When you are constantly seeking external validation, it’s a side effect of the thought process to scan the environment for contextual cues for what might be impacting you.
Always looking outside of yourself for the source of the problem.
This is is also a side effect of having an external locus of control which means you believe the things in the outside world control your inside world.
The problem with this thinking is it is prone to take the control over your life, out of your hands.
There are things in this world we can not control so why would we let those factors dictate the way we feel about ourselves and the actions we take?
Taking accountability and looking at life as a series of choices that you can control is what builds self esteem and personal growth.
You may not be able to control all events, but how you react is all up to you.
It sounds like: I put ownership over my life because I always have a choice in how I react to situations
It also sounds like: I take accountability for every reaction I have to anything beyond my control and that is what gives me control over uncontrollable situations.
Here is the secret and the challenge of taking your control back:
1. You have look at everything external as something designed to grow you, not something out of your control. Every time something doesn’t go as planned, you stop, and you figure out why and what about your programming contributed to your feelings about the situation as well as the outcome.
2. You have to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is what growth is. That is the challenge. The ego death of you having to be willing to go back to childhood and identify the areas you needed something different, and address it in adulthood. It’s not easy and It is worth it.
3. You will notice lots of dual truths in taking ownership over your happiness.
Control has a lot to do with attachment and the lack or abundance of attention and emotional regulation we received from our parents.
If you are someone who struggles with control and struggle with the balance of interacting with the world and protecting yourself, it’s good to know why you attach to the world around you the way that you do.
What is your Attachment Style?
Most of us have one. The reason for this is we no longer get raised in the hunter gatherer settings that civilizations began in.
We no longer have tribes of 50-100 adults showing a child the full spectrum of healthy community and familial attachment and the healthy way to attach to other people.
In America we live separate from each other in our small family units with overworked and overstressed adults raising children because that in our American culture.
Attachment styles are something we get to know about ourselves as adults in our culture, through the intimate relationships we have through our lives.
Our attachment to our partners and friends indicate how a person received love, attention, and emotional regulation lessons from their parents or primary caregiver.
When one or many of our emotional and physical needs were not met adequately for what we required as children, we learn to consider love to be the equivalent of the lack of attention our parent gave us. (This is just one example)
What this means is we will seek out to get the kind of attention or love that the parent we needed it from most, did not give to us.
Here is a full example: If you were a female who had a father who was not around you as a child to show you attention and how to handle your emotions, as an adult you may crave male attention for validity and to feel lovable and cling to the exact kind of men who will leave you or not be around like your father wasn’t- repeating the cycle of abandonment feelings that you now equate to love.
It can also mean that when you are shown true unconditional love, it is so foreign to you, that you avoid the person out of the ultimate fear that eventually they will take this love, that you rarely feel, away.
In this same example you can become an adult who anxiously attaches herself to a man needing constant reassurance from him. Or you may display an avoidant attachment style which is one who draws them near, only to eventually push away, hide, or run, citing their flaws, putting the ending of in the situation on them rather than acknowledging you are picking the wrong kind of man based on unacknowledged childhood attachment issues.
In this example the female needs to heal from her fathers lack of attention and learn for the first time, at whatever age she is, what healthy attachment looks like by communicating through her trauma with herself first and understand she is equating love with the lack of love she got from her father and that also she has value insecurities from his actions.
It takes work to have a secure attachment style in our adult relationships if we didn’t have the experiences to develop one through childhood.
Your parents are human and also products of their upbringing and decisions so they are likely passing on all they know.
Some of our parents did the best they could to perceive and meet our needs and some of our parents didn’t. Blaming them will not help you heal near as much as accepting that they are human.
It is on you as an adult to take control of your life and adult relationships.
If you are finding yourself in adult relationships that do not last, you must look at the part you are playing, accept responsibility in a radical way, and start learning why you are reacting to the intimacy of closeness the way that you are.
You are not attracting bad partners, you do not have bad friends, you have the exact kind of people in your life that your current emotional intelligence awareness level allows in.
If they are superficial, it’s likely because going below the surface makes you uncomfortable.
If you over depend on people it means there is something in you that thinks you can’t handle your life.
We all have these idiosyncrasies that we have culminated as we have gone through life and they either support our growth or they don’t.
The relationships we all want cannot happen until we process all of our programming up and through this current point in life.
It’s a radical and sometimes painful thing to take total responsibility for your future choices in how you express and accept love.
It’s also the way to high self esteem and having other people focused on growth around who can provide true love and acceptance in your life, for the rest of your life.