An internal sense of self-worth not only makes us feel good about ourselves but changes how we live our lives – fully and confidently. Instead of looking to others or things, this internal source is always available and inexhaustible. This experiential workshop explores developing an internal sense of validation through principles based on life coaching, mantra practice and yoga. Through spoken affirmations and yoga poses, participants will learn to move through whatever stage they are in toward the next so they can ultimately realize and celebrate their own worth.
Does this sound like you?
Almost everywhere, people are looking outside themselves in order to feel good about themselves and they get poor results. Feeling unsure of ourselves and questioning our inherent worth for whatever reason, we often look toward external sources of validation, like acquiring material things (the latest smart phone, the fancy car, trendy fashion, etc.). We hope this proves to us that we really have worth.
We also seek validation from others. When they have the qualities that we want and seem to be all we wish we were (smart, strong, sexy, popular, affluent), we seek validation of ourselves through their acknowledgement and approval. When we get it, we feel great and are flying. This is especially evident on social media. The likes and comments confirm to us that we are worthy people. We become dependent on this validation. But what happens when we don’t get the validation? We feel lousy, worthless, depressed and sometimes even angry and lost.
An even more advanced form of validation seeking is done through “caretaking” behavior. As a means of trying to bolster our low self-esteem, we find someone who appears to be helpless in our eyes and then attempt to rescue them – all so that we could be the “hero of the day” in our minds and thus feel validated. This is tricky because it may look like compassionate service on the surface but there is an underlying ulterior motive that often goes unaware. This always backfires because the person we are trying to rescue gets angry or we get angry at them, and their situation isn’t helped. We end up feeling even worse because our need for validation is still unmet and now there are other bad feelings to manage.
So what happens to us when the validation stops or the external source goes away? When we no longer have the hot product, when people no longer gush about how awesome we are or our attempts to feel good about ourselves by saving others backfires? We begin to feel even more worthless. This is compounded when we compare ourselves to others through the fabulous lives they are living (a typical social media illusion). The other side of this is that we sit around helpless waiting for someone to rescue us; someone to sweep in and make our lives magically better so we can live happily ever after. This isn’t reality either.
The heart of the problem is that we have been looking outside of ourselves for what needs to be sourced from within. We need to draw our focus back toward ourselves instead of things outside of us or other people. Sure, things and other people can lift our spirits, and that’s a beautiful thing, but we become stable in our being when we are able to do from within. And yoga is all about stability.
Feelings of internal validation are already inside of us, but we may have trouble accessing them because it may not have been cultivated yet or we are simply out of practice. This is because we have been so busy chasing validation through other means that we have neglected ourselves and our own inner source. This becomes a serious problem because each one of us is the sole architect of our lives and it is up to us to live out those special gifts that only we have to offer (dharma in yogic philosophy).
When we chase external validation, we take the focus off of ourselves and it causes us to neglect certain aspects of our lives. We may be wasting our time, spending too much money, neglecting our health and sacrificing our dreams in the process because we are putting so much focus outside ourselves so we can feel worthy. For example, if I make a post on social media about something that I want to feel good about and then I am constantly checking to see who liked and commented on it so I can get a self-worth boost, that time and energy has been stolen from my self-care, self-actualization and growth processes -- the very things that actually support self-validation!
Learning and practicing self-validation
Learning to cultivate self-validation is what helps us to feel secure; developing a practice of self validation is sustaining. As someone who has been dealing with my own issues of addiction, dependency and codependency, I know this all too well. Through my development though as a yogi and a life coach, I now have some tools to address this. Through my own desire to cultivate a strong sense of self-validation for myself, I developed this practice, and share it in this workshop.
First, the seven stages of self validation are introduced through mantras (affirmations). Mantras are statements that are spoken repeatedly. They can help disrupt negative or destructive thought patterns and invite positive change. Each mantra provides a means to progress through the stages. We begin right where we are, with the affirmation, “I am here now.” This recognizes and accepts whatever state we are in – needy, scared, lonely, sad, abandoned, worthless, etc. The next stage is, “I am responsible for me.” This is essential to recognize that only we have the power to change our mindset in feeling good about ourselves. The process of bolstering self-worth continues through the remaining five mantras and culminates in, “I validate me.”
When we have been looking outside ourselves for validation for years, to suddenly begin saying the affirming mantra, “I validate me,” seems artificial. That is because we don’t have the experience to observe and know that truth within ourselves. Until we are able to embody, “I validate me,” it is just empty words. Each mantra works like a scaffold that help us go from one stage to the other. It becomes manageable. We develop a little more self-confidence that is appropriate to each stage, stepping into that moment’s truth. And then we are ready to progress to the next stage. Before we know it, we are progressing and seamlessly arrive at full self-validation.
To further support the power of the self-affirming mantras, embodiment practices, such as placement of the hands on one’s own body and getting into empowering yoga poses are explored. When the mind becomes overwhelmed, actions that utilize the body reinforce generative words.
The practices presented in this workshop always give a point to move forward. Where ever you are, you always know the next action to boost your self-worth. This allows us to regain opportunities, productivity, dreams – the very things that bring undeniable truth to the statement, “I validate me.”
This experiential workshop unfolds in 3 phases:
1. Background and introduction of the 7 stages of self-validation
2. Moving through the seven phases as mantras
3. Physical embodiment of the stages through basic yoga poses
Who should attend:
Those looking to improve their self-worth
Those who are working through addiction, dependency or co-dependency
Those who feel devalued by social media
Those who are looking for embodiment practices to support progress in talk therapy.
Those looking to support new ways of being
About the instructor:
As a Licensed Massage Therapist, Kripalu Yoga Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and former Scientist, I bring all the gifts of who I am to my work. Driven by the desire to elevate others, my career initially spanned the biotech industry, interdisciplinary research and laboratory safety. Over the past decade, it evolved to wellness and now I work in my own company, Centered Presence, Ltd. As a presenter, my workshops are characterized by elements of touch, intimacy, authenticity, embodiment, grounding, presence, spiritual practice and cultivation of inner awareness, which result in personal growth and empowered movement forward.