I crave a lot of reassurance, validation and approval. I have always worried and overanalysed what other people say or do, because deep down I want their judgement to define who I am for me. Often this desire comes from uncertainty within myself, and the hope that outer validation will make me feel secure. It doesn’t (for long, anyway!)
Equally, I like to be productive in daily life and have goals to work towards. Of course, succeeding at something brings congratulations and praise from those around me, and that temporarily will make me feel good. Eg. Getting an A on an exam in school would have been evidence I was intelligent, coupled with the reassurance by all the positive comments from family and friends. This was meaningless once another exam came up, though, and the feeling good about it was temporary.
Just like my cycle with my ED, I wanted something that was temporary to define and validate me as a person. Same result: never feeling secure. This is an issue for me in my eating disorder in terms of seeking reassurance about my body, as well as validation my illness truly exists.
I’m starting driving soon and I’m tempted not to tell too many people (partly so I don’t let anyone down if I fail) but also because I want it to be an achievement for myself. I don’t want to rely on other people telling me what a great idea it is to learn/ I’m sure you’ll pass etc etc. I want to develop my confidence at it on my own, and just for once not need the approval and praise of other people all the time.