Somanaut's Blog

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Self Validation

Seth Godin recently bogged about how validation is over rated. He is referring to validation from others. I agree. We get pulled away from our own experience. We invest in the words and actions of others. We divest from our own actions.

Self validation is the important one. Others will have opinions. Since there are a lot of others out there, there will be a lot of opinions. My opinion about me is primary for me. Your opinion about you is primary to you. My opinion about you is secondary to you. Outside opinions can be very useful, but only as a reflection or contrast to your own opinion.

Children need external validation. It is part of a teaching process. Good teachers (we are all responsible for teaching the children!) work to make themselves obsolete.

My choice for teaching is through bodily experience- somatics. The truth of internal reality can be felt via the body. This is a path that disallows intellectually or socially imposed constructs. They are replaced by direct sensation. There is then a shift from the child model of other directed reality, to an adult model of personal validity.

We can accept social pressure to depend on approval. Disapproval can bring great fear- fear of being cast out from the tribe and left alone to die. But our social reality is that we are millions of tribes intermingling. We no longer need the validation of those geographically close to us to survive.

Modern communication also presents us with opinions from a multitude of distant sources. TV and news media re-enforce the alleged value of external authority. This has changed drastically in just a few decades. It is relatively new to be bathed in this ocean of opinions, so a new urgency has arisen for filtering out toxic input.

There are many strategies for reducing input. One of the most effective is to direct perception toward internal phenomena. Choosing to pay attention to the self attenuates the reception and impact of the external. Self exploration is more engaging and more profitable than reacting to the information storm of contemporary culture.

In a society where youth is exalted without regard for inherent foolishness, the voice of authority is childish and naive. Going against the current is wise and necessary. Attend to your physical reality and your personal sensations. They are your truth. Validate your self. It’s the adult thing to do.

September 1, 2010 - Posted by | somatics, Uncategorized


  1. Great blog post, Dan. I, too, read Seth Godin’s post about validation. I don’t know why we continue to acceot others opinions as the truth. Your direction is the way to go….self exploration rather than reacting to others.
    I like having your blog posts delivered to me by e-mail. Saves me a lot of time browsing through Facebook where I visit occasionally.

    Comment by Wanda Hatton | September 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. Dan,

    Here, here – this is a great post with a lot of truth. I can attest to the power of finding that inner voice and tuning into the wisdom of the body.

    Thank you for sharing,

    Comment by Sandi Longhurst | September 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. Yes yes yes to all of this Dan. Nice to be in the presence of a colleague who is both body based and thinking/naming the rich landscape of inside-out living. I have found that supporting clients in the process of awakening internal validaiton to be one of the most powerful “whole-making” offerings I can give. Yummie. Thank you!

    Comment by Dr. Shannon Simonelli | September 2, 2010 | Reply

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