The validation we seek
Our desire to be seen, getting unstuck, designing more equitably, and pumpkin spice
One thing things that I’ve become much more conscious lately of is this concept of validation – the affirmation of what we are doing and from whom we are getting it from.
From the time we are born, validation is how we’ve survived. In infancy, our caregivers feed and nourish us based on our behaviors. In educational institutions, our teachers validate our worth through grades that determine the course of our academic future. In society, strangers validate every aspect of our body and brain, in both online and offline spaces.
During my time in the corporate world, an assessment of my performance every six to twelve months would determine whether I was still employed, terminated, or showered with praises and wealth.
Between friends and lovers, validation takes place more often than we’d like to admit, hyper-accelerated through social media and its amplifying effects.
When unchecked, the desire to be validated runs our lives. (Undoubtedly so. The euphoria of being accepted by those we seek is intoxicating.) In reality, the chase for approval from specific people, communities, and institutions will never have an end in sight.
The key to breaking out of this unhealthy cycle is to re-center ourselves and begin to seek validation of the only person who truly mattered – ourselves.
Breaking away from the habit of performing in the workplace, slaving away for long hours for the approval of an imperfect system and manager, so that we can focus on ourselves and our individual progress.
Letting go of how others think about us so that we can be more conscious of how we think about ourselves. (If we can’t validate our worth, feelings, and existence, who will?)
Releasing our participation in perpetuating the cycle of judgment, pain, and ego that goes into unrealistic expectations we hold upon one another.
In giving ourselves the validation we seek, a bounty of compassion, kindness, and generosity may begin to overflow. And perhaps a new narrative and journey to be had that’s finally our own. (To live life truly for ourselves vs. in the shadow of others)
What I’m up to
For queer BIPOC designers: Tuesday, October 12 - Inclusive principles for design teams with Raquel Breternitz
For queer Asians: Sunday, October 17 - Yellow Glitter Sparkes, Gaysian support group
Models for getting unstuck
If you find yourself stuck with problems or making decisions, Untools.co provides interesting frameworks and visuals to help shift your thinking.
Highly recommend reading Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need by Sasha Costanza-Chock. We’re reading it as part of our QTBIPOC Design Book Club, which presents ideas and principles to design more equitably with our communities. As more of our world shifts to the digital world, creatives must be more conscious of what they create - otherwise, we will continue to perpetuate the pains that we feel from our addictive social media platforms.
The Hustle has some hilarious insights delivered into your inbox weekly, like this chart on buying habits of pumpkin spice products (which has taken over Trader Joe’s… and I am here for it)
As always, thanks for reading!
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Have a beautiful day!