rebelling against low expectations

Stop Seeking Validation From People


I saved this quote on my phone ages ago and the other day I stumbled across it once again.

“If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?”

It got me thinking about the importance of self-love and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I write about this often because it is something that I struggle with daily. There are countless things I could list about my appearance that I would love to change. If I could go back to the day when prepubescent Jess had flawless skin, minimal pimples, zero dark under eye circles and was 100% okay with the whole no-makeup thing, then I would be on cloud nine.

Fortunately, there is makeup to enhance natural beauty; but for me, the first step is initially recognizing and appreciating that natural beauty I don’t seem to see. Comparing myself to my girlfriends who look stunning with or without makeup is the biggest thing that hinders my confidence. Sleepovers generally consist of me waking up before others and running to the bathroom to apply some concealer to cover up those nasty dark circles – probably one of my two biggest insecurities.

Reading this quote the other day really put things into perspective. This kind of negative self-talk and lack of confidence that I was continually feeding myself was not only killing my self-esteem, but my ability to see any sort of beauty within me at all. This constant negativity was unhealthy and I needed to change that mindset.

Let this be your reminder today that you don’t have to constantly seek validation from other people. Regardless of whether that is through the number of likes (or lack thereof) on a photo you have posted or attempting to meet the ridiculously unattainable and unrealistic standards that society has created.

We find it so much easier to put ourselves down than to appreciate the amazing things that we encompass – appearance and personality-wise. When we focus on ridiculing parts of ourselves, it limits us from seeing the beauty others see. We need to stop seeking validation from others. We need to stop placing all our worth in the values of other people. We need to accept the reality that we will never be able to please everyone. Dita Von Teese illustrates it perfectly like this: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”.

If you are in a room full of people and everyone compliments you in some way, you would naturally feel really good about yourself. But all it takes is for one person to say they don’t like your outfit and that emotionally impacts us the most. Why do we let a single negative comment outweigh compliments? We need to stop resonating on those things that hinder our happiness – no matter what it is.

Regardless of how your self confidence is right now, we all have days where we aren’t 100% happy with how we wake up in the morning. I encourage you in that moment to look at yourself in the mirror. You are one of a kind. You are beautiful, both inside and out. Tell yourself that you are the only person in this world like you. If that isn’t a precious gift, then I don’t know what is. Be yourself, love yourself and absolutely own it.

This isn’t going to guarantee that you will be a confident and positive person from this point forward. I can assure you there will be days where you will feel fantastic and there will be days where you feel completely on the other end of the spectrum. It is in that moment that I will be reading this again to remind myself of where I should be placing my value and worth – not in people, money or society’s idea of beauty, nor in these worldly and materialistic things, but firmly placing it in God.

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About the author

Jessica Shipton

Jessica Shipton is a twenty-year old student finishing her third and final year at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. She is studying a Bachelor of Communication completing a double major in Digital & Social Media and Public Communications (Advertising). Jessica has loved writing ever since she could pick up a pen and enjoys travelling, whether it be on holiday or serving on a mission trip


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  • Wow. That was awesome! I struggle SO much in this area. Thanks for being bravely transparent about your own struggles with validation, Jessica! It provided great encouragement.

  • As a general rule of thumb, if you’re obsessing over your own “validation,” you are most emphatically NOT loving God and your neighbor.

    “Christian narcissism” is an oxymoron.

    • Completely understand what you are saying here Jeremy. I think obsessing over it is definitely not healthy – but it is only natural, as we are all human and living let alone growing up in a society like today’s is difficult. With an abundance of social media sites that we can follow other people’s lives and choose what we show others from our own, it makes it very easy to compare ourselves to others and what is seemingly their ‘perfect’ life – although it generally isn’t.

  • Hum… I’m not sure that the “be yourself, love yourself” thing is the best focus we can have. I think the problem with most people is not that they don’t think well enough of themselves. I think people normally love themselves to much! Yup! Even when they seem to think badly of who they are. Human are like this and that might be the reason why the opinion of others affect them that much. Like you said in the end, we need to place our value and worth in God. When I look at myself in the mirror I don’t want to be satisfied and loving what I see. I don’t want to see a great person able to do anything she wants. I don’t want to be comfortable with the person I see in this glass… I want to see a sinner who needs to change but that is forgiven by the grace of God. I want to see someone who’s not yet where she’s suppose to be. I want to see my reflection in this glass and fall on my knees, asking God for forgiveness and thanking him! Thanking Him for He saved me when I deserved nothing! He died on the cross for someone who’s not a good person or even close… He died for a sinner incappable of doing anything good. And that’s awesome! We’re not amazing human being and that’s why we need God. No man can do good, not even one. It’s all about grace and we need to stop looking in the mirror to find our value or to learn to like who we are. If you want to see where you need to change or repent then look in the mirror but if you want to see and understand your worth and value then look at the cross. Come to God humbly knowing you don’t deserve his grace and thank Him for He gave you value with the blood He shed on the cross. He bought you with a high price and gave you value! That should be our focus. I don’t need to like myself. I don’t want to be satisfied with who I am right now. I need grace from God. I need to search Him with all my strenght. I need to change a litle bit more each day so I can be a little bit more like Him as the time goes by, until I’ll finally meet Him. Anyway thank you very much for this article! You’re really good at writing 🙂 I hope you’ll have a great year and I’ll pray for you. God bless you dear sister! (and sorry if my comment is badly written, I’m french and my english is not that good) -Rebecca

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →