Humans are naturally good at accepting and feeling better after receiving external validations, whether they come from other people, accomplishments, relationships, etc. But relying heavily on praises and validations from others may leave you feeling disappointed, hurt, insecure, and anxious.
These external validations can be highly addicting. If you are frequently seeking them every day, it will lead to negative emotions and thoughts that can massively impact your lifestyle and mental health.
But isn't it normal to seek praise from others?
Feeling good for receiving praise is a normal feeling to have. But when you are highly dependent on them and feel great pressure to keep them coming, you are most likely becoming emotionally addicted to them. It can form unhealthy habits that can cause more unhappiness than rewards.
How do you know if you are dependent on praise?
It starts when you hear that you did a good job on something. You want to hear more, but when you stop receiving them, you start feeling down, underappreciated, and as if you aren't doing a good enough job. As this carries on, you will begin forming other negative thoughts in your head, for instance, "you are not suitable for this,” "no one is noticing your efforts,” "others are doing better than you." These thoughts take over, and you start questioning yourself and seek more external validations.
Another scenario involves you feeling pressured to work harder and try to achieve unrealistic results so that you get those "good jobs" and "well done" from others. You feel like a fraud for not producing these results, and you give yourself a harder time.
If you relate to these scenarios, it is time you stop being overly dependant on praises and seek the approval of others to feel good about yourself.
As we said above, receiving and feeling good about positive feedback is a normal thing, but it is crucial that you develop a greater sense of self-worthiness, self-trust, and confidence so that you are your own source of happiness rather than looking to external validations.
How to stop being dependant on external validations and praises?
It starts with believing in yourself and finding self-confidence. Focus on what you did in the past to have achieved things that you earned praises for. This will help you recognise that your hard work got you where you are and not the praises.
When no one is giving you praises, it's your job to give yourself a pat on the back. Remember that the world is a busy place, and everyone has plenty of things going on in their lives, so they won't be around to reassure you all the time.
Sitting and waiting for you to get recognised and complimented is time wasted on things that do not matter. Instead, recognise the hard work and efforts you put in yourself.
Take back the power and believe in yourself! And even if no one else is giving you praise, know that you are continuously making progress and growing.