Validation seeking. Praise kink. Affirmation therapy.
Call it what you will; we all want to know we’ve done well.
For me, it’s all of the above. And all for different reasons.
I seek validation; it is a known flaw in my character that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it is a learned trait. My mother was the same when I was a child; always seeking approval from those around her, warping herself to fit the molds constructed by her paramours. Maybe I learned it, maybe it’s just a part of who I am. Or was. You see, I am evolving. Growing. Changing. We all are. We all do.
I am changing the way I see myself, and little by little I find that validation in the eyes of my peers is far less gratifying than the validation I am being trained to give myself.
There is a single exception to the above statement.
Here is where the ‘praise kink’ comes into play. Honestly, I don’t know if that is even what I would label this specific sub-set of auralism. What I do know is that nothing makes me happier, makes me feel more appreciated, or turns me on more than when He tells me I’ve done well at something. Literally anything. ‘The house looks great’ after I spend a day cleaning, ‘I love the way you x-y-z’…, ‘You feel __insert good word __’… ‘the fried chicken you made is delicious’… and for the love of all that is unholy… don’t get me started on ‘Good girl’! Literally any praise coming from His lips is an instant swoon/squish/take me now!
Yes, I know I don’t NEED that corroboration on my awesomeness. But damn if I don’t crave it and cave to it every damn time.
Now, affirmation therapy. This one is pretty new to me, but so far, I’m having some surprisingly positive results. Affirmations are so easily tailored to suit individual needs! They can be as chipper, peppy, and positive as you like, or they can be subdued, tame, and subtle. My first one was something my 11-year-old son told me- and while he was just being funny it really struck me.
‘You woke up today. That means you have beaten your own personal record for consecutive days alive.’ Now I don’t know about you, but breaking a record just for waking up feels like a pretty awesome way to start the day! This is something I have said to myself every morning for the last week; and for the last week I have started my day in a much better mood than usual (I am NOT a morning person!).
My nightly ritual until recently was to lie in bed and count back all the mistakes and missteps I had made in the day. Everything from upsetting Him or screwing up at work to the smallest things like using a word in the wrong context. Every. Single. Thing. I slept like crap…
Now, I am practicing giving myself some grace. Instead of counting my mistakes and wallowing in my failures I make myself acknowledge just one thing I got right. Even something silly like making it to work on time. I thank myself for that one small thing and I tell myself ‘You did the best you could today; do it better tomorrow’. And guess what… I slept for 7 straight hours last night.
So tonight, or this morning, or over your lunch break I want you to think of just one thing you did right today- and let the rest go. You’re still here; nothing you did was wrong enough to destroy you. Show yourself some grace. Show yourself some appreciation.
We all want to know we’ve done well…
Sometimes we’re the only ones who notice. And that is just as good. But just in case you need to hear it from someone else; Good job today.