Read This If You Struggle With Constantly Needing To Feel Validated

by Kim Boateng Last updated on February 17th, 2018,
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“You’re not a good fit.”

Four words that caused me to spend days lifting my broken and bruised body out of the ditch of self-pity and doubt.

“I hope you can find a place where you can thrive.”

One sentence and I replayed the growth that felt like pushing up through wet cement for months.

Something breaks inside me when someone becomes disappointed with me. There is nothing worse than when someone with whom I respect stops believing in me. As if you’re climbing a never-ending ladder up and up and up, with no end.

Something cracks and while I know the light will find its way back into the dark cavern, it takes time to build back up what was so easily and consistently broken down.

My desire to be fully validated by external things such as the work I do, the people I know, and experiences that happen to me but stem from sources outside of me, has left me wanting and waiting. It’s left me hollow and numb, wondering how I found myself in this space.

Whether it’s an employer, a lover, a friend, a family member – I strive hard to do what’s right by them and for them. Often, I choose to leave myself stranded, thumbing my way along the open highway of life. When I choose to be externally validated without knowing self-love first, it’s as if I am watching myself in the passenger seat of a convertible filled with every external affirmation, my hair blowing in the wind, free and laughing, while my real self is left standing, skin fried and crisping in the hot sun, waiting for someone to come scrape me off the hot pavement and pick me up.

I was fired.

Terminated, sacked, let go, discharged, dismissed, cut loose, disengaged, jobless, out of a job, without gainful employment, out of action, workless, unused, unengaged, at liberty, and the definition that resonates the most: free.

There really is no delicate or graceful way to share that news and there really is no formula to immediately accept it for yourself. The only way is for every day to find the lesson in it and feel it – whatever you need to feel, allow yourself to feel it.

“You’re not a good fit.”

That’s what I was told. No amount of work or long hours could’ve made my circle self-fit into the square that was the company I worked for. No amount of effort or asking for help and no amount of persistence or hope. Some things are not meant to go together. Some things must inevitably, eventually end.

The hope lies in the lessons. It lies in the day to day, in between moments of the hiring and then the firing.

Did you learn?

Did you find joy in it?

Did you realize a bit more about you and what makes you tick and what you need to thrive?

Did they?

Really, you can hope they did, but that hope is lost in the pit of being left to deal with yourself after such an event. My two cents are to ask yourself those questions and slowly, but surely, move forward.

Each of us wants to ‘do good in the world’ I think. We want to create and we want to help. I know I want that with my whole heart, my whole self because that’s what makes me come alive: the spirit of service.

Ultimately, that means putting myself first and being the person I need to be to then give love freely and remain open to possibilities. It means being gentle with my feelings and emotions and it means being small when I need to be. Self-preservation cannot be taken lightly when everything around you seems to fall apart.

Recognizing my own challenges with thriving because of external validation, I must consciously be aware of statements such as, ‘you’d be a great fit for this,’ ‘you’re what we have been looking for,’ and ‘you’d be perfect for this position.’ In the past, those words are hook, line, and sinker phrases to catch me. Now, I know when any of those words hit my ears, I should run.

The lessons I have learned from being fired:

1: I’m not perfect for anything or anyone.

2: I’m not what you have been looking for or searching for.

3: I will not be validated like that, by someone else or something. I will validate myself.

The journey is in self-love and self-discovery, knowing my worth and validating myself internally. That is the adventure and the whole point. I think working towards that end is my greatest lesson.

It’s so easy to become bogged down in the gray and to see people and work reflect one thing: money. I will work to make that seeming reality not so. That is my peace, my serenity, my joy – that I will make my life about people, in balance with knowing my own self-worth and purpose.

Author

Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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