The Sneaky Energy of Validation Seeking

“We’re all valid. It’s yourself that gets in the way of allowing that truth to manifest.”
-Corey Gott

Why Do We Seek Validation?

How often do you feel guilty when something goes wrong, even if it’s out of your control? How often do you let others equate the value of what you are? Or are you able to create that value for yourself?

Not only creating that value for yourself, but TRULY BELIEVING in it? Embodying it in every cell of your body…in every part of your DNA.

Why do we seek validation? At what cost do you go out of your way to “feel valid” or fill that missing piece within?

Maybe it’s the hit of dopamine (the “feel-good” hormone) that we get when we’re praised. Maybe it’s the sensation of just feeling needed. These could be true or play a factor, but my bet is that it generally runs deeper.

Perhaps you never felt seen when you were younger? Maybe you looked up to a friend, brother or sister, or family member with envy. Maybe you would do things for these people, but in the end, it just never felt like it was truly appreciated? Or maybe you never got rewarded in the ways you thought you might?

This could just be one example, but for the sake of this post, let’s follow that example even deeper.

Now let’s say you began a pattern in your life from that young age after repeated experiences that left you feeling the same type of way; feeling like you have to do more and be more and exhaust yourself beyond your own personal boundaries to find that feel good feeling of being needed.

The decisions you make may be driven by this feeling for validation (without truly realizing it), but may very well be causing the very stress you’re trying to avoid…creating an energetic rift inside.

In one way you feel appreciated for that short amount of time, and in another way you feel confused, alone, and tired.

I’ll admit, the more introspection work I’ve done (and it’s been a shit-ton the last few years), the more I’ve began developing awareness to the fact I feel like something within me has often been seeking validation; like I’ve needed permission from outside sources and people to feel worthy or confident in the directions of my deepest truths and desires.

And to be fair, I think that’s natural. I’m sure we all do it to some degree. We are all human after all, and seeking connections is in our biology. There is nothing wrong with asking for feedback, advice, and having that human connection with others…sharing our wins and joys (and sorrows and tough experiences).

If we were by ourselves all the time, life would be pretty bland (even though my introverted self thinks I’m slightly crazy for just writing that, haha).

However, what I’m getting is when seeking validation starts to literally either feel painful in the body, or becomes an energy-suck because we’re so focused on what other people will think of us. Just having our thoughts honed in on gaining that need to be seen can be paralyzing within itself.

You can feel stuck, trapped, and not able to focus on what you really want to focus on because on some conscious or subconscious level, you’re making decisions that may appease to others, trying to fill that void you feel within, when in reality, you’re just giving more and more of your energy away; doing the same things over and over again, while your heart and soul yearns for something more in alignment with God’s plan.

People-pleasing vs. Aligned Service

If you receive the rewards of validation by following your soul truth, by doing things that are more in alignment to God’s plan, instead of following paths with the goal of wanting validation, that is where the difference lies.

Let me be clear here though…there is a difference between doing things for others out of service vs. validation.

The way I view aligned service is that you’re living your truth doing the things that you’re best at or can help with with the gifts God has given you, while truly enjoying process and present moment. You’re not doing the job or act of service to get to the end goal to feel good. The reward at the end can be said to be validating on some level, but I see it really as a bonus and just adds to the blissful experience of living in alignment and truly enjoying as much of the process as possible.

(sidenote: This doesn’t mean there won’t be days where things are tough or where things go wrong where you have to fix something. Those days are all part of the process, but doesn’t mean you’re not living your truth).

However, doing things for the simple sake and drive to feel valid is where the difference lies. It’s really an energy thing.

If you’re choosing a certain type of career because it would make your parents happy, then you’re likely seeking their validation.

If you chronically buy your partner gifts without the pure intention of simply giving, versus you giving because you’re expecting it to be reciprocated or you feel like you need to appease to them; this likely carries an undertone of seeking their validation…like you need to please them to fill a deeper wound within yourself (which you may actually not consciously know is there).

