Charlie Chaplin, one of the world’s greatest comedians, was passing through a European country where he saw an advertisement for a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition. Out of sheer inquisitiveness, he decided to participate. There were close to 500 people participating.
To his total surprise, he came at number 7. Charlie Chaplin wrote in one of his memoirs that when he came at number 7, he was taken aback. He wrote, ‘We live in a world where showmen succeed and a real man fails. For a moment, even I got confused if I was the real Charlie Chaplin or the six before me. Then I realised that though the other six could copy my looks and moves, none of them could match my mind and my attitude.’ Charlie’s attitude was driven by high self-esteem, which came from self-acceptance and gave him his identity.
He wrote, ‘I could laugh at life. I loved losing more than the winners enjoyed winning because I knew I was the real Charlie Chaplin.’
One can even love to lose when one knows what one’s real identity is. Charlie Chaplin didn’t feel threatened as he didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. He writes further, ‘More than my appearance, my mind and my attitude give me my identity.’
He was not looking at acceptance and validation from the world outside; he knew who he was. He knew his identity, so it didn’t matter to him who won. People who live with self-acceptance have high self-esteem— they are stable and balanced. They are at peace with themselves.
Are you getting your validation from inside, or outside? Are you internally driven or externally?