Webster defines the word validate as: 1 a: to make legally valid : ratify b: to grant official sanction to by marking <validated her passport> c: to confirm the validity of (an election); also : to declare (a person) elected 2 a: to support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis <experiments designed to validate the hypothesis> b: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of. Validation is defined as: an act, process, or instance of validating; especially : the determination of the degree of validity of a measuring device.

I see so many people going through life seeking validation. They are looking for someone or something to stamp them with a seal of approval, a single statement which proclaims that they are okay as a person. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with seeking the approval of others, so long as we understand that validation that has merit, and is permanent, can only come from within.

Before I discuss how to achieve internal or self-validation, let me warn you of the dangers encountered when seeking validation from external sources.

First, in virtually every relationship, those entering primarily seek their own desires, pleasures, and benefit. The other persons’ focus will be on themselves and not on you. It is very rare to enter into a relationship where the other person truly has only your best interest at heart. Remember my definition of a friend is “someone who I feel good when I am around them.” If my definition were “someone who can benefit from being around me”, then I could conceivably claim most people I meet as my friends.

I am not suggesting that all relations are derived purely from the possibility of self-advancements. Healthy relationships grow from mutual benefit and are not one-sided affairs where one person does all the taking and none of the giving. However, in order to be able to enter into a healthy relationship both parties must be okay within themselves beforehand. Those entering into relationships hoping to have some void or emptiness fulfilled, or are seeking validation from their partner will almost certainly end up miserable and invalidated.

Secondly, even if you were to feel completed or whole, and validated, because of the relationship, what happens if that relationship ends miserably? When partners in the relationship separate, the one who validated you takes away their validation. By the separation, they are declaring you no longer okay as a person, and you are worse off then when you entered into the relationship. You are worse off not only due to the loss of the validation they provided, but now they have declared you unworthy of being with in a relationship.

Thirdly, there are dangers in declaring yourself validated, or at least okay, dependent upon the things you own or can do. The person who feels worthy based upon jobs, cars, houses, success, or the size of their banking account, is in danger of losing their validation should the object that created their validation to begin with be lost.
So, how does one achieve internal or self-validation? The answer is simple, albeit not always an easy one to accept. Remember the earlier discussions on Brutal Honesty? This process leads to an honest recognition of who and what you are, nothing more, nothing less. It results in you recognizing both your positive and negative attributes. Once you have achieved a brutally honest relationship with who you are, you are encouraged to advance your positive attributes, and correct, replace, or simply argue away your negative attributes. While this process is never-ending, you will reach a point where you can look at yourself honestly and declare yourself to be at least okay.

I am not suggesting that you become boastful, walking around beating your chest and bragging about what a great person you are. Rather, you can quietly accept who and what you are as a person. Then and only then will you have achieved self-validation.

Self-validation is simply put, a recognition that you are a complete and whole person, and that you are okay. You recognize that you do not need anything or anyone external yourself to declare that you are okay as a person, you have the power to do that yourself.