We all seek it from somewhere, be it from our parents, our friends, or unknown peers online. We want to know that what were putting out into the world does matter and is being seen. I’m talking about the big V, validation. The only problem with seeking validation is that it can limit your ability to do what needs to be done. It this next installment of my #PathToPoppin series, I want to talk to you about learning to go after your goals and achieving your dreams without needing validation to make it happen.
For a long time I looked to my mother as the pinnacle to know if I was doing something right. We could be out shopping and if I loved a sweater and she didn’t – it would get left behind. If I asked her opinion on a line for story and she thought it was wordy or adrift, it’d be left on the cutting room floor. The most interesting part about all of this was that my mom often told me that her thoughts on my work or style didn’t matter. You read that right, a mother saying willingly that her opinion is not the be all, end all. I truly hit the jackpot on moms. That said, my mother was sure to encourage me to make decisions based on my own thought processes and whims, rather than hers. In the beginning it proved difficult, I struggled to make decisions for fear that they would be wrong. Until one day I finally woke up and recognized I was only limiting myself. That’s when I began to take her advice to heart.
Trusting Your Instincts
The initial step in operating in your gift without the need for the okay from the peanut gallery is learning to trust your instincts. Naturally we all have a gut feeling that tells whether or not something is for us or if it should be backed away from slowly. It lies deep in the pit of your stomach just past hunger. It’s also a quiet sucker too, but it’s there. Learning early on to tap into that gut feeling can save you from many mishaps in life. It took me a long time before I knew how I go with what I feel inside. If I wasn’t asking my mom to validate my thoughts then I was simply not acting. That inaction kept me from making decisions that I ultimately knew were right for me. Not following my own desire in the minimal things made making majors choices seem daunting. Do what feels right for you.
Ask For Feedback, But Be Selective
There is nothing inherently wrong with asking for feedback. It is how we can grow and gain more knowledge from the outside insight. The issue with taking feedback is in its application. As a writer dealing with editors I’ve figured out how to decipher edits that are personal and those that are made to enhance my skills. You have to do the same in your life. Asking for a friend’s advice is great to do about a job opportunity, a potential boo, or a life situation that may be plaguing you. However, be mindful of where the advice is coming from. Never be afraid to just use pieces of what someone has to offer but ultimately, you have to live your life.
Don’t Let Fear Rule You
This is where I believe most of us struggle, largely when it comes to our gifts and talents. As a blogger I had to learn that I wouldn’t go from unknown person to an authority overnight. Yet, I didn’t let the fear of no one reading my blog discourage me from creating it. Essentially I stepped out on faith knowing that what I had to offer was worthwhile. Each of us has been blessed with something to better the world, if we hold tightly to our talents then we may depriving people from what they need to get by. Fear can be crippling; it will tell that you aren’t ready, that what you’re working on isn’t useful, or that no one will care. Put that fear in its place – don’t let it rule you.
My goal in sharing the trials I’ve faced along my Path To Poppin, is to show you that greatness is not made overnight. That even when someone looks like they have it all figured out, the hurdles have been there. The difference between you and someone else is simply choices. Choosing to be stopped, choosing to feel discouraged, and choosing to let life’s obstacles keep them shackled to a life you don’t want. My hope after you read this is that you decide to stop waiting for permission to be you.
You’ve got the keys, open the doors to your path.