Black and white photo of white woman looking at several glasses of water on the counter in front of her.

Seeking Advice – The Search for Affirmation in a Sea of Opinions

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The other day, I found myself in this research tailspin about water. That’s right, water. I’m approaching 50, Team, and I was searching articles online, and consulting a personal trainer buddy about how much water to drink on a daily basis. What the hell? Did I think there was a secret society of perfectly hydrated people that I just hadn’t found yet? No, that’s actually not what was going on, but I can tell you what was going on. Two things:1. I know how much water to drink, but people, it’s a lot of friggin’ water, and I was secretly hoping to find out that I could actually drink less. And, 2. I needed validation that I’m actually doing just fine when it comes to my water consumption.

The Quest for Validation: Between Advice and Affirmation

Living in a time of having access to endless information, I sometimes convince myself that there’s both a correct way and a much easier way to do everything in life. But I recently remembered one of my favorite quotes:

“You ask for advice when you know the right answer, but wish you didn’t.” 

Was I conducting research because I wanted the right answer? Or, was I hoping to find just one person on the internet who’d say, “Actually, three glasses of water are plenty, Mags”? Friends, I was shopping for an easier, softer way—not confirmation of what I already know to be true.

The Affirmation We Crave: Beyond the Advice, Into Emotional Support

My other pattern is that I reach out to my people when what I really need isn’t their advice, but their affirmation. Sometimes I just need a friend to say, “Mags, that sounds like a perfect plan—well done, sister.” Just because I’m in my late 40’s, TeamC, doesn’t mean I don’t still love it when I get a glitter sticker on the top of my homework! 

And, now I’d like to offer that same affirmation to all of you: TeamConfessioners, you guys are doing a great friggin’ job out there. This life stuff you’re up against is tough. It takes so much energy to behave yourself. But look at you! You’re proving that life challenges can be met with both grace and finesse. And hey—way to go drinking that water, friend! Believe me, I know—it’s not easy!

Next week, I’m excited to share with you the magic question I ask myself to make sure I go to the right people when validation and support are what I crave. The last thing I need when I’m feeling vulnerable is someone telling me I have the decision-making skills of a squirrel in traffic. More on that magic question in next week’s episode. Thanks for listening!

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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