June 2014
Vol 7, Issue 6          
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

The Western Canada Regional
a cappella singing competition was held recently in the Vancouver area and my Quartet, Fandango, was honoured to receive the Audience Choice award for our Christmas in May performance Package (click here for a link to our mixed-up version of Frosty the Snowman)

The experience was a great reflection point for me about the sustainable nature of validation when it originates from a place of internal fulfillment. We had gone into that competition performance with a belief mindset and goal of expressing ourselves, not proving ourselves. The external validation we received landed much deeper when we came from that place, and in fact, the glow still continues.


I began to reflect on how rarely that concept usually plays out in my life. How much of my self-worth and value arises because I receive external validation and how much grows from what I already acknowledge and value intrinsically? It occurred to me that perhaps I was a validation junkie!


Can you relate? If so, read my feature article below for 4 steps to kicking the Validation Addiction.


To being 'enough',  

  Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC  

  Professional Certified Executive Coach   

   Creative Coaching Group  e:jan@creativecoachinggroup.com 

Feature Article:  Are you a Validation Junkie?  

Red Carpet Validation Do you crave notices and admiration from others? Does landing a new client or piece of work give you a feeling of worthiness? Do you check Facebook several times a day to see how many people liked or commented on the photo you just posted? If so, you might be a Validation Junkie.


We have been conditioned from the time we are born to connect external validation to self-worth. A good job gets a pat on the head.   We work hard and get the promotion. We play hard and get the Most Valuable Player. Until one day, that external validation doesn't come. And we feel lousy. Disappointed. Self-doubt creeps in.


Hopefully most of us developed a healthy sense of resilience as we matured and our entire self-worth is now not thrown away when we don't get the validation we are seeking. Don't get me wrong - I am a huge proponent of the need for and benefits of giving and receiving consistent and constant acknowledgment. The challenge comes when external validation is the go-to way for us to feel worthy (or, in the absence of that validation, we begin to question our self-worth). The difficulty in fueling our self-worth from external sources is that the incidence, frequency and duration of validation is not in our control. External validation is not sustainable.


My client John, seeking clients for his service business, was shocked to discover feelings of self-doubt creep in after a few promising clients in a row did not end up hiring him. Although John has a very successful business, he was negatively rocked when he was turned down for the business. It is natural to feel disappointment, but this was hitting John at a deeper level. We had a coaching session around that very topic. Not getting the external validation had the effect of undermining his belief and slowing down his forward progress.  


Conversely, when asked about how he feels when he does land a client John said, "It's a rush. And then I feel like chasing the next high. But I am always looking for that next hit. It never seems to last. It never seems enough". For sustainable validation we need to shift our paradigm and learn how to be fulfilled and regenerated from the inside out.


woman kicking with joy 4 Steps to Kick the Validation Addiction  


1/ Awareness

Awareness is always the first step to any shift or change. Before my client John became aware of the reasons for his discomfort, he just felt lousy and had some pretty confused talks with himself. Once aware, he could act.

Take a moment and check in with yourself. Ask yourself the following questions to see your sense of self-worth seems to connect directly with receiving external validation.    

  • Do you ever find that you work hard for something, get lots of praise, and when the praise has died down, you feel depressed?
  • When things don't go the way you want - e.g./ not landing a client, or not getting a job - besides your natural disappointment, do you also begin to doubt yourself, or ask yourself what you did wrong?
  • Have you ever done some good work that you were proud of, and then if it wasn't noticed or recognized, began to second-guess yourself as to how good it really was?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, read on.


2/ Become your own SOURCE 

We all need water to survive and thrive. Imagine if you became your own constantly replenished source of validation. Click here to download your own pdf Personal Source Worksheet and work through it with me. 


Start your fill-up with your values, those deeply help views of what you hold as worthwhile and true that drive your behavior. The word value comes from the Latin 'valere'- meaning "to be strong, be worth". It is important to identify what personal values drive and support you, and then put them to their fullest use in all parts of your activities - work, leisure, love, social life, home etc. Connecting with those values and holding them present will provide you with ongoing strength and worth.


