Where do you get your sense of validation? Your sense of self? Your sense of approval?
“I am who I am every day. I don’t get my validation from the outside world.”
— Gene Chizik, Auburn University football coach (The New York Times, October 10, 2009)
There is a great deal of personal power that comes from anchoring your sense of self within. Too many people let their self esteem come from outside themselves, which really is “other’s esteem.” If your validation is internal, if your sense of self comes from alignment with a solid foundation of core principals and ethical beliefs, then you can weather the roughest seas and still maintain your course. There also is a great deal of freedom and peace of mind in marching to the beat of your internal drummer. One of my most powerful affirmations is “My sense of self is anchored deep within, from that flows wonderful peace.”
We all are members of larger communities that come with ties and obligations. We always owe others respect and regard for their dignity and their ways. At the same time we must never, ever surrender our own, learning that in the balance lies origins of wisdom and maturity. As the immortal bard wrote: “To thy own self be true and it follows as night follows day one can not be untrue to another.”
I close with a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” which touches on having both the courage to follow one’s own judgment and still possess the humility and wisdom to not turn a deaf ear to contrary points of view:
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too….
“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”