Now, if you’re receiving praise for things that you’re trying out in your life or truly love doing, seeing those amazing comments or testimonials or reviews come flying in can be very validating. It can be validating to you that you’re on the right track.

What I’m trying to portray is that how you got to getting all those great reviews or feelings of praise is a totally different path. It may look the same on the outside to others, but you know it feels different on the inside.

If you receive the rewards of validation by following your soul truth, by doing things that are more in alignment to God’s plan, instead of following paths with the goal of wanting validation, that is where the difference lies.

Introspection and Trust

Has anything I said struck a chord? Did your internal antennae perk up at all? If so, I hope you keep reading.

If you love yourself through and through (including all the flaws) in the way the Lord created you, then that will give you the grounded confidence to move worlds. Think about it.

If you’re completely confident in whom you are as a person, whom God created you to be, then even the people that come at you won’t be able to faze you (or at a minimum, will have a much more difficult time knocking you off balance).

It can be so easy to fall out of alignment when we have a wobbly base for ourselves. This can cause everything from analysis paralysis to lack of self worth, and lots of negative self talk…especially for more highly-sensitive people or empaths like myself.

Because we tend to more easily pick up on other people’s feelings and take them on as our own, we may often end up feeling things for them instead of staying centered and grounded within our own selves.

But if you’re standing true in your confidence, without longing for the need to feel valid from others, then you can truly live your greatness.

You’ll wake up each day, excited to start your projects or help your clients, instead of it feeling like an obligation. You’ll have a different type of life force and energy showering into you because when you’re living your truth and are in alignment, most things flow much more easily, and it will take less of your energy.

And what it really seems to truly boil down to is trust.

If you’re unable to trust yourself in your relationship with God, no matter what is happening on the outside, then it makes every other decision that much more painstakingly difficult.

You may be seeking validation because you have no trust in your intuition, your choices, or that things will turn out ok.

Look, we’re all human. Sometimes it can feel impossible to make what feels like will be the right decision…because honestly, we truly don’t know if a decision was the right one until we make it, and continue forward on that timeline.

If you screw up, then life will often give you opportunities to re-evaluate and change course. Yes, some decisions can feel bigger than others (moving to a new state, getting married, buying a house, starting a business, etc), but the act of decision-making is still the same, and the chances are high you can course correct with many of those scenarios.

Trust me, I FEEL you completely. Feeling indecisive or not feeling like I’m understanding where I should be going has been common place for me for a long time. I’ve personally been working at this a lot to better understand myself and build my own confidence.

And even though as of this writing that I don’t feel I’m 100% past this pattern within myself, I’m very much aware of the times when I feel in that grounded and aligned confidence, and the times where I’m not and become indecisive again.

So What Can You Do?

Once you begin building a deep relationship with yourself in relation with God, this is when you can start to understand what your core wounds, patterns, or traumas are. These may be playing into why you’re seeking validation or continue to make choices that don’t feel 100% right for you.

Be patient with yourself. It’s all part of the journey and being present. I know when those feelings come up that all you may want to do is move past it. But the key is feeling those feelings, allowing them to be seen and heard, and doing your best in the moment to make decisions, and going from there.

So, what are you going to do in 2021?

All the best to you all 🙂


(This post was updated on April 5, 2022 to infuse God/Jesus into my overall messaging).


Corey is a freelance creative, writer, and born-again follower of Jesus Christ who enjoys deep conversation, excavating for deeper meanings of life, and uplifting others by helping them thrive in their own lives. He loves inspiring through writing or creating content, but also revels in the arts in its many forms.

Follow me on Instagram, and please subscribe to my YouTube! 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed therapist, practitioner, doctor, or lawyer. Any advice given that is potentially related to legal, therapeutic or medical professions is all in good faith, but should not be taken as professional advice. I speak from my experiences in hopes that it will help you and others take steps to create a better life. Please see the full disclaimer here for more information.

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February 24, 2021

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