As humans, we are social beings. As such we are constantly seeking the approval of others for our actions, words, and deeds. This is known as external validation, and we feel good hearing the praise from others.
External validation is great, especially if it comes from a loved one, but more important to our well-being is internal or self-validation. The truest form of validation is that which comes from within and includes a deep understanding of our own internal environment so that we understand how we react to the world on a day-to-day basis. This includes our emotions, thoughts, and perspectives. The key element within your self-care priorities is found in the practice of self-encouragement.
Importance Of Self-Encouragement
According to Psychology Today writer Beverly Engel, L.M.F.T., “Self-encouragement is not only an important step itself, but it underscores and strengthens each of the other components of self-compassion. Without self-encouragement, you will tend to slip back into your old habits of self-blaming and self-criticizing instead of using self-compassion to motivate you to continue on your healing journey.”
Self-validation is not enough on its own, we must also encourage ourselves. Without self-encouragement, we may become stagnant in our growth and it may become difficult to validate our internal environment.
Self-encouragement promotes a high level of self-appreciation and security. Self-encouragement helps build self-confidence, which in turn helps you to validate your experiences in more accurate ways.
Self-encouragement is the exact opposite of self-criticizing, which generally tends to invalidate your internal experiences, such as your feelings about any given situation in life.
For example, a friend keeps canceling lunch dates. Someone who practices self-validation based on self-encouragement will identify that they feel hurt and perhaps angry, based on their physical reactions, perhaps a racing heart and shaking hands.
Someone who lacks self-encouragement and validation in their life, may not be so quick to identify the natural feelings of anger and hurt but may conclude that it’s not such a big deal, and this happens mainly because they are coming from a place of self-criticism which breeds lower self-worth and hence not feeling worthy of feeling naturally upset about the situation.
The importance of self-encouragement cannot be stressed enough. By encouraging yourself, you will move from a self-image that is stagnant to one of higher self-worth.
- Take the time to be mindful of your successes and achievements.
- When you do something, you are proud of, reward yourself.
- Accept that you are enough. Realize that you do good things. You are a good person.
You have done right and you have done enough. Stop trying to set unrealistic expectations or live life with a perfectionist mindset.
- Stay positive about yourself and the world.
- Create a support system with positive and self-motivated people.
- Shut down your inner critic. Tell that voice that tells you are you not good enough to shut up! Replace negative self-talk with a more positive reflection of who you are and all that you do.
- Remind yourself regularly that “yes, you can” and more importantly, “yes, you will.”
- Focus on personal growth. Keep growing, learning, and developing. Seek life lessons and opportunities for personal development.
Words And Affirmations
Finding the words that you can speak to yourself for encouragement may be hard at first. You may be hesitant to “blow your own horn” so to speak.
- You got this. Let yourself know you can handle any situation.
- Never give up. Know that no matter how bad the situation appears, you can solve it with effort.
- Success breeds success.
- You know you’re awesome.
- This is tough, but you are tougher.
There are any number of encouraging words you can use. Positive affirmations for self-encouragement are also highly effective in reprogramming your mind. Just think of what you tell your friends to encourage them. It’ll also work for you.