In pursuit of valydation…

I wonder when junkies realize that they are junkies- do they come slowly to the realisation or does it hit them in the moments just before they OD, “shitttt! that was too much, oh em gee! I am a fucking junkie..”

I came to mine lying on the floor of my room,after just coming to, from what might have been my 3rd “pass out” that day, I was weak as fuck, I was shivering, I could barely stand… and my first thought was “gosh! I musta fainted again..” and the very next thought was “I wonder where I put my black trousers, I need to wear it to work tomorrow..”

My mum always said a problem starts getting solved the minute you admit it, so here goes:

My name is Ized Uanikhehi and I am a validation junkie..

I am not a work junkie or workaholic, I love working but to be honest, between me and you, I am one of the laziest persons I know (I prefer to say I work smart not hard). A validation junkie is different,we get high on “applause”… I don’t know how or when it started, I woke up one day and “you are doing great!” “well done Z!” “We are so proud of you” and all the other variations of validations I was getting had become the high points of my existence.

Here I was with fever, in pains (especially because I stopped my pain meds myself, since they made me woozy and I didn’t want to go to work woozy), I hadn’t eaten in two days, I just fainted from low energy and I was suffering from mild paranoia that I was soon to be sacked at work because no body said “well done” that week. (LOL amongst other things).

I got up from a sick bed, put on some powder, lipstick and attended and spoke at an event I was expected at -validation??

The day after, I had gotten in a car against the doctor’s vehement orders and travelled over 6 hours to go visit my son in school, because, I needed to be validated as “the best mummy in the world.” (I mean, I probably am the best mummy in the world 🙂, but that is not the point).

Sometimes, I’d be overwhelmed with work and life, but a friend, a social media person asks for my help to do something & I’d struggle through doing it but I would do it even if it was literally killing me, because you see, “Ized is an amazing friend” is a really nice validity.

Validation comes in various forms.

How did it start? When? Was it in the moments when I decided, swore even to never live a mediocre life or be mediocre in anything? Was it when I made a conscious decision to put my best every. single.time? But when did the applause become more important than the work?

I had started to live from one set of applause to the next, one social media “validation” to the next, and when it didn’t come fast enough, I questioned  myself, my existence, my experience, I questioned everything.

I stopped believing in myself or my abilities because I had gotten attached to validations of certain people that I respected and when instead of validation they dispensed “feedback” 🙄, I questioned everything I knew, I got depressed and lost motivation.

You know what’s strange? I swear people’s opinions of me don’t matter and yeah, it “mostly” doesn’t, but their validation- that’s a trip, a high!

Recognition? Is that it? is it just me? Did it matter? Does it matter? Will it matter?

Sigh… so, this is about 2018, was it good? Oh God! Yes! Lol, you should have heard the applause, month on month, from when I first spoke at Silicon Valley (California, duh!) at a women in tech event that over a 1000 women from around the world, to my pitch in Dubai and my pitch at TechCrunch Africa, amazing, truly amazing… it was an excellent year, best so far.

Health, quality of work, quality of relationships, family, friends, everything was great this year, Papi made it even more so by being the best mathematics student in Edo state.

Everything was really great.

However, I want to do different in 2019, stop living in the shadow of all your validations… I want to stop chasing your acknowledgements, and your applause and your “Ized, well done!” “Great job Ized.”

I am not saying validations are bad, matter of fact they are great and are totally encouraged, I just don’t want that to be the centre of my push and drive. I don’t want to chase anyone’s validation.

Not my bosses’, nor my colleagues’, nor my friends’, nor my family’s, nor social media, not anyone’s!

I want to do what Ized needs to do because purpose and peace and joy that comes from within. I want to live this one life that I have got for me. I will help, I will volunteer, but only when it’s right for me. I will learn to say “No” more often even if it means you won’t talk tome for a while or validate me.

I don’t want your acknowledgements, to be honest, I want it but I don’t need it.

So here’s to 2019…

My year of zero-fvcks-to-give,

My year of need-no-validation,

My year of I-am-not-effing-doing-it-to-impress-you-so-sit-down-and-be-humble.

My year actually.

Here’s to 2019, My year!

Ized Uanikhehi

Ized is Papi's Mummy & a Grace Junkie. Resilience and 'Never-say-die' are her Tour guide on the "Hell and Highwater" road, Digital Media Professional, by Day & Night. Find her as @zegbua on twitter/facebook/Instagram.


  • Ah
    I’ve been here. Especially that fear that if you dont get applause soon you will lose your job.
    thank God for God.

  • baysloft says:

    Well, glad to know you’ve come to this realization.

  • Kayode Abass says:

    Good read, Zee. It happens to the best of us.

  • Pereyi says:

    Great read, Ized. No, that isn’t a valydation 😊

  • Murdoc says:

    I kinda feel like this is talking to me, I could be a validation junkie myself sometimes. Thanks for this article, Ized. Here’s to an amazing 2019! God willing 🙌🏾

  • Jamiu says:

    Well, well, well…now I hesitate to say “brilliant post, Zed”

    On this validation addiction, I don’t think it starts from getting too much praise.

    Most of the time, it starts because life throws you the ugly end of the rainbow, where you gotta live without praise, attention or recognition for years…maybe decades.

    So when we finally get a break, and the praise comes, it feels so good that we want it to continue.

    Or..nope. It starts because we spent so long longing for it.


    So when it comes, be kind to yourself. Allow your soul to enjoy it. Its like an ICU for covalescing folk.

    You needed it. It wasn’t bad.

    And you also now need this next phase.

    Its all this pesky thing called growth.

    Everywhere we stand is somewhere, and when its time to move, we are ready.

    Congratulations on a great 2018, and also congratulations for the zero-fuck year ahead.

  • God'sgift says:

    Thank you for this Ma. I have always done stuff becuase of validation, Trying to please everyone.

    Indeed My year of I-am-not-effing-doing-it-to-impress-you-so-sit-down-and-be-humble.🙌🙌

  • strictlyatk says:

    Well it’s still 2018 and ama still give you my *acknowledge validations* 😁

  • Sampson Malachy says:

    Its quite harder when you’re on the right track and no one is celebrating you.

    But I have learn to validate myself instead of waiting for the crowd to do that for me.

    Thank you Mammy for this piece. It is really insightful.

  • I resonated deeply with this Ized. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Tosin Olaniyi.

  • Susan Ikegwu says:

    Totally awesome, Ized.

    Thank you for sharing.

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