14A – Invalidation



At basic, a person can only be weakened or loose abilities by his own decision.

But he can be encouraged to make less of himself by the disparagement and criticism of others. This is invalidation. It is making less of something.

And once a person has agreed with an invalidation, it becomes to some degree a self fulfilling prophesy. Since he now believes that he is incapable, he will indeed be incapable unless something raises his confidence immensely.

To develop abilities, one must validate instead of invalidating.

You have to coax a small flame to turn it into a great blaze. If you are kindling a fire and you say that the flame is too small and worthless and let it go out, then there will be no fire and you are left out in the cold.

We teach children to walk by encouraging their efforts rather than by criticizing them each time they fall down.

A great basketball player does not think less of himself whenever he misses a shot. He simply moves on, planning to do better on the next shot. The mark of a professional is that he does not take invalidations of his skill to heart, he knows better because he has succeeded so many times.

But one does not achieve this by hiding from invalidation. If a player does not take a shot at the basket because he is afraid of missing and being invalidated, then he is already cutting his abilities down.

Instead one confronts these things. A real player can accept that the shot was missed without having to think less of himself.

You could listen to all the criticism in the world and not be harmed by it as long as you choose not to think any less of yourself because of it.

In light of that, how do people come to a state where the slightest disapproving word or gesture shatters their confidence?

The early efforts at invalidation only took root because we wanted to invalidate each other. The harder you work to make somebody else swallow an external invalidation, the more you open the door to receiving such an effect yourself. And so we have to face both sides of this and confront how we have worked to invalidate others as well as confronting the invalidations that we have received.

14A.1 Avoiding Invalidation

People hold themselves back to avoid getting invalidated. They often keep their mouths shut to avoid saying something stupid. They back away from the limelight to avoid being ridiculed.

So lets loosen this up a bit.


a) How could you avoid invalidation
b) How could you attract invalidation


a) How could another avoid invalidation
b) How could another attract invalidation

14A.2 Recall

a) recall invalidating another
b) recall being invalidated
c) recall another invalidating another or others
d) recall invalidating yourself
e) recall another invalidating themselves

[Note that this replaces process 23.9]

14A.3 Reversing the Invalidation

a) What might you be invalidated for?

Repeat the following on it until there is some relief. Then pick another invalidation etc.

b) mockup somebody validating it.
c) spot or mockup somebody with a similar outpoint and mockup yourself validating them for having it.

This is the fastest one shot process and can be used any time that you feel invalidated for something.

[Revise Chapter 27 to use this process instead of 23.9 if invalidation needs to be handled as part of a repair action]

14A.4 Accept/Reject

One should be able to accept or reject invalidations at will.


a) What invalidation could you accept
b) What invalidation could you reject


The same goes for criticism, which is closely related to inval.

a) What criticism could you accept
b) What criticism could you reject


Many invalidations come from somebody else judging a person’s performance.

a) What judgment could you accept
b) What judgment could you reject

14A.5 Spotting Invalidations

Let’s see how much more we can find and confront on this.


a) What have you validated
b) What have you invalidated


a) What has another validated
b) What has another invalidated


a) What has society validated
b) What has society invalidated

14A.6 Safe Places

a) Spot something that could be invalidated

Run the following commands alternately to a win, and then do command a) again.

b) Where would it be safe for you to have that?
c) Where would it be safe for another to have that?

14A.7 Making It All Right

We often change to get out from under invalidation.

Run this like 14A.6 above.

a) Spot something that could be invalidated

Run the following commands alternately to a win, and then do command a) again.

b) What would make it all right for you to be invalidated that way
c) What would make it all right for another to be invalidated that way

14A.8 Overcoming Any Remaining Flinch At Invalidation

a) what should you be invalidated for

Run the next command repetitively to a win, then do command a) again.

b) mockup a way to get more invalidations for that

This should run to the point where the very idea of inval seems ridiculous.

14A.9 Building Confidence

If there is an area where you are trying to develop some skill but have been feeling invalidated about it, do the following:

Invent imaginary incidents in your past where you did the action successfully and recall these until you feel as much confidence as you would have if you had already done the action successfully.

When doing this, do not work at misremembering times when you failed as having been successful. It doesn’t work well to pretend that the bad stuff didn’t happen. Instead, remember additional (imaginary) times when you did succeed.

For example, if you tried to ride a bicycle once and fell off and feel invalidated about trying it again, you would make up imaginary times when you did ride one successfully in addition to the one time that you fell. Here we are offsetting the losses with remembering wins rather than trying to hide the losses.

14A.10 A Formula For Handling Invalidated Areas

Invalidation is to some degree a catch-22. Because an ability is invalidated, he can’t do it, and because he can’t do it, that invalidates the ability.

If he has an accumulation of wins in an area, he treats other’s inval as just so much noise. But he can’t accumulate wins while he is invalidated and incapable.

Occasionally it works to push in with mocked up certainty and confidence. That sidesteps the inval and it works if there are no other whys which cause him to continue to fail in the area. But if there are other whys too, then he fails again and accumulates further inval.

Generally it is better to mockup the certainty that one can learn to drive a car or that one will be able to drive well in the future rather than to mockup the certainty that one already knows how to drive a car when one doesn’t.

In other words, one finds a gradient where he can accumulate wins rather than making it an all or nothing proposition.

This means that when he is learning arithmetic, he needs to get a win from adding 2 and 2 successfully rather than getting invalidated by the fact that he can’t multiply ten digit numbers in his head.

This suggests that there is a procedure for handling a condition of invalidation –

1. recall wins in the area
2. target the next available win
3. accumulate any needed data
4. drill any necessary skills
5. get any available help or encouragement
6. make any other necessary preparations
7. If necessary, run off any inval in the area
8. then mockup the certainty that one can do it
9. go for it

Note that this is an activity rather than a process.

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