Internal vs. External Validation for Self Esteem Growth

Home Mental Health Issues Internal vs. External Validation for Self Esteem Growth

Validation is the confirmation or affirmation that one’s feelings are valid or worthwhile. There are two types of validation: international and external. External validation can come in many forms, such as social media interactions and compliments, and comes from others validating your feelings. And while these validations can feel good at the moment, the problem with external validation is that it is not lasting. Because you are relying on that outside validation, when it’s not there the feeling wears off and you find yourself feeling bad again. 

Internal validation is the validation of your own feelings or non-judgment of your feelings. This can be harder to practice, but internal validation allows you to release some of that judgment you may have around your feelings. Being internally validated can be helpful when situations arise and things may not be going your way. Instead of feeling frustrated or deflated, self-validation allows you to recognize that you have done the best you can, and that next time you can do better. 

Habits to Build your Self Esteem

Building self-esteem may feel challenging, but if you are working to boost your confidence and attitude about who you are, you need to make a conscious effort to create habits that change your thoughts to feel good about yourself. 

  1. Positive Affirmations: Start your day with a positive affirmation, like “I am capable and confident.” Creating this mindset at the beginning of your day sets the tone for everything that follows. Having these positive affirmations become a part of your routine trains your brain to feel more positively about yourself. 
  2. Take a Social Media Break: You may notice that spending prolonged amounts of time scrolling through social media leaves you anxious or less confident. It’s easy for us to begin comparing ourselves to celebrities or any number of filtered images on social Mideast. Schedule a social media break during your week where you turn off all notifications and use your social media time to do something that makes you feel good, like take a hike or try a new activity.
  3. Be Mindful: Creating a mindfulness practice like meditation or yoga can help you feel grounded and more confident in both body and mind. Mindfulness encourages us to receive thoughts without judgment and appreciate our abilities for exactly what they are.
  4. Celebrate Your Successes: Modesty is a wonderful attribute, but it is also important to celebrate your success. Maybe you received great feedback at work, or you achieved a personal goal. Allow yourself to celebrate those successes and feel good about your accomplishments. It’s a wonderful reminder of your strengths and abilities. 
  5. Allow Yourself to Feel Emotions: Having internal validation doesn’t mean you’ll never struggle with self-esteem again. It is healthy to feel a full range of emotions. There will be setbacks and disappointments, and it’s OK to feel sad in those moments. What is important is to remember not to dwell there and not let making a mistake stop you from trying again. 

Foundations Asheville Can Help

At Foundations, we strive to create a full and rewarding life through an individualized combination of education, vocation training, community service, healthy lifestyle skill, relationship building, and participation in a genuine community of peers.

The young adults served by Foundations Asheville come to the program with a wide variety of experience and a myriad of goals but are interested in actively working toward a greater degree of independence in their daily lives. Our team partners with young adults to establish viable goals. Then, we work side-by-side with each individual to support and encourage the realization of those goals. For more information please call (828) 604-6570.


The Foundations Team” profile “We work tirelessly to empower individuals with the essential skills and knowledge to thrive in their personal and professional lives. To contact our admissions team, call (877) 318-7273