Are YOU a Free Thinker? Or Do you Need Validation and Approval?

Sep 5, 2022 | Monday Mindset

This is the Monday Mindset Newsletter that was sent on Monday 9/5/2022…

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all are having a great [long] weekend and enjoying the final days of summer!

Last week, someone sent me an interesting video that some of you may have seen….

It was of a social experiment that Payless Shoe Stores did where they rented a space in a high-end area and outfitted the location with all the ambiance of an upscale shoe store. Then, they filled the store with the exact same shoes found in the regular discount shoe store.

Once the store was set and ready, the experiment continued by inviting “fashion influencers” to the grand opening. The guests were allowed to walk around and try on the different shoes, totally unaware they were from Payless.

Their feedback on these shoes that were marked up by 1,800% was nothing short of amazing. They described the shoes as “elegant”, “fashionable”, and “high quality”. These so-called “Fashion Influencers” weren’t just willing to say they would pay big bucks for these shoes… They actually put their money where their mouth was!

Then they were let in on the prank. And their faces are priceless. I will have the link to the social experiment at the end of today’s Mindset message.

You’ve heard the saying before, “perception is reality”. And that’s true.

Once someone has either convinced themselves that something is true or, has been convinced by someone else, their reality has been formed.

The reason the people in the social experiment were willing to spend 1,800% more than normal retail was because they were convinced by their environment and their peers that the shoes were worth it.

And because they actually did pay for them, the shoes WERE worth it! The value of anything is ALWAYS what people are willing to pay for it…

The funny thing is, if this store and shoes had been properly labeled, even though they were the exact same, these influencers wouldn’t have stepped foot inside the store, let alone buy them at regular price!

So what’s the lesson here?


In watching the video, the influencer’s behavior was driven by the inherent need to be accepted, well-liked, and gain others’ approval.

That’s a dangerous thing, team.

In the process of seeking other people’s approval and acceptance, you could be setting yourself up for others to be creating your reality for you.

Be cautious about seeking validation and approval from others.

Rather than seeking validation and approval from others, seek it from yourself. Set a high bar for yourself. Have high standards of expectations. Keep the promises you make to yourself and others. And have BIG goals that you accomplish.

Then surround yourself with others who are doing the same.

In doing those things, you will find that you won’t have anything to prove to anyone. YOU and your circumstances will be all the validation you need. Whether or not others validate or approve is a moot point. Because you will be the creator of your own reality and that reality will be exactly what YOU want it to be.

Go forth and conquer Team!


I’m curious about your thoughts on what these people did with the shoes. Do you think that once they learned they were from Payless, they actually still wore them with the same amount of excitement, or tossed them? Reply to this email and let me know what you think they did.

Here is the video…

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