rules.

6) They have a small circle of friends whose opinions matter to them

One important piece of information in the title of this article is the word “rarely”.

“Rarely” doesn’t mean “never”, and so it makes perfect sense that even those of us who can self-validate and stand for what they believe in do need a few close friends to offer advice, criticism, and the occasional ego boost.

Our closest friends keep us in check precisely because they offer a great mix of negative feedback and praise.

We can trust them to be both honest and supportive, to have our best interests at heart, and to be there for us when we need them.

Someone who doesn’t seek other people’s validation may still care a great deal about what their family and friends think of them, and that isn’t a bad thing – it’s just part of being human.

7) They make an active effort to build their self-esteem

The ability to live your life with almost no need for external validation doesn’t just fall into people’s laps out of nowhere.

In truth, a lot of hard work goes into this kind of mindset. I know because I’ve had to make an active effort to eradicate my validation-seeking behavior and embrace healthy confidence.

Confidence is the key here.

If you’re comfortable in your own skin and possess a healthy level of self-esteem, you will automatically feel less need to seek recognition or approval from the world around you.

It may sound cliché, but it’s the truth: it all begins with self-love.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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