It's not altogether unheard of to seek validation from the people in your life.
Your spouse, your parents, your boss, your fitness instructor, your client, whomever.
We all like to feel appreciated. Seen. Acknowledged. Maybe even adored? C'mon, it's fine to cop to it.
Whether or not we need this validation is irrelevant. (Well, it's not entirely irrelevant—it's pretty important you realize validation isn't an essential part of your existence; praise can't and shouldn't be water or food or air to you. I like to think of it as cake icing. It's really, really nice; it makes life more enjoyable and work easier; but it is possible to give yourself what you seek from others...to decide that you don't need to outsource your self-esteem.) Many of us crave it on occasion, and there's no sense in pretending we don't. Or in denying ourselves this thing we so desperately want.
What's the solution?
Well, let's call a spade a spade, and just ask for the damn thing we're after.
When I want acknowledgment, I ask for acknowledgment.
When I want praise, I ask for praise.
When I want to be seen, I ask to be seen.
Plain and simple.
How do I do it?
Well, sometimes I ask informally (e.g. I might say to my friend, "Check out my new haircut!" when I'm seeking some attention and acknowledgement), but I also ask professionally (e.g. I request feedback from all my clients via a straightforward questionnaire that covers what worked well for them, as well as what didn't; I give them the opportunity to praise me and to help me become a more effective coach).
When’s the last time you asked for a pat on the back from someone who loves you, likes you, trusts you, or just might have something really nice or helpful to say about you?
What about a public pat on the back? In other words: a Facebook recommendation, a Google review, a LinkedIn endorsement, a word-of-mouth referral, a website testimonial?
What's stopping you from asking? Share below and let us help you.
(And if you've got this one covered, awesome! Share with us what's worked for you.)