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For a while now, especially with the rise of social media, it seems that more and more people are driven towards outside approval and validation. And while this habit may seem innocent enough, it’s bad for your mental health.

Once upon a time, I would seek approval and validation for every decision I made. I felt desperate and insecure, and above all, completely unsure of myself. I wanted so badly to make others happy, that my happiness went to the backburner. In turn, I became a total mess.

Now, I truly focus more on finding security and validation from within, and for the following reasons, I highly suggest others try to do the same.

1. Other people are not responsible for your happiness.

When you get outside approval and validation, it will make you feel good, for a moment. However, because the source of your happiness is coming from someone other than yourself, you will need an endless supply to stay happy. And unfortunately, that is impossible. You are the only one who can supply yourself with true validation, and in turn, true happiness.

2. You will freedom in letting go of needing outside validation.

When we seek outside validation, it makes us slaves to the opinions of others. In turn, we become a people-pleasing mess of a version of ourselves. But, when you let go of the need to be validated by others, you become free to be whoever you want to be.

3. Seeking outside validation wastes your time and energy.

Because no one’s opinion of you matters more than your own, seeking outside validation is a waste of time. You could go to great lengths trying to find approval from others. However, in the end, your opinion is the one that should matter. By letting go of the need for outside validation, you will save much of your energy.

4. Everyone views you differently.

No two people are the same. You could talk to 15 different people about an important decision you need to make and be met with 15 different answers. You might post a beautiful selfie, seeking to be validated in your belief that you look great, only to be met with 6 people who agree, and three that say you don’t look like yourself, or that say mean or cruel things. If you depend on others’ opinions to determine how you feel about yourself, you are going to have a scattered view of yourself.

5. You determine your worth.

In the end, your sense of worth comes from within. And for good reason, because when we are doing something that doesn’t align with our soul, it will tell us. Other people may not tell you the truth, but that little voice within won’t lie if you listen.

6. You cannot please everyone.

No matter what you do, you cannot please everyone. And some people will never have something nice to say about you or your actions, no matter how much you try to please everyone. So don’t waste your time.

7. Seeking outside validation will leave you feeling empty.

Because you cannot make everyone happy, and because happiness should come from within when your source of happiness comes from validation, you are going to be left feeling empty.

8. You will get to know yourself better.

When you finally decide to stop trying to get outside validation, you will begin a journey of a deeper understanding of yourself. You will truly begin to understand what YOU want, and what YOU need.

9. You drain yourself when you seek outside validation.

You are draining your mind, body, and spirit by seeking the validation of others. You give away your inner peace and you sabotage your positive energy. Some people will speak bad energy towards you, simply because you give them the opportunity.

10. Your anxiety will decrease.

When you lose your desire to care about what others think of you, you will find peace of mind unlike anything else. In turn, your anxiety will slowly release and you will find true freedom.

11. You will develop true confidence.

Perhaps the greatest part of the journey of losing your dependence on validation, is that you will develop confidence from within. Rather than asking or begging for others to affirm that you are beautiful, kind, authentic, or good, you will learn to know that without a shadow of a doubt. In turn, you will become a better person.