Since you and I were children, we’ve searched for two things: value and acceptance. Whether you are male or female, our view of ourselves is determined by value and acceptance. To sum it up in a single word, we are on a quest for validation.

When something is valid, it’s accepted because it’s value is believed. For example, “Is that a valid driver’s license?” Or when you validate a parking ticket, the owner of the parking lot waives the parking fee because your parking ticket represents the value of the cost to park. It’s acceptable.

The Original Source of Validation

The ultimate source of acceptance and value was to come from your parents. Both mother and father represent the starting point that determines whether your life is considered valid. Are you worthy to be loved? Are they glad you’re here? Do they believe you’re worthy of a bright future?

If you don’t receive such validation from your parents, then you’re sure to seek it out on your own; but because you’re ignorant—as a child—of how to properly do that, you end up doing it destructively.

Don’t Lie to Yourself

But what if you didn’t receive that validation? What if your sense of acceptance and value were distorted by a guilt-imposing mother or a father who was never there, or didn’t give a damn about you? Since your need for validation never goes away, how do you go about gaining it?

It’s not enough to say, “I don’t care if I’m accepted,” because you actually do. It’s inescapable. It’s also not enough to say, “I’m valuable,” when there’s no evidence of such. To blow sunshine up your own ass by saying, “I’m worth it,” and yet your mind and life are in shambles, is nothing more than self-help bullshit.

You’re in that lousy marriage because you wanted validation. You chose a career you didn’t want because you were looking for value. You’re acting the way you are because you’re seeking some kind of social acceptance from those around you. Stop lying to yourself and own up to the fact that you want your value to be believed.

Material Success Won’t Validate You

The drive for success and achievement is one way people seek validation, but it’s a distorted and unhealthy way to do it. Accumulating riches and goals will never satisfy your soul, because the problem is not validation based upon achievement. The only true and lasting validation is when your value is determined by what you give.

This is why I define success as “maximizing your resources for a purpose greater than yourself.” Your resources are your gifts, talents, abilities, passions, and personal property. Everything that you are and possess are the resources you must use to serve a purpose greater than yourself.

You only acquire value and acceptance when you use your resources to truly serve others or make a difference in the world. My own personal striving for achievement is wholly based upon the fact that I’m selflessly serving others and contending with the evil that I find around me. To be both a shepherd and a warrior represent the two-edged sword that I’m using to disembowel my short time in world history. This is what brings satisfaction to my soul.

Stop Whining and Get Your Ass Up

If your childhood sucked, then don’t seek validation from a boyfriend or husband. Don’t exhaust yourself for an expensive house and car. Don’t turn yourself inside out so a group will think you’re cool. Maximize who you are for a purpose greater than yourself. Anything less is not believable, and you cannot have true validation without a value that is believable.

To hell with your crazy parents. If they messed up, then so be it. You can’t change the past, but can certainly alter your future. However, you won’t get there until you stop the pity party and turn your whining into work.


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C. J. Ortiz
C. J. Ortiz

My mission is to help equip people to maximize their resources for a purpose greater than themselves. That's what my own mentors and teachers have done for me, and I'm paying it forward. Life can be merciless, and the world can be a messed up place, so what's needed is a stronger people that can both endure and overcome in life. My motto is, "In whatever you do, don't suck! Metal up!"

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    18 replies to "In Search of Validation: Your Quest for Value and Acceptance"

    • Metalmichael El Sol

      Thank you C.J.! You sir are valid in my book. It’s been 3 months since I decided to put an end to my destructive marriage, I thought I was going through a tough divorce when it was brought to my attention that I was making it tough because I could not accept certain details. When I decided to accept things the way they are and not what I wanted them to be, everything changed. I was lighter, my heart stopped hurting, my mind started working and my soul opened up to be available to all the wonderful people and opportunities that arose from this decision! Holy shit, C.J. I am me again! I have something to offer again and don’t need to keep the old fight alive to have something to stand for. Your wisdom along with some amazing new people in my life have helped me to see clearer than I ever have. All I ever wanted was to be Valid, and I sure forgot what that felt like. Letting go of a 9 year stand off was tough, but hanging on to it was a killer! A change of perception has helped me to be better to myself which directly benefits everyone around me! I am grateful for once to have the truth shoved in my face so hard that I had no where to run and no where to hide. I wanted to heal and was ready to face up to it all!Thank you, bro for doin’ what you do!

    • Matt R

      I must say I’m an enormous fan of the phrase “blowing sunshine up your ass”. It sums up self help bullshit quite elegantly. I think the self help industry would really benefit from more minds like yourself. There are practical, and experimentally proven methods for maximizing personal development, and I think you know what they are.

    • That’s so awesome, man. Thank you. I’m happy as hell about your new season.

    • Thanks, Matt!

    • Kwote

      On point. I especially liked the phrase, “stop whining”. So many are so quick to complain, but few are willing to actually do something about it. I think part of the problem with self help is the term itself. It makes it too inwardly focused when the reality is the best self help always leads to enriching other’s lives. That’s why you have to be extremely weary with the advice you feed your brain. Great article as always CJ! Keep up the excllent work! Or rather, Metal Up!!

    • I agree. I don’t like the term “self-help.” I prefer “personal development.” Thanks for writing.

    • S.

      Thank you so much for this article, C.J. It really hit close to home, as it relates to everything I’ve been going through lately (I realize that I continue my father’s pattern of emotional abuse against myself, had to ditch a group of frenemies, and got dumped for being too needy). This is just what I needed to hear to get my ass back in gear.

    • Death is my Calling

      I think those 3 articles say it all about metal motivation C.J.
      In my opinion they are the very important ones.
      You have control over the mind and accepting yourself as you are and work your butt off to give and invest something to the world back. Yet i don’t know i think something is missing.
      Would a man really be confident and satisfied with ones life by giving something back to the world? I mean without fame or nothing, maybe it’s by working in your own work and passion and teaching it that will give you the satisfaction.
      I guess i have to see this through by myself. I have nothing to lose anyways! 😉
      In whatever you do, don’t suck
      m/ metal up m/!

    • Glad to hear it, my friend.

    • Glad to hear it, my friend.

    • Glad to hear it, my friend.

    • Yes, a man will experience validation when he can see the value of what he does making an impact on others.

    • Yes, a man will experience validation when he can see the value of what he does making an impact on others.

    • Yes, a man will experience validation when he can see the value of what he does making an impact on others.

    • Renee

      Would I be correct in saying. If you don’t validate/approve/accept yourself and stop relying on outside stuff. You’ll basically end very unfulfilled and certain areas will be ok but not all, in my case they tend to affect each other. I was following the self help stuff from the secret. and some of the authors in the secret. I ended up good career wise but HAD a shitty relationship/s(i had no validation), then my career went down hill, I got REALLY depressed, 2 yrs later im still trying to get my shit together. All because of my lack of validation. This article hit the nail on the head. I must get some of those audios you sell. Thanks CJ. Your articles are great and straight to the point.

    • Lela Strika

      Actually there is always some stuff to lose. That’s the nature of this world. You can lose your leg jumping to save me near the cliff..or lose your face by doing dishonest . Its not always money and posesions. 🙂 hope you font mind but if you do..oh well lol

    • Lela Strika

      I had few deeply satisfying experiences when contributing to others. But i somehow stop doing them and get lost in personal winning as you call it. My bf tried to kick me into action as even work is hard to find and don’t know what to do now. Very dishartening ..any suggestion. Hugs XX

    • Lela Strika

      Fantastic news .Love to hear your success. :-)Best of all

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