Stop Judging and Start Validating

Building from my post on “You Can’t Change What You Are Not Aware Of.” If you have started monitoring your self-talk some of you may have come to the conclusion of “Boy I am pretty hard on myself!” Most people are hard on themselves to the extent that I would call it self-judgment. Self-judgment is generally a form of control to get yourself to do things “right” so that others will validate you and approve of you. Telling yourself you must have the “right” gear, bike average, run time, training routine, finishing time, body, and the list goes on. Okay I’m about to drop a pearl of wisdom here: getting others to approve and validate you is a losing game because you either have to keep up the (false) routine to be liked or approved of, or you’ll drive yourself insane because you CAN’T please everyone all of the time and you end up spending much of the time trying. It’s a no-win situation. But be that as it may, as much as you may succeed in getting others to approve of you, as long as you are judging yourself you will continue to feel badly about yourself. Judging yourself is the opposite of validating yourself, and creates much inner pain and insecurity. So where do we go from here???

Changing your beliefs and thoughts take time but I believe the first step is ALWAYS starting in the here and now, right where you are at with Validation. I believe one of the major benefits of self-validation is that you become your own best cheerleader and comforter. Like I said before it’s not all rainbows and sunshine but we can have a more balanced perspective of ourselves in moment-to-moment situations.

For example, would you rather hear? “It’s not good enough, you’re going too slow!”


“It’s what you have right now, and these times reflect how you feel in this moment.”

Hopefully the second one:) Now lets get started.

How To Validate Yourself: In order to validate yourself, you need to start to notice and do a few things:

  • You need to start to notice how much you judge yourself rather than value yourself. And then say,” I notice that sometimes I am really hard on myself” or “I’m noticing that judgmental self-talk and it does not feel good.”
  • Then acknowledge and notice your feelings, your inner knowing, your acts of kindness to others, and your strengths, and consciously value them. For example, say, “Even though I am hard on myself, I do recognize that I am a caring (or any other adjective) person.” “I acknowledge that I am willing to challenge myself to be the best I can be.” “I acknowledge that I am doing the best I can in this moment.”
  • Then make a practice of using your validation statements all day every day until they become habit, especially when you notice the self-judging negative self-talk creep up.
  • Hints:
    • When speaking to yourself do so in a compassion comforting tone, like the soothing words of a friend or mentor.
    • Don’t expect others to be kind, nice, or comforting if you cannot do it for yourself first. This is the essence of self-validation.
    • Make it a practice doing it diligently day in and day out-just like a training plan.

Self-validation is especially important when change happens in life. Self -validation keeps your self-worth and self-esteem rooted internally instead of expecting external things, such as your job, house, bike, race times, or educational status, determine your value. You are more than your job, education, or material things. You are greatness and filled with purpose but the most important person that needs to know that is YOU!

Keep reaching for your peak and shine when you get to the top!

Published by

Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.

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