Recently I’ve found myself asking this question — “has something actually happened if another person doesn’t know about it?” Meaning, do I even count it as an experience if I can’t share it with another? Will it live on in my memory if it were never validated by another person’s approval?
The obvious answer is yes, it still counts. But I’m not looking for the answer to that question — I know it’s a silly question. What I’m more interested in is finding out why I feel compelled to ask the question at all.
This question applies to a few things, each one trickling down from the one above it:
- the use and often dependence on approval from those on social media
- the reliance of friends and family to validate my experiences
- the need for external rewards
Quite obviously, taking myself completely off social media for the last week has me thinking about the role it plays, or used to play, in my own internal conversations with myself. But this website isn’t going to turn into a bash on social media — even being off of it I see its value. More importantly, it has me thinking about all of the other aspects of life that I allow to handle me instead of me handling them.
What do I mean? Well, in all of the questions above I am looking outside myself for approval, assurance, and validation. And so whenever I do that I am letting the outside world dictate when I feel proud, sad, incomplete, or adequate — I am letting the external world handle me.
I can do that on social media, yes. But it’s so easy to apply that same need for approval to a situation at work, a conversation with a friend, or the co-dependance of a partner.
What does that all boil down to? A lack of self reliance and connection to your own internal dialogue — especially the loving the one. It’s true, another person’s approval or validation of your feelings is nice. Honestly, it’s easier, it comes quicker, if it’s a good friend you don’t usually have to work to hard for it.
On the other hand, with yourself, it takes time. The gratification is delayed. You have to work for your thoughts — heck, you have to carve quality time to contemplate your thoughts. You have to have a strong inner connection with yourself like you would with a friend. That requires self love, self trust, and confidence in your ability to act and make decisions.
That’s no small task.
This week, I invite you to nurture that relationship. To peel away some of your external needs and to work on strengthening your internal connection with well… you.
I don’t let the outside world handle me.
I handle me.
And I do that by stripping away outside needs.
By allowing space to nurture my own self relationship.
By trusting my gut and finding my own self love.
Have a happy & healthy week!