“Validation, especially for men, comes from within. If you’re seeking validation as a man you aren’t going to get very far.” – Men Of Grit
Any man looking for validity in the eyes of others has to step back and understand one thing.
You are not defined by how others see you.
But too many men are extremely outcome dependent, especially when it comes to how others see them.
They will shift and change themselves to fit what people want of them, then become people pleasers as a result of the shift, then get resentful when their true passions, opinions, and beliefs come to life, then wonder why people hate them when they go against what they were selling as themselves.
I should know, in September of 2018, as the Red Pill Dad, I was looking for validation in spades. Toeing the red pill line in hopes of cultivating a following, even putting out crazy opinions that I didn’t hold myself but I thought would gain traction (many did) to grow my follower base. I would say anything and everything to get follows, even pretending to be someone I wasn’t to the point that when I was out hitting on women, I was using this persona.
Why? I wanted validation. I wanted follows. I pushed who I wasn’t to get what I thought I wanted.
And it resulted in a mess.
The Lessons I Learned About The Validation I Was Seeking
I started the Red Pill Dad because I wanted to help men in my situation become good with women. Men (like myself) who had a lifelong social disability with women were going to get help from me. I was going to do approaches, take notes, and (while reading other dudes presumably doing the same thing) be hitting up 8’s in no time.
But in reality, I hated who I was, wanted to be more, but didn’t want to put in the work or experience the consequences of failures I was sure to have.
And as soon as I started, I understood one thing that seemed to permeate the pick up and red pill community. There were many like me, but more were fabricating their experiences in order to get follows.
I didn’t realize how many or how deep the bullshit was until I saw and followed other men who were doing the same things I was, except they were getting 8’s, 9’s and 10’s without posting pictures of themselves, merely telling stories about the luck they had last night.
As shitty as I felt about myself, I didn’t feel right about telling fables about who I was and what I was doing.
I decided, after just a few months, that I was going to document my attempts at pick up in real time, with real results, because everyone else was doing the opposite.
I didn’t feel right saying stuff that wasn’t true, because many other men in my position were writing more than I was, and were writing puff pieces of picking up an 8 at the coffee shop while another girl waited on them.
I wasn’t doing that, in fact, I was mired in the opposite. I was approaching, but was getting nothing but psychotics, unattractive, depressed overweight girls with daddy issues, women leveraging their boyfriends or husbands for some attention, or fat dominatrices with an axe to grind against men.
I had an accountability problem with myself.
It was this split from the path that taught me much about my search for validation.
When I got the feeling in the pit of my stomach that making shit up wasn’t going to help me become the man I wanted to be, I hit the crossroads of seeking validation at any cost or actually justifying the work I was doing to be better with actual receipts. It came to a head in 2019 when I met a “real girl” and tried to flex my fake life and fell flat on my face in Los Angeles.
It was then that I realized the real world consequences of making it all up.
I was so intent on being this fake dude that got tons of likes, I forgot to make sure that I was becoming a real man who wasn’t looking for accolades. I should have been looking for validation from one person, that of the dude in the mirror.
This mindset mired the early days of my blog where there was a constant internal fight between the man who wanted to be liked versus the man who wanted to be honest. Many a blog post saw the bottom of the proverbial trash can because I was trying to write fiction and not real life.
I decided after spinning my wheels in the early days that the best blogs were the honest ones, and I was brutally honest. And it didn’t take off, and I didn’t get the cheap likes, but I knew that being honest with myself and the people I was trying to communicate with was the best path.
This fake validation is the trap many men fall into, especially those who really don’t have much in the way of accomplishment (or worse, don’t THINK they have accomplishments) in their lives.
They see a path to finding themselves is to be someone else, someone cooler than they really are. They are ashamed of who they are, what they’ve done or haven’t, and don’t want to do the work to make meaningful headway towards the real person they want to be, so they go the dollar store route.
Sitting by myself, after being friend zoned, in an old hotel near West LA, crying, dejected, and wondering what the hell I needed to do, while my kids and REAL life was waiting for me to act in Indiana.
I had abandoned my real life because I didn’t think it was sexy enough to pass the mustard and get me the followers I wanted on a computer screen, I started to have a sincere discussion with myself on what the hell I was actually trying to accomplish.
My value, it seemed before my epiphany, was created by the number of thumbs up I was getting on a post, number of views I was getting on a blog, number of hearts that popped up every time I tweeted.
But it was all pretend. It wasn’t really me. And when the rubber hit the road, what I was REALLY doing was going to determine my trajectory in my own personal goals, not the façade of some red pill dude trying to hit on girls.
So in the middle of this “fake Tim vs real Tim” battle, I decided to rebrand and focus, not on the likes, but on the content, the brand, the reality of my life as a single father trying to improve his life. The likes, the follows, the fake love I wanted didn’t compare to the real work I needed to do, and the real, quality accolades I would get by being myself, a dude just trying to get his life together.
So I had to go back to basics, and understand that the attention I was craving was fleeting, the real validation I was seeking was actually trying, failing, and yes, accomplishing REAL LIFE things.
I couldn’t hide anymore from who I was, and I couldn’t fake success if I was to move forward.
I had to get right and stop telling fiction. My story was more than enough to generate an immense following and at that point, I didn’t care, because the only person I wanted approval from was Tim Hicks.
And this is the bottom line guys. No matter what you are doing, playing pretend will always ALWAYS come back to haunt you.
You have a life that demands your attendance and if you aren’t proud of it, CHANGE it.
Anyone can create a fake life with a fake fan base and have fake friends, a fake career, and fake achievements, that’s called fantasy.
But to truly garner a loyal, concrete following, you must be good with you. You can’t be concerned with what others think, regardless if it’s online or in real life, because it means you are putting weight into total strangers and their opinions, and no one, least of all you, benefits from that.
Stop waiting for the cheers or the boos and go out and prove yourself to yourself.
Damn the critics and yes, damn the fake supporters who cheer you when you tweet well and damn you when you don’t.
People pleasing is the least rewarding job because you’re only doing it for the likes, not for yourself.
You’ll find that building that fake persona gives you no joy, only the hope that the next tweet, the next clever saying, the next fabrication of something you didn’t do or merely pretended to do, will temporarily sate that hunger.
And then, almost instantly, you’re back at it, posting your fiction again, fishing for someone to tell you you’re awesome.
You are awesome, but it needs to be seen by the person staring back at you.
THAT’s the key to all of this.
When you love yourself, you have your own validation, it’s an perpetual engine inside of you that burns regardless of who likes or doesn’t like you.
Your validity comes from no where else but from your struggles, your failures, your experiences, and your triumphs.
Stop trying to pretend your way to a successful life.
The check always comes due.
And those who have receipts are the ones who truly win.