A few months ago, I was having a conversation with someone who very openly shared with me that she constantly seeks outside validation, and always needs other people’s approval.
When this is an ongoing behaviour it is normally linked with the feeling if not being good enough, not being enough, and doubting yourself.
Needing people to tell you that you are or have done a good job.
When I asked her a few direct questions she also shared that as a child that her father was absent a lot of the time and when he was around she would only get his attention when she did something well.
She always had to go the extra mile to get his love. As she grew up she became a people pleaser, always going the extra mile for everyone in her life.
It was exhausting, this also turned into having no boundaries and feeling obliged to do things for people when she really didn’t want to or have the time to do so. She always needed the “Thank you so much you are the best friend etc.” You`re amazing!
She just couldn`t say no. The downside to this was that she never had time to herself to just be. This became her life because of her programming as a child. The programming is the way we are raised and our life experiences growing up.
I said to her, what would happen if one day you just said no, today I am busy?
Another piece of the puzzle came to light. She said, “If I say no people will leave me, they will be disappointed.”
Again, we go back to the wounded little girl who`s Dad was hardly there. “Maybe if I do a really good job and do everything perfectly he will stay.”
Her belief system told her to do everything for everyone and you will be loved and appreciated.
Getting back to the outside validation I asked her what would happen if she just knew she had done a good job.
How would it feel to not need others to tell you how good you are? Her answer, was it would free my soul, I could have a life without feeling guilty for sometimes saying no, and I might even love myself a little more rather than needing it so much from other people.
This conversation was very powerful for her, and she also decided to do some work with me to work on her self-esteem.
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