Today, I want to argue why you should seek self-confidence instead of validation from the external world.
Table of Contents
- What Is External Validation (Recognition)?
- The Layers of External Validation
- What Is Internal Value?
- Firstly, we strengthen our will and ability to push forward in the face of challenges
- Secondly, we create souls that are at peace
- How To Seek Internal Value
- Firstly, accept where your culture is
- Secondly, reduce your need for attention
- Thirdly, improve yourself
- Lastly, help others achieve their virtuous ends
- How Do You Know You Are Creating Internal Value?
- Always Seek Internal Value Over External Validation
What Is External Validation (Recognition)?
External validation is the approval that you seek from other individuals. You seek acceptance from others by following their advice, suggestions, or tenants. Additionally, you seek signs of affirmation such as “likes” on social media, attention, awards, and other indicators that the world approves your actions.
The Layers of External Validation
I want to highlight external validation is not always insufficient. In the best of times, you seek external validation from virtuous individuals. They help encourage your growth, cut down your vices, and guide the best course of action. If you’re lucky enough, you may have such a community of individuals.
However, most of humanity and human history is filled with addicts, comfort-seekers, and slaves to the ruling classes. You should not seek validation from such shameful people. It’s foolish to seek approval from people who want you to waste away pursuing one-night stands, follow the “leadership” of despots, or shut down your business for a “pandemic.” In such a world, why would you want the approval of the average person?
Because of this, we should not turn to our present, degenerate and dull culture for wisdom. I don’t need validation from addicts that I am a good person. They have no idea what a good person is and would soon destroy said person before helping them.
What Is Internal Value?
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Internal value is personal confidence and rational pride cultivated through virtuous actions and meaningful accomplishments. Internal value is created from the pursuit of moral excellence. When we fight our vices and pursue what is good and virtuous, we solidify our value in two main ways.
- Firstly, we strengthen our will and ability to push forward in the face of challenges.
- Secondly, we create souls that are at peace. When we do virtuous acts, we don’t sully ourselves. We can sleep well at night because we pursue virtue over what is accessible and demeaning.
As with everything worthwhile, internal value is only created through virtuous action. You do not want to demean yourself to gain the approval of a broken, boring world.
How To Seek Internal Value
- Firstly, accept where your culture is. Most individuals are weak-willed, pathetic, and small-minded. These people will oppose your self-improvement. Plan accordingly.
- Secondly, reduce your need for attention. Get off of social media and focus internally. Don’t attempt to “stand out” by bragging or wearing flashy clothes. Stop overspeaking and seek to listen more. The less you desire attention, the less validation you’ll seek from others.
- Thirdly, improve yourself. Self-improvement ensures your growth and happiness. The more you improve, the more you see how “your way” works. You don’t need validation from the lazy masses because you are in great shape. You don’t need wisdom from lazy people because you learn new skills every day. How do you know you’re improving yourself? You’ll feel confident, and your comforts will reduce.
- Lastly, help others achieve their virtuous ends. The best way to build a community is to help others achieve their righteous ends. Challenge them on their comforts. Keep checking in on the progress they are making on their goals. If you build your community, you will fulfill your social interaction needs.
How Do You Know You Are Creating Internal Value?
“Individualism regards man-every man-as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.” – Ayn Rand
Of course, you could lie to yourself and claim your addictions are “valuable” even if you should eliminate them. Therefore, one should seek wisdom in eternal voices and compare such knowledge to draw the best conclusions.
For example, when learning about emotional stability, there are no greater teachers than the stoics. However, if I need to know rational pride, Ayn Rand has no equal. If I want to ensure I’m not too self-centered, Christian teachers offer the best antidote to arrogance. At the same time, someone like David Goggins provides the best lessons on enduring pain to ensure success.
The world you live in is not barren. There have been countless philosophers, scientists, creators, and religious teachers who have seen past the addicts of their lifetime and brought humanity wisdom that will last the ages. Read them. Compare and contrast what they say. Always seek the men and women who urge you to forego comfort for a better life.
Their wisdom will ensure you are not led astray as you seek personal greatness.
Always Seek Internal Value Over External Validation
The more internal value you can cultivate, the better off you will be. You can define your life by your accomplishments and your virtuous pursuit of them. You set clear, sustainable goals then pursue them through difficult but rewarding means. Who can criticize such a life?
And that’s why you seek internal value. When you seek purpose through external validation, you can be manipulated. The world today is small-minded and broken. Why seek to be more like it? Why fight to gain approval from men addicted to all manner of vices?
Strengthen yourself, and you will find peace. Pursue internal value and let the world fall away as it is destined.
- Do you have a great sense of internal value or self-confidence? How do you feel about your rational pride? Put another way, do you believe you are acting as virtuously as you can?
- Is your community healthy? Is your community virtuous? Do you seek validation from them and hope you meet their standards?
- Do you help others achieve their virtuous ends? Do you know what goals your friends and family have? If yes, are these goals honorable? Are there other places, such as their patience or courage, where they can improve themselves? What can you do to assist in their growth?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.