Joy Minus Validation
Wildly moving my limbs, I try to follow a dance workout routine. I allow myself to admit that I will never be someone who dances at a party nor will I receive compliments for how amazingly beautiful that routine was. I chuckle, as I type this. Do you find yourself thinking back to an activity you picked up, that you would never admit to before a group of people? I hope you find yourself laughing, too.
As a child, I was encouraged to do my best. I tried, I found activities I was good at and others, not so much. I learnt early on that I was motivated to do more of what I was good at and avoided activities where success did not seem like an obvious outcome. I suppose systems push you in that direction, every hobby was soon a potential opportunity to formally upskill or pursue a course. I do enjoy learning opportunities where I engage with mentors and learn from peers in the field. I realised however, I had completely forgotten about the activities that were in the not-so-perfect category.
Embarking on activities that I was not-so-perfect in, allowed me to laugh at myself. And oddly, I have come to cherish that ability. I drew space for myself, there was no intended pressure to monetize or upskill, I could just be and do. Dance, the hope of parenting plants, trying to knit, paint, are pursuits I derive joy from. Kind friends always reassure me that I might get better with practice. Surprisingly, I am okay with these pursuits as is. There is no metric I attach to them, I am not monitoring growth. Joy, minus the validation. Joy, detached from the constant need to be better and do more. Joy has been hard to come by, on days I have to actively work on finding joy and being okay with my not-so-perfect attempts.
I end this piece in acknowledgement that the internet now knows that I will never be one to perform on stage, but you may find me attempting to follow a dance routine. And blissfully, being my child-like self, finding joy in every step.
I hold hope that you are encouraged to find joy minus validation, too. May you find it in the quirkiest activities and may you hold space to pursue it.
Manah Wellness is an employee engagement and wellbeing brand that provides innovative tools and professional support to businesses of all sizes. Founded by wellbeing experts and seasoned entrepreneurs, the company has an experienced team of psychologists and professionals who support individuals and teams with preventive, proactive, and personalized solutions for emotional and mental health, wellness, and professional growth. Manah empowers employees to track, assess, and understand their wellbeing, and how it changes over time. It also enables leaders to make more informed decisions with aggregated and anonymous data.
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