Beware the Validation Trap

Beware the Validation trap.

True Story: I was recently in SEPHORA lamenting that two of my favorite lipsticks had been discontinued without warning.

The sales associate was offhand and a tad blunt: Yeah, they probably didn’t sell well.

This is what I heard: Lipstick loser.

This is what I wanted to hear: Oh, I know that stinks! A favorite lipstick is so important to your whole day…and then I wanted the sales associate to miraculously solve my problem.

I wanted to be acknowledged and validated as the customer in the equation.

It’s how we build empathy (note to managers).

The sales associate didn’t understand me or my problem so she was unable to be empathetic and lost a sale.

Validation is a human need. Don’t let the voice in your head shame you for craving recognition. Trust me, I’ve been there. Acknowledge and validate yourself from time to time.

But beware – and self-aware – of when the external validation you seek gets in the way of what you really want.

For instance…

…staying too long in a job that makes you unhappy chasing a bigger better title (validation) when that same energy would be better spent finding the job that feeds your soul.

…focusing on the single-minded quest to sign with a talent agent (validation) instead of honing your craft, developing relationships and building your career so that they agent will come find you.

It’s easy to caught up in the validation trap: having an agent proves I’m worthy to be here but it’s a false narrative.

You win from within.

BTW: My discontinued lipsticks are Dior Rose Caprice and NARS Cosmetics Sexual Healing if I can nudge these companies to revive these shades and/or if you have any suggestions of similar colors.