Who have you given the authority? The authority to tell you that you are okay or even great?

Does it belong to your parents who approve of your career choice? Have you authorized your teacher to give you that extra ounce of attention that makes you feel everything is perfect?

Are you going to let your marks or certificates validate you? Or will it be your summer job?

Here’s an experiment. Why not fuck validation?

Imagine for a moment that nobody is validating what you do.

There is no one to tell you what to do or what is okay. There is no yardstick that tells you whether your actions are desirable or not. There is no audience, no one nodding or patting your back.

What would you do now?

What would you Really do? What would you do from the core of your being, from that part of yourself that comes out when you are totally free?

What would you do without any plan, without validation from your identity or past?

Being born as a human being is a license to be free. And this freedom is the freedom to go beyond limits that can’t be crossed.

It is the choice to opt out from what you don’t agree with (exams, formal education, marriage, religion). It is the freedom to dance naked (or sing ‘badly’, write poetry or act like your super-hero) in your room when no one is watching. It is trying out whatever you wanted to but were told not to*.

And along with these, it is the courage to know and deal with the consequences that will come from such actions**.

Can you bring that into your life right now? Can you act from that madness, that ‘craziness’, that originality.

Can you behave in ways that are not “normal” but are uniquely you?

So here is the invitation once again – fuck validation. Do something that has absolutely no chance of validation.

Then see what comes out.

That may be much closer to the real you.

P.S :
* – this EXCLUDES anything you do to others without their consent
** – Don’t get arrested, killed, addicted or disabled – that apart, you’re mostly okay.

As for me, like everyone else, validation mattered. But through my late 20s and early 30s, I began a journey of weaning away from this addiction.

Every once in a while,step outside your skin and do something that you would never have done. An act that may even generate disapproval. For me, it was this article. What will it be for you?

(Featured Image courtesy arjundesai.org)

Abhishek Thakore is a full-time lover of life. He is a published author, leadership educator and a movement builder. He is the founder of The Blue Ribbon Movement. He is also a Gold Medalist and an alumnus of IIM Bangalore – Class of 2005 and. He contributed one of InsideIIM’s first stories in 2011. You can read other stories by Abhishek here.

Abhishek Thakore

The writer is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore – Class of 2005 and Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics,Mumbai - Class of 2003. He is currently doing his PhD from IIT Bombay exploring the phenomenon of Work Engagement. He has worked with Deutsche Bank, Boston Consulting Group and Hay Consulting in the past. He is the founder and the chief mentor at the Blue Ribbon Movement