External validation and the ill effects of such
To a degree, I do believe that validation is a meal needed to feed the ego. Because, to some extent, the ego must live on. To dead your ego doesn’t align with the correct plan of action, for you must relinquish your ego at detrimental times.
Validation can be scary. Imagine a world where we didn’t do careers, activities, or tasks out of the need for validation. They’ll tell you that success looks a certain way, so then you go towards that, arriving at an empty point in space because that “success” isn’t what you wanted.
“A lot of us are driven by validation. So if you’re a producer or an artist and you’re doing it because you want validation, I don’t believe that you can be good at it.” –Ill Mind
Validation blurs your vision and deletes the passion behind the foundation if any existed in the first place. At the end of 2016, the very end, I finally became comfortable with my writing and stopped seeking validation from others. Liberated through the pen and the pen no longer moved for them. My applause was the loudest in the room I created.
Eventually, my writing would be dictated by the applause. The higher I was lifted up, the harder I fell—missing the mark each and every time. I missed what I considered to be their mark and that became the problem. I wanted support for writing from those close to me, And when I didn’t get, my spirits were crushed. I did what Drake didn’t do: I tried to recreate my own “Take Care” over and over. Those times are behind.
Ethel Cofie speaks on her parent’s role in her life and always having “permission to fail.” When there isn’t permission to fail, there’s permission to fear anything that doesn’t turn out successful, right away.
Born in 1993, I’ve experienced life outside of the internet and life on the internet. I can remember the transition from playing games outside to playing games online. Then came the full transition of playing organized sports, to simply downloading an app. Social media completely held my attention—bringing me into a whole different world—where the opinions would grow stronger and at a rapid pace. I let the internet take control. Internet validation is a different world that in-person validation. There are different tools.
“You never know who’s watching, but it doesn’t matter, for words get released for self and then to the pleasure of an audience,” I wrote in an introductory paragraph for an interview with one of my favorite writers. Whether or not I consciously knew it, I wanted to reach that satisfaction—writing for self and then sharing my words. Even now as I type, I don’t question whether this is good enough for myself, I question if it’s good enough for you, the reader. Because, that too matters—what you think does hold weight, but direction can be lost when the detriments of feeling the need to be validated by peers and everyone else.
I can tell you first hand: external validation doesn’t add sustainable value without internal validation. Both come together to find a balance, a beam that levels out the pros and cons and enters a foundation for long-lasting results. Because without internal validation, you’re interfering with your work.
The eyes will be on you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the masses adding and subtracting your worth—leaving you to divide what’s worth it while on earth’s surface. I stand to wait on the mountains and nothing they tell you can amount to this desire and strength that you feed yourself. As soon as they drop you, you question your health.