Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

External Validation

Posted at — Mar 27, 2021

I want to minimize the value I place on external validation.

While I try to advise most of my decisions with rational, independent thinking, I’m human––I have flaws.

I have many flaws.

My decisions aren’t based purely on rationality. Sometimes, there are smaller forces at play: the desire for attention, validation, signalling.

I’ve learned that the value I place on receiving attention is inversely related with self-esteem.

I’ve held an extremely poor image of myself. I felt useless, invaluable, underutilized, and weak. I used external signals to affirm value, instead.

External value is a superficial construct: marks at school, the words of colleagues, teachers and parents, the opportunities I’ve received. One might think these would be sufficient to affirming my self-worth.

They aren’t.

They do just the opposite, in fact. The external signals widen the gap between my self-esteem and my external value.

This ultimately led to prioritizing the wrong things.

I wanted to feel valuable. I couldn’t find value in myself. Naturally, I looked outwards.

External validation was a golden ticket to filling this void.

In the last year, I’ve made myself aware of this.

I’m developing my self-esteem by doing all the things I think I can’t. The journey to esteem is one where you prove to yourself you can do things you doubt.

The notion of doubt is high in myself, so it’s even more important to find value internally.

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