Are you looking for security in all the wrong places? Are you struggling to discover a sense of worth in what others say? Is the old Tina Turner song, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places” coming to mind? For me, it’s a perfect song to describe my own struggles with overcoming my need for validation.
I would like to share how Jesus is helping me in overcoming my own battles. I trust that the following article will be of value to you.
Yes, I do know what it means to suffer from an excessive need to validate my decisions and a need for approval on my decisions. It is a problem that has plagued me, for years.
For me, I was wrapped in a fear of failure and disappointment because I did not measure up to expectations. When I did make a decision, my heart would be riddled with indecision and a need to second guess myself.
Though I’ve had people say something, I had no idea of how bad my need for validation was or where it came from. Heck, I didn’t even know that such a thing exists. What is validation? In psychology, it is a need for affirmation or confirmation. On the surface, it is normal for humans to desire such a thing.
As children, we get our affirmations from our parents and family members. We, sometimes can receive it from our friends and teachers. However, it can become a problem when we place too much trust in the opinions of other people. For me, I had a need to prove that I am not what I presupposed other people to say.
For you, it may be a fear of rejection because you dare to say, “No”. Though different, it is rooted in the same fear that I struggled with, for years. It’s the fear of people’s opinions. It is just being manifested in a different way. Though the manifestation may differ, the solution is the same. How did I overcome my own need for validation?
Let’s face it! Everyone has an opinion! As a man with disability, it is a fact that I’ve grown to accept. Over the years, people have made all kinds of assumptions about my intelligence, ability or skills. It is not that they are mean spirited or some other nonsense. By the say, I’ve done the same thing to other people with physical disabilities.
When I pushed too hard in my effort to prove my worth, I actually made things worse. At the same time, I’d go in the opposite direction and not care about the quality of my work. It’s because I didn’t believe other people would honestly see its value. Both of these attitudes do have their root in insecurity. I was too busy believing in lies that ate away at my security and confidence.
Identifying the problem in clear terms is the first step towards solving the problem. For me, I was getting my security or identity in the fickle opinions of other people. Though most people are willing to learn, I can’t spend my days worrying about it or keep fighting it. At this junction, I have a choice to make.
Will I continue to seek validation or affirmation from other people or shall I seek to be rooted in the love of God, the Father? Will I choose to believe what God is saying through Paul in Romans 8:31-39 and Ephesians 3:14-21? According to Psalms 139:13-18, I am given this incredible message.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!Psalms 139:13-18 NKJV
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
These are not the only Scriptures to say such a thing. I should point out that these promises are directed at the believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who sent Jesus to pay a huge price for those who choose to believe. Here’s what John 3:16-18 says:
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.John 3:16-18 NKJV
Am I saying that I became totally rooted in God’s love, overnight? I hate to break this, but there is no such magic wand. It took time for me to grow in this reality. Though I’ve grown, there still miles to go in this endeavor. I’ll likely continue on this path until the return of Jesus or I die. Then, the transformation will be complete.
It is time to share some practical benefits to being rooted in God’s love and not the fickle opinions of other people. For one, I was born with my physical limitations. Go back and read Psalms 139! I could also point to what God told Moses in Exodus 4:11-12. Truth is, we live in a fallen world and my mother was exposed to someone with rubella.
I don’t believe that it is God, the Father’s desire that I would be born with serious disabilities; however, it is through God’s grace and mercy that I grew into the man that I am today. How can I be certain of this? How is this related to the main topic?
I am certain of God’s love because I spent time in learning about God through the pages of Scripture, soaking in God’s presence, prayers, and worship. I would also like to thank Bethel Church for helping me in learning about who God is. I say this because it is something they specialize in.
There are other groups that also helped in developing a fuller view of God. It is why I am a fan of reading the whole Bible and I am learning to take deeper dive. As this journey continues, I’ve found myself to be less concerned about the opinions of others. It’s because my security does not rest with them.
Have I arrived? Hardly! It is not that I have arrived but rather I keep pressing forward towards the goal of knowing God, more fully. As a blogger and YouTuber, I still have a need to see how certain contents are doing. Though it’s a normal part of the job, I am learning to be less stressed about site traffic. I simply had to learn to not take things, personally.
Do you know that Jesus can help you to overcome your needs for validation? Don’t be afraid to ask God to do for you what has been done for me. Don’t be afraid to talk with God about your struggles. You can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you in the right way to become rooted in God’s love for you.