External validation – what kind, to what end, and how much

3 questions to ask ourselves when we find ourselves seeking or pondering the absence of external validation:

(1) What kind of validation are we seeking?

(2) To what end? (Why does it matter?/what are we looking to accomplish?)

(3) How much of it do we require?

In the past years, I’ve found seeking external validation to be a guaranteed driver of unhappiness (the other such guaranteed driver that doesn’t fail to disappoint is comparing ourselves to others).

But, every once a while, external validation becomes necessary in our careers. In those moments, it is helpful to take a step back, ask these questions, and proceed with caution.