I am specifically talking about high-achievers in a school/work setting where external approval is abundant (if you’re good enough). But this may apply in other fields too…
This question comes from both a reflection on my own past feelings of self-worth/self-love and observations of high-achievers that I have crossed paths with in my life.
The concept of a ‘chip on your shoulder’ somewhat supports this idea. (i.e., you are a ‘disrespected’ person trying to prove to the world that you are actually worth something.)
What are your thoughts on this?
I have noticed that people who achieve many things tend to be goal orientated and somewhat competitive which is actually quite a good quality as I have come to realise in adult life. Sometimes this competitiveness can be the result of having a chip on the shoulder about something that happened in the past but it is really what it can help them do that matters. A chip on your shoulder usually means that you think the world is owe you something. but being competitive as you say does propel you to achieve either personal or financial success. A lot of things that are done for the wrong reasons are still worth doing.
Validation I have realised in recent times can begin as external but give you the means to internal things. for instance this competitiveness can make someone rich and successful financially which might be an external validation but that can then enhance their capabilities when it comes to internal validation eg: if they find there is a joy in generosity with their loved ones, or a joy in giving some to charity.
Alot of the time external validation can be a way to enhance your capabilities – bearing in mind that the exernal affects the internal and the internal affects the external taking care of yourself through external means can be important.
For instance it is alot easier to find happiness in a warm home with a strong body and eating well than it is if you are sick on the streets with no idea where your next meal is coming from. What I mean is that if someone has low self worth and have had their emotions abused then it can be hard for them to achieve that internally without the external part being present. Also there is definitely a joy to be had in winning by comparison to losing, and you do not get a choice in whether or not you compete alot of the time in life.