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Which V Word?

Updated: Aug 22, 2023



One of my recent goals is to let go of the need for validation.

Almost as soon as I set that goal, I was approached with two opportunities that match my skills and training, if not my current career path. Both were short-term projects similar to things I’ve done in the past. I could easily take either.

One was related to my expertise in opening, operating, marketing, and managing spas – and writing about it – via an offer from a publisher. They wanted me to review and potentially co-author a book for prospective owners.

The other is related to my skills and license as a massage therapist. A friend invited me to provide massage therapy sessions to attendees of a retreat in a few weeks.

Both were things I could do very well. I am grateful to be thought of.

But neither project offered a proper exchange of value.

The book might have felt like a win-win if a) the publisher hadn’t told me exactly how big a pain in the assets the other author is to work with – or b) offered the customary compensation for content review. Despite these issues, I considered it briefly because the publisher valued my knowledge, credentials, and experience.

The retreat might have appealed to me if: a) massage therapy was a part of my career I was currently interested in doing or growing; b) I was even seeing clients right now. We're in the middle of a pandemic and I’m not even seeing my 25-year regulars and; c) the retreat leader and I hadn’t talked about the two of us partnering on retreats. Because of the lack of feeling valued for all I bring, almost no fee would have felt like enough.

Aha. Perhaps my lesson this week is to differentiate between needing to be validated and wanting to be valued.

Clearly, I still have some work to do.

But I also am proud of myself, because I said no to both. I value myself, as well as my time, energy, and knowledge, and am willing to wait for opportunities that measure up and bring value to all involved.


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