We all crave validation to a certain degree.
We want people to express interest in us, praise our life choices, and concede that we have a point, even if they disagree.
But if you need to be constantly reassured, you may have a problem.
Living your life based on others’ approval isn’t just exhausting, but it’s not true to who you are.
Why not celebrate your uniqueness, regardless of what others think?
Here are 10 traits of women who don’t need any external validation.
If you’re not quite there yet, it’s time to level up.
1) They understand their worth
Your worth doesn’t depend on earning other people’s approval or on how much you achieve in life.
You deserve to occupy space in the world just as you are now.
The more you internalize this, the more your self-confidence will soar.
Women who don’t need any external validation have a positive self-image and believe in their capabilities.
That’s because they already tamed that little demon voice who lives in their head.
The one that says you’re not good enough, pretty enough, successful enough.
That you’ll only be happy once you get a better job. Or find a partner. Or lose 10 pounds.
That little demon voice is one of your biggest enemies. Tell it to shut up.
Easier said than done? If you struggle with self-esteem issues, learning to put yourself first may help:
- Forgive yourself for past mistakes
- Make choices that prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being
- Make self-care a regular part of your routine
- Compliment yourself every morning (it works!)
- Engage in activities that bring you joy
- Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you
The demon voice will grow quiet.
Then, one day, poof! Your need for external validation will disappear.
2) They accept their shortcomings
Just because you deserve to occupy space in the world just as you are now doesn’t mean you’re perfect. No one is.
People make poor decisions, self-sabotage, fail, hurt others. It’s all part of the human experience.
Women who don’t need any external validation know this well, so they don’t beat themselves up when something doesn’t go their way.
They make peace with their flaws and tell themselves that their shortcomings make them special. Which is true.
Follow in their footsteps.
Once you understand that being perfect is unattainable, you’ll stop trying to convince others that you are.
3) They celebrate their success
Women who don’t need any external validation have a healthy sense of confidence.
They got there by celebrating each and every win.
Life is short and often bitter. When something goes your way, take the time to do a little dance and buy yourself a treat.
Recognize your progress and accomplishments, no matter how minor they may seem to the outside world.
For instance, if you’ve been feeling down for days but suddenly gather the energy to clean your apartment, that’s a win in my book.
I used to downplay my victories, acting like they weren’t a big deal. Do this for long enough, and you begin to believe it.
Now, I try to pat myself on the back whenever I succeed at something.
(Once I finish this article, I’m having a delicious brownie as a reward.)
Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. You deserve nothing less.
4) They don’t second-guess their decisions
If you doubt your decisions and look to others for approval, you rely too heavily on external validation.
While it’s normal to ask for input from loved ones when you have a big choice to make, don’t let them influence you to the point where you barely remember what you wanted in the first place.
Women who don’t need any external validation trust themselves and their judgment.
They weigh the pros and cons, then forge forward, knowing they have their best interests at heart.
5) They improve for their own benefit
This might sound weird, but bear with me.
Have you ever felt the need to upgrade your look after a break-up? Not to feel better but to make your ex regret abruptly exiting your life.
Or, did you ever challenge yourself to get a promotion just to annoy the obnoxious co-worker who likes to give you a hard time?
It’s commendable to want to improve yourself, but it’s even more motivating when you do it for your own sake rather than for the validation of others.
Upgrade your look because you want to feel better in your skin. Go after that promotion because you work hard, and you‘ve earned it.
Your well-being should be the driving force fueling your growth journey.
Impressing others, not so much.
6) They dress how they want
Once I entered my thirties, I had a moment when I questioned my entire wardrobe.
Should I ditch mini skirts and crop tops? Dress like a grown-up, whatever that means?
Thankfully, the moment was brief, and the mini skirts and crop tops made it out unscathed.
It’s five years later, and I still wear them.
(I also wear an impressive amount of band tees in an effort to heal my inner angry emo teen, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
Women who don’t need any external validation dress how they want, regardless of others’ opinions.
You might get dirty looks, but they only make you feel more empowered.
7) They don’t over-explain
As a recovering people pleaser, I used to feel bad whenever I made a decision that caused another person discomfort.
Or whenever someone asked me for a favor, and I turned them down.
Oh, and also when I expressed an unpopular opinion or disagreed with someone.
Needless to say, it was tiresome.
Turns out, you don’t need to over-explain your opinions or justify your choices excessively.
Similarly, “no” is a complete sentence.
Who would have thought?
When you feel the need to over-explain your decisions, it’s usually because you seek validation from others.
You want them to agree with your choice or to at least understand it.
Women who don’t need any external validation don’t do that.
8) They don’t give in to peer pressure
Your parents probably warned you about peer pressure when you were growing up.
What they may have failed to mention, however, is that it doesn’t go away as you age.
Society will always try to influence you to act or look a certain way.
If you don’t need external validation, you don’t fall for it.
Women who stay true to who they are don’t:
- Engage in activities they’re not interested in to avoid feeling left out (spending a Saturday night reading is just as valid as going on)
- Adopt lifestyles or beliefs that go against their values to fit in (you don’t need to have the same religious or political views as your friends)
- Make relationship decisions based on what their friends or peers expect (you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to)
- Spend their entire paycheck on trendy purchases to avoid FOMO (saving money is cooler than it sounds)
Giving in to peer pressure leads to unfulfilling choices and diminished self-esteem.
In other words, it’s a big no-no.
9) They stand up for themselves
Standing up for yourself isn’t about being confrontational or dominating others.
It’s more about advocating for yourself and ensuring that your thoughts and feelings are respected.
You have the right to express opinions, set boundaries, and make decisions that are in your best interest.
If someone insults, mocks, or belittles you, speak up or walk away.
Even when that involves making a scene.
Having self-respect is more valuable than having everyone else’s approval.
10) They’re on their own journey
Women who don’t need any external validation stick to their path, no matter how “foolish” that makes them look to everyone else.
You only get one wild and precious life, and you should live it exactly like you want to.
If that involves making unconventional choices, so be it. You won’t be happy otherwise.
Travel the world. Start a business. Walk off into the woods and never come back.
Give yourself permission to be who you are, and don’t make apologies for it.
Those people who call you “foolish” are secretly jealous.
Don’t prove them right by letting go of your dreams.
Getting rid of the need for external validation isn’t something that happens overnight.
But if you’re kind to yourself and work on accepting yourself just as you are, you’ll get there eventually.
Feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.