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In 2018 I had an idea to start a blog about personal growth and self improvement. I didn’t know anyone around me that was blogging so I doubted myself because I had no guidance. I also wasn’t very confident in myself so I started asking those around me whether they thought it was a good idea or not.

I never actually asked if it was a good idea; I just casually mentioned it every now and then to see what people would say. No one said it was a bad idea nor did anyone discourage me, but no one really seem interested. I didn’t get the validation/encouragement I was looking for.

Because of that I felt very discouraged. 

People thought that I should have focused on school and getting my accounting degree because I excelled in my classes. The blog idea just seemed like a distraction to them at first.

It made me feel like my idea was a waste of timeso I let it go.

I tried to move on and focus on school and for some time it worked. But the urge came back to start my blog. And I couldn’t seem to shake it.

No matter how hard I tried it just wouldn’t go away. I had to do it.

So since I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I started casually bringing it up again here and there.. waiting for someone to tell me it was a good idea.

But something amazing happened one day.

I was driving around to clear my mind and I got an epiphany.

Something told me that I was never going to find the validation I so desperately sought from others – but I had to do it anyway.

So I did. And what happened was more than I could have ever anticipated.

But before we get to that, let me share what I learned in that long agonizing year and why you should NOT seek validation from other people.

 

Why you should NOT seek validation from other people

1. People won’t understand your vision

Your vision was given to you; not other people. No matter how much you try to explain, other people won’t be able to see it. It’s your job to act on your vision whether people understand it or not.

2. People may want to ‘protect’ you

If there’s a risk involved in your decision or idea, many people will steer you away from it because they don’t want you to mean well. This is tough because it comes from a good place, but it will only hold you back. Just know that you won’t get anywhere in life without taking risks.

The biggest risk is not taking any risks. – Mark Zuckerberg

3. Your friends/family may not be your target audience

Sure, it’s supportive for your family and friends to share your business, but consider if they’re a part of your target audience at all. For example:

  • If you want to start a blog about weight loss; it’s not relevant to your skinny friend
  • If you want to change your career and become a real estate agent; it’s not relevant to your peers who aren’t interested in buying/selling homes.
  • If you want to pick up a new hobby on running/exercising; it’s not relevant to your lazy peers.

People can support you but your ideas/decisions may not be relevant to their life so they can only give a response based on their own limited perspective. They may not understand the importance of what you want to do because they have no reference.

4. You can’t avoid pain

It’s too much pain to duck! You can’t avoid pain… But most people spend their life not wanting to deal with the pain of rejection, the pain of defeat, the pain of being disappointed, the pain of losing, the pain of failure, the pain of being criticized, the pain of not being liked, the pain, the pain, the pain. That’s called life! – Les Brown

Trying to avoid the pain of failure will lead to the pain of regret from never doing what you really wanted to do.

No one is going to wake up in your shoes and live your life for you and deal with the pain of regret. So if people discourage you from pursuing your dreams, let it go in one ear and out the other.

 

What happened after I took the plunge

At first I felt alone in my journey because I didn’t know anyone who also had a blog, but then I met lots of bloggers in my niche and even did podcast interviews because people considered me to be an authority in my niche!

I also learned sooo many new skills including SEO, Search Engine Optimization, (a few of my posts ranked #1 on Google and others were in the top 5 for specific keyword searches), how to monetize content online, social media marketing, taxes for business owners, and more!

I earned an extra 5 figures annually from my blog and even doubled my income in the second year before selling it when I was no longer passionate about my niche.

I never saw this coming! It all just started out as an idea for a hobby!

What if I had listened to those who discouraged me?

 

Something you need to remember…

Sometimes when we have an idea or urge to make a major shift in our lives we seek validation from others because we aren’t confident in ourselves. But that’s not how you gain confidence.

Like I said in my last episode on perfectionism, confidence is not something you wait around on before you make decisions!

Confidence is earned after you bravely take action on something that scares you. When you do this and look back on all you’ve built/acquired since taking action, you will feel more confident in yourself for your accomplishments.

 


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Seeking validation - episode 2 -secluded thoughts