Hey there, it’s Graham from The Confident Man Project again and today I want to talk at you about your family. Family issues have been pretty huge for me so I know a little bit about this and I want to share with you what I have learned, particularly about stopping seeking validation from your family. What tends to happen when we’re young is that our parents experience us as an infant, as a baby, as a child, an adolescent and then by the time we become an adult our parents’ view of us is often so fixed by their earlier experiences of us that they have a lot of trouble accepting who we now are as an adult being different to who we were as a child.
And this is the reason why a lot of the time when we hang around our families we tend to regress back into a child-like state where we behave and relate to our parents and our siblings in much the same way that we did when we were a kid.
That’s not necessarily what you want to do if your childhood experience wasn’t one where you felt reinforced and validated and loved and just nurtured and you had a really fun time all the time. So if you want to break away from some of the family stuff, it’s really important that you stop seeking validation from your family.
It’s natural to want our parents to love us particularly and for our siblings to want to get on with us and to like us, and these are some of the most difficult people to really say in our head to that it doesn’t matter what they think about us.
Whenever we’re still emotionally attached to getting approval, validation and love from our parents or our siblings for what we do in the world, we’re always going to be limited to what we perceive is acceptable in their minds, and that’s kind of complex. It’s like about what we perceive as acceptable in their minds for us. Logic just drives my head crazy. So basically it’s time to give it up.
If you want to be free to be the man who you’re meant to be, you have to stop seeking validation from your family and start taking action based on what your heart is telling you is right for you. What was right for our parents’ generation often is not what’s the best thing for us nowadays, and even our siblings have had different experiences of life, may have different values and may have different things that are important to them.
So really you want to be able to let go of what your siblings think, what your parents think, what your aunties, uncles, grandparents, whoever, whatever, think so you can be free to be yourself, like your true self. Your true self is who you would be if you weren’t trying to seek other people’s approval all the time.
So fairly simple concept; a bit hard to do in practice. The first step there is simply to recognise the times when you are seeking approval and validation from your family. What it is you’re really seeking is their love, and you’ve either got that or you haven’t by this stage. So that’s not likely to change. Time to let that go. Notice when you’re doing it, drop the idea and start just living your life on your own terms where you do the things that are important to you because you know that they’re right for you and not because somebody else has told you or you’re going to get in trouble if you do the wrong thing.
So get out there this week, noticing how you relate to your family and dropping your sense of needing their approval and validation because you’re your own man now and you don’t need that stuff from them.