Give The Dog a Bone
When training a dog you are supposed to give them a treat if they do something good. Human brains work the same way. What this means is that every moment of validation or acceptance feels like we did something good. Sometimes, when we don't get validation or acceptance we believe we did something bad. We judge ourselves or beat ourselves up or act out by getting ridiculously drunk and vomiting all over the sidewalk. I'm not judging, slightly because I've been there, but also, because this is simply how we were trained to deal with the ups and downs of life.
I haven't done a lot of study on dog training because, simply put, I haven't really been a dog owner since I was three or four years old and recently had zero reason to pick up a book or watch a "whisperer" in action. But I believe I've been told that it is never too late to train an old dog new tricks. So, let's treat you a new trick.
Starting today, the validation you used to seek is no longer relevant. When you do something look inside yourself and figure out within you if that was your best. If you can honestly say you gave it a champion try then pat yourself on the back. Later when you have a mirror in front of your face tell yourself that you are a champion. And if that doesn't work - because the mind is incredibly stubborn - do this trick that someone taught me. Pretend I'm on your shoulder like your little angel/devil combo. Or make a pin with my face on it and wear it on your lapel. Every time you need someone to tell you how good you're doing consult with me and I'll be there. You are a champion because I truly believe that you are.