“Why don’t you get yourself into a high-ranking school if I have to spend so much on your education here?”. I was discussing with M’yth on why she had joined medicine. M’yth is on a twinning programme where she can get to a high-ranking school if her grades are good here. M’yth continued, “Grades and ranks were important for my mom and less so for me. But now….” M’yth joined medicine to help people and now her grades are not keeping up with her dreams. M’yth is stressed.

“Being raised in a ‘safe’ household, I was not judged based on my efforts and its outcomes. I was valued for me being me. I had my awakening when I was not considered suitable to be promoted from my current position. I felt devastated. I could not accept their evaluation not agreeing to mine.” This was shared to me by one of my close friends, Trisha, successful according to me.

“I am slower than my peers. I had to repeat the treatment to my patient. I put in a lot of effort and don’t spend time on myself. Still, I am below on par to my batch average” shared to me by a senior student.

I found a common thread that we seek active validation on all the self-assessment we make on ourselves. Getting feedback, approvals, acknowledgements, agreements, expected grades or ranks are one or more aspect of us seeking and obtaining validation. I realise that I expect validation at all aspects and roles in my life; my son telling me I am a good dad, students telling me an effective teacher, company validating that I am valuable for them, society as a good citizen. In many instances, it is not objectively expressed but subtly stated. Not cited for violations means that I am a good road user, not penalised is what a good student is.

Some organizations and persons have noticed this need and provided proactive validation. We can see in professional network on how employee contribution is acknowledged and appreciated openly, to the extent of being considered as an ad.

Validation is important for me to the extent of stressing me. How important is validation to you? How do you validate others you care? 

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