Personal Development


CHAPTER XLIII – The Need for External Validation

I am Jude. Most of my blog posts describe the positive changes that I have been making on my unique life journey. They capture my efforts to Break Free and Be Better. 

In many ways they are a highlight reel of my successes and personal breakthroughs but it’s relatively easy to share what’s going well in my life. 

However, my truth is that despite my ongoing incremental progress, I continue to struggle just like everyone else. 

I fail regularly as I try to make sense of myself and my evolving relationship with the universe. I continue to lose direction, make poor decisions and allow unproductive thoughts to restrict my growth.

Believe me, I have lots of work to do. 

For instance, one of the issues that I am attempting to reconcile is my need for external validation.

Without getting too deep into my psychological mess, I have had a persistent need to prove myself. 

I have never felt that I was enough and in comparing my successes and failures to others I often found that I was lacking.

I was raised in a single parent household, so although I didn’t go without, we never had a lot. My mother was constantly in survival mode which meant that most months she was ‘borrowing from Peter to pay Paul’.

She shielded me from the worst of her financial struggles and consistently provided for all of my wants and needs, but in my young mind, I was convinced that: (1)other families always had ‘more’ than we did and (2)that my mother and father’s estranged relationship marked me as different.

As a result, I created self-limiting stories about who I was and who I could be. I appraised my life through a distorted lens of never having and being enough.

I’m no psychotherapist, but I believe that this has contributed to my preoccupation with the need for constant affirmation. 

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

Looking back, I realize that my parents provided everything they could and more importantly, I received everything I needed. Unfortunately, the younger Jude didn’t believe that to be the case. 

I sought external approval and measured the quality of my life from someone else’s perspective which often resulted in frustration and disappointment.

But the veil is being lifted. 

I recognize that I have allowed my behaviours to be directed by the anticipated perceptions of other people. 

In response, I have begun unravelling the deep-rooted emotions associated with external validation and challenging my need to please others.

I am becoming more aware of my ego’s constant need for validation and its unique ability to infect every thought with meaningless doubts from the past and unfounded worries about the future. 

I am doing the work and it is already resulting in some small shifts in thinking. 

I have begun seeking my own approval and trusting how I determine success and failure. I am now constantly reminding myself that I am worthy, that I am more than enough and that I don’t need to rely on external validation. 

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

I received this testimonial from someone I have had the pleasure of working with over the past three months.

I love partnering with people to help them find ways to obtain greater clarity, motivation and discipline in their lives.

“Coaching with Jude is precious. He cocoons you in a safe space with his care, his voice, his compassion, his curiosity about you, his belief in you and his genuine commitment to make your life better.

I feel so heard, so understood, and so supported when I am coached by him. I might be embarrassed at times about the thoughts in my head, or the things I have done, but he has no judgement, just acceptance and that allows me to move on. 

It helps me let go of the stuff in my head that makes life hard and replace it with things that feel better. 

I highly recommended coaching with Jude – he can help you create the life you want, bit by bit. Go on, contact him, it’s worth it.”

Wendy Smith

If you are interested in finding out more about life coaching or exploring what working with me would look like, please contact me directly to schedule a discovery call. No expectation or obligation. 

You Next Best Read – The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest

“To have a mountain in front of you does not mean you are fundamentally broken in some way. Everything in nature is imperfect, and it is because of that imperfection that growth is possible. If everything existed in uniformity, the gravity that created the stars and planets and everything that we know would not exist. Without breaks, faults, and gaps, nothing could grow and nothing would become. “

‘The Mountain is You’. I love the metaphor and the images that the title evokes.

This book encourages readers to access their potential by overcoming emotional trauma and life’s challenges by accepting change, envisioning a better future, and confronting self-sabotage.

It encourages us to take bold action and displace the self-destructive thinking habits which limit our growth and personal development.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book as Your Next Best Read but I still found significant value in reading it. 

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

The 2022 National Black Canadian Summit

“To ensure that the stories of Black Canadians are told, we must be the ones to hold the pen — starting with the history of Black Nova Scotians, a largely untold story that highlights how our community’s many contributions and innovations have gone unrecognized. Through our stories, we will ensure that future generations of Black Canadians know and take pride in their history and their identity. Black history is Canadian history.”

The National Black Canadian Summit took place at the Halifax Convention Center this past weekend. It was a kaleidoscope of Blackness.

To give you a sense of the size of the event, all 1200 tickets were sold. 

The interactive three-day conference, brought together a diverse collection of delegates from across the country, representing business, the arts, social justice and all levels of government. 

However, much more importantly, Afrikan people were able to show up as their true authentic selves and be seen and heard with no pretense.

Whether it was through the expression of spoken word, the lively discussion in the seminars or in simply connecting with others, you were uniquely affirmed. 

It reminded me of how incredibly powerful it is to be in the same space as other impassioned, community-minded Black people. Especially this collection of activists, community leaders, academics and stakeholders from across the country.

It was an inspirational example of Black excellence and I left the event invigorated and even more committed to my community. 

Public Announcement

Happy Emancipation Day!

On March 24, 2021, the House of Commons voted unanimously to officially designate August 1 as Emancipation Day. It marks the actual day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect across the British Empire.

Emancipation Day in Nova Scotia and all of Canada, acknowledges the abolishment of slavery but it also encourages us to educate ourselves on OUR history and reflect on the need to eliminate systemic anti-black racism. 

However, for me, it doesn’t just commemorate the past, it is an acknowledgement of our collective trauma and the need to continue actively addressing anti–black racism. There is still a lot of work to be done to dismantle the deeply-rooted systems of oppression.

Emancipation Day Events – August 1st – 7th 

emancipationdayns.caEmancipation Day – Nova Scotia – August 1

What does Emancipation Day mean to you?

For me, it’s simple. Emancipation Day is a celebration of Black resistance and overcoming. It acknowledges the fight for freedom and the ongoing efforts to liberate Afrikan peoples everywhere. 

The struggle continues. I am Jude. 

Photo by Florian Berger on Unsplash


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