I recently read an alarming statistic. It would seem that the average American receives about 40 negative messages about themselves each day. That is about 233,000 negative messages a persons receives by the time they are 16 years old!
The study also noted that on the positive side, we receive about 3 positive messages about ourselves each day. That is about 17,000+ positives messages we receive in those same 16 years of life.
I also learned that it takes about 40 positive messages to counteract 1 negative message…that being said, it becomes easy to see that we all operate in a huge self-esteem deficit that affects every area of our lives. The early years of a child's life are the most critical years where safety, security and a positive view of themselves needs to be instilled in order to be healthy. But in those formative years, the primary message that gets in is not a message the inspires or validates, but rather one that reminds us through media, culture, friends and family that we are too short, too tall, too skinny, too fat, not pretty enough, or not deserving enough…the list goes on and on.
Perhaps we should call this V.D.D (Validation Deficit Disorder). But more importantly, for me, it reminds me how absolutely essential it is that we become people who validate, encourage, inspire and love others. Not only do we need it, but every one around us is living in a world where the negative messages about themselves far outweighs the positive ones…they need it too.
Is it any wonder why so many people struggle today, or why so many people are on anti-depressant medication? When the primary message we are all receiving about ourselves is that we aren't good enough or don't quite measure up, how could we expect a different result. If we have nothing but negative self images bombarding us daily without the countering positive messages, we will become what the predominant message of the day is…and today that is negative. In other words, as a society…we don't validate.
A friend of mine sent me the link to this incredible arts film on validation. It is well written and well filmed…take some time, grab a cup of coffee or tea and be inspired to make sure the positive words that are coming from your soul far outweigh the negative ones, believe me, they will then impact the planet!