Now add to those values the integral strengths and the signature qualities that make you, you. Create your 'I AM' list. What do you know to be true about yourself? Write down 10 of your favorite personal qualities and begin the sentence with I AM. Personal qualities (instead of a list of what you are good at). No qualifications, no justifying, simply a list of what about you, at your core that you love the most.


Look at your SOURCE list -your core values, qualities and strengths that are always there - no matter what happens externally. Regroup to your Personal Source List of core values and qualities whenever you feel off. BE YOUR SOURCE. Connect with your 'you' and how your you brings value to the world.


Why? 3/ Ground in your WHY

Many of us don't think about this often. We live our lives day by day without remembering or considering our higher purpose and why we are here on this earth with our unique DNA, personalities and sets of strengths. As a result, we are affected and thrown off course easily by external influences in our world. Much as a company or business is directionless without having a vision or answering their big why, so are you.


When you have solidly created a personal vision that connects with your values and the core of who you are, you create an unshakeable foundation upon which to build. As soon as you create your WHY and know at a deeply aligned level what you are here to be and do, you have a secure knowing place of being that will act as your North Star. Noted author Peter Senge said, "It's not what the vision is, it's what the vision does."   


Creating your life purpose is a simple 3 part process. Refer to the Personal Vision Statement exercise on your Source Worksheet.  First, pick 2 or 3 of the 'I Am' qualities you identified. Question 2 asks you to think of a couple of ways that you like using those qualities/strengths when interacting with others. Part 3 asks -  if the world was ideally operating in the way you would like it, what would it look and feel like? Then simply put those 3 answers together to form your Personal Vision Statement.    


LIVE in that. Reconnect on a daily basis with your vision that comes from your values and your qualities and strengths. When we acknowledge our sense of value in the world and contribute and connect to others, we share naturally and receive continually. Allow your personal vision of life to validate you.    


4/ EXPRESS instead of Prove

Now that you have reconnected with your values, strengths and purpose, you can stand in a place of inner fulfillment instead of being dependant on external validation. Remind yourself that the very core of you, your 'essence', is the originating point of your unique contribution. There is only one of you in this world.


Author Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection) recommends moving from "what will they think" to "I am enough" and feeling the liberating possibilities that result when one gathers strength from ones internal peace and sense of self. Feeling like 'enough' has to come from inside. Tap into that wealth of good at your core. Write "I am enough" on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet. Read it daily. Believe that 'you are enough'.


Finally, shift your mindset to the concept of standing in your unique brilliance and being here on this earth to express yourself, not prove yourself. Feel the lightness and liberation that concept brings.     

Lightbulb of the Month

blue lightbulb


"Every time I doubt or question the value of what I do, I drop down and ground myself in the why I do what I do. I write because I cannot not write, because it is the way I make sense of a fragmented world, because it thrills me and delights me."    


author the weight of dewthe book of It, and

milk tooth bane bone
Jan's Crazy Canuck 24 Hour Coaching Special coming July 1
flag2.jpg That's a teaser - and to put you on alert to watch your inbox on Canada Day (July 1st) for my  super dooper and highly patriotic 24 hour Coaching offer.  Purchase on Canada Day and you can redeem anytime in the next year. (PS/ you don't have to be a Canadian to get the special offer! In fact,  use your US dollars to get even more bang for your buck! )
About Jan Carley  

Jan Carley square Jan Carley is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. Known as a high-performance catalyst, Jan specializes in coaching high-achieving individuals and teams to focus and clarify their vision and leverage their signature strengths to maximize their performance potential. She is Associate Faculty of the renowned Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Program and a certified facilitator of the Strength Deployment Inventory TM. 

3rd edition of Jan's book  

Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out, has been acclaimed worldwide and this 3rd edition includes a bonus 50-page Action Guide download. Purchase the book online at www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com


Jan lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is available for individual & team coaching, workshops and speaking engagements worldwide.  PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763 

                           email: jan@creativecoachinggroup.com


Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
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