In today’s world, we certainly have a heightened sense of being ‘on’, always creating and always framing for the future; all the while, growing our experiences each and every day. This can be a lot to ask for and personally, I understand it’s a challenge and is something that I have to constantly work at.

But with all the hustle and hard work that goes on behind the scenes, there are moments where you look for that extra push that keeps you motivated and focused on your goals. There are visual or emotional triggers that help keep us grounded – but sometimes we need a little bit more.

Affirmation

We have conversations with our colleagues and peers on a daily basis. We ask for advice, we brainstorm and we collaborate on ideas. But there are moments where it goes deeper than that. Moments where words from these same peers come less expected, where they catch you by surprise and provide you with an extra push. They observe, take stake in your work and  the positive moves you’re making and shed a few words that helps create this sense of affirmation.

Validation

Seth Godin had an interesting post in regards to validation and the fact that if you’re waiting for it, your focus is probably a bit off. Though I agree with his overall sentiment, there’s a fine line between validation & affirmation.

We may have our sights set on the proper goals but as we work down that long and tumultuous road to success, comes those pit stops (roadblocks?) where there’s a need for those few words. This does provide a sense of validity but it helps further us down that path.

Your Homework

As easy as it is to provide this to our peers and colleagues, it unfortunately doesn’t happen often enough. We get caught up in our daily routine and our own work to remember that little things like this account for much more.

So, I have a little homework assignment for you:

  • Take some time today and dig into the work of someone within your own community
  • Understand what they’re doing on the day to day
  • Provide genuine, positive feedback to their work

It’ll go a long way.

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3 responses to “The Importance of Affirmation”

  1. You are so right in this post it’s not even funny.

    I totally agree with your point about validation. This can be seen in so many aspects of life– from social media, to significant others asking “Do I look fat?”

    Even on blogs.

    I will admit, in my day I’ve played the blog comments game, looking more for the validation than the true enjoyment of writing. But in the last couple of months, I took a break and realized what’s really important.

    If you live your life looking for constant validation from something or someone else, you’ll never be whole. Sort of like the character Jimmy McNulty from HBO’s “The Wire”– no matter how many one-night stands he has, he’s never quite had enough.

    People need to give up the search for validation.

    GREAT POST.

    -Rob

    (Side note, your website is absolutely IMMACULATELY designed. It’s quite enviable. Hard work went into this one, congrats.)

  2. Rob,

    You’re right, affirmation affects so many different parts of our lives – not just in the business sense.

    Love this line of yours: “If you live your life looking for constant validation from something or someone else, you’ll never be whole.”

    Shows the difference in results between affirmation and seeking constant validation.

    Appreciate you stopping by and thanks for the design compliment – share it with @dolceshan, she was the mastermind in bringing it to life!

  3. Sonny, I’m so glad I discovered this gem today. By your very act of suggesting that readers become more self-aware by focusing more closely on others, you’ve reminded me of a great lesson. Right now I’m in a tough spot with some work stuff and thanks to you I know it’s my job to work harder to understand – and appreciate – some of the lesser-understood pieces produced by others. By looking outward more, my inner self will become more clear. Thanks. And I hope your new-ish gig is going swimmingly.

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