We all know don’t we that we don’t need validation from anyone else but yet we all crave it so. We are programmed to aren’t we? You ask the teacher at school, “Is this right?” You ask your football coach, (I did have one, yes it’s true but that’s another chapter for another day!) “Will I be able to score a goal?”. You check with your parents, “What do you think of…?” We all want positive affirmations of the things we are doing in life, decisions and answers we can’t always come to by ourselves. We don’t trust ourselves enough to just go hell yeah I know exactly what I want and need and I don’t need to check with you but for most ‘normal’ and ‘nice’ people (don’t even get me started on normal and nice) a little validation from others is what is required.
It takes effort though for someone like me, to take the external validation that is wanted and make it all mine. I really have to think and think hard…the conversations I have in my head sometimes! ‘Come on Amie, quicker with that decision please, you know what you want so why can’t you just say it woman, give over what did you say that for, ooops, why as a singer and writer can you never find the right way to use the words in actual speech that comes out of your crazy mouth! What is wrong with you?’ That sort of thing, is occurring in my mind ALL of the time. Honestly it is exhausting and I really wish I could give myself a break. Breaking that cycle of thoughts though is tricky, none the less not impossible thankfully. I have been introduced to the likes of cognitive behavioural therapy, talking therapy, writing therapy, meditation and mindfulness and I can happily say with a lot of effort from self that they definitely work. I now feel that I am the master and maker of my own thoughts (a good point to reiterate here is that they are only ever thoughts) I am the leader of my own validation, I can’t help myself but still need elements of external validation but I know exactly where I am going for them now and the absolute places not to seek them!
So ideally, to round things up in a nutshell we all need to be self fulfilling and be able to rely on our own thoughts and opinions to get us through the day. To aid us to make the right choices that best serve us and the people closest to us. It is not an entirely selfish motion yet guided by self and the truth within us. I’ve started to adopt that philosophy to my life and it has led to positive affirmations that I follow in my daily life. It’s just that…as a child I was taught that you should be able to rely on family and that nothing else mattered. Now thankfully for me that is the absolute everything for me without my family I’d be truly struggling right now, and depending on them for validation, advice, support and most of all their undeniable, unquestionable love means the absolute world to me and the same back at them. As much as others such as, friends, colleagues, peers, lovers have their own agendas you can still have connections though, feelings and emotions, you still need others, humans can be at one alone or in the company of others. We can relate to them, there is still that knowledge that some people you know you can depend on to chipper you up when you need, or set you straight when you have gone far off on a tangent in your own little dreamworld (funnily enough this happens with me more often than the other). These people in our lives come and go and are there at different times in our lives and each single person we meet fulfils a purpose or a need that we have. Some will not be great experiences, others liberating and meaningful.
You are best in nearly all circumstances to trust your instinct with others, it is unfortunately more often than not totally spot on, trust your gut and that horrible feeling in the bottom of your tummy (I can feel mine right now). Most of all and this is the key one for me, trust your heart, your inner wisdom I’m sure comes right from here, dead centre. If you feel something, say it, what is the worse that could happen? If you want to do something, weigh up the odds, check it is safe and then go ahead and just bloody do it. Why not? If you want someone to know how you feel then say it? Just like the Dr Pepper advert said. Believe things are never as bad as you could possibly imagine, my inner voice has acted out so many scenarios over the years and reality is much simpler, less complicated and less eloquent yet is is living, it is real and that is what counts right?
Amie Alissa Watson is the founder, writer and creator of ‘In pursuit of life’ blog and podcast. Through the educational slow fashion brand Amie Alissa Design we explore living a more sustainable, ethical, eco & thoughtful life and discover ways to look after the mind. We explore and strive to lead a healthier, happier more holistic way of life. Join me on my quest for all things eco, let’s continue to strip back our lives and tread more lightly on the planet with a healthy heart and mind. Let’s manifest our lives together as one and create the vision, the dreams for a greener slower better world.
Fashion Designer, fashion and textiles lecturer, eco advocate, eco activist, founder of eco businesses Amie Alissa Design, The Refill Shed, Eco Courses plus climate action group YHCAG Yorkshire & Humber Climate Action Group
An ethically minded and empowered individual with a drive to meeting sustainable needs locally. Running a design business serving the community. As a family we strive to recycle and do our bit whilst supporting charity, conservation. We hope to educate others and work towards improving local infrastructure.