Validation, approval, and acceptance, three words that every human hopes to receive. Our whole lives we want to be validated for everything we do. We want others to let us know that what we are doing is the right thing. We hope for the day everyone claps with approval for our actions. Is this realistic? Is validation even worth it? I took a lot of thought to this topic when I realized how much of my life was about seeking validation. In absolutely everything I did, I was looking for that golden star to be handed to me.
I heard a story about Judd Apatow the producer and director of many of the best comedy films out there today. Working with some of the greatest in the world like Seth Rogan, Judd Apatow was at the top of his game. After years of struggle, rejection and heartbreak Apatow established himself as one of the best producers in this day and age. One day Apatow received a letter in the mail. This was a letter he had never received before. It was a letter from Steven Spielberg. For a producer, it was the ultimate dream letter. Can you think of anything better in your life than receiving a letter from Steven Spielberg telling you that he thought your work was fantastic? Judd Apatow sat there reading this letter of praise and approval from the greatest producer in the world and thought “Wow, I have officially made it. All my hard work has paid off.” After reading the letter he felt great, for a whole 5 minutes. Then he once again had to go back to work, back to his day to day and the letter would be put behind him.
Judd Apatow received the most validation you can receive for someone in his line of work. Was that enough? Does he feel full and satisfied about everything in his life? This story is what made me believe that there is no such thing as “enough validation.” Validation must come from inside, if you are happy with yourself and what you are doing then nothing else matters. You cannot look to external sources for your validation because there will never ever be enough of it. At the end of the day, the only person you need to answer to is yourself. Stop searching for more; everything you want is already there. Look inward and listen to yourself for that validation. I hope this story helps you the way it did for me. Namaste – Carly Jensen