The Trap of External Validation

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“How much credence we give to the opinions our peers have of us and how little to our very own!”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It’s amazing how quickly we can change our minds when we learn that somebody else has a different perspective.

We can be perfectly content with our own lives – until we find out that the guy in the office next to us seemingly has more; a bigger house, a more expensive car, a better haircut… It doesn’t even matter if we don’t like him – in fact it probably just makes it worse!

As a society, we are overly reliant on external validation in our quest for happiness. No matter how skilled the performance, or how valiant the effort, we feel empty without the praise of our peers. It doesn’t matter how much weight we can deadlift; it’s only good if our coach thinks so too.

We have absolutely no control over what other people think of us – nor should we. What they think of us is none of our damn business. When we let our feelings hinge on the validation of peers – or worse – strangers, we surrender all control over our happiness.

Consider the amplifying effect of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and hopefully you can see how damaging this kind of mindset can be.

Do yourself a favour and focus your energy only on what you can control. At the end of the day, everything else is just noise.

After all, do you really want to place yourself at the mercy of popular opinion in a world where Donald Trump is president?

Robbie Price - Head Coach

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