Love yourself instead of seeking approval
Stop seeking approval as it is the quickest way to lose your identity and veer off the right path – the one that you are meant to be on. When we seek approval we suppress our true selves in order to fit in with other people’s accepted versions. In the process, we get out of practise in listening to our own inner wisdom and we instead tune in to what others want for us.
We are all born with a natural drive that continually motivates us towards achieving happiness, realising our potential and achieving love and acceptance from others. Our ability to get these needs met is developed during our childhoods and is a consequence of our relationship with others, mainly our care givers. As we grow, we gain a better understanding of who we are and how we fit in in the world.
When we are met mainly with approval, we develop positive beliefs about ourselves and base the decisions we make on these aspects that in turn make it more likely that we will find happiness and fulfillment.
When we are met with disapproval, we feel pressured to change who we are in order to meet our needs for love and acceptance. This causes a ‘false self’ to emerge – one that lives by the rules of others. We cease to behave in ways that are consistent with our inner worlds/who we truly are in order to avoid rejection, criticism and to gain approval. These are called “conditions of worth”. This strategy works initially but it means that our self worth becomes dependent on gaining the approval of others. This can be exhausting and can leave us feeling empty, directionless and disconnected as we move further away from our natural self. We begin to put the needs of others ahead of our own or worse, we forget what is best for us. Can you see how destructive seeking approval can become?
A conflict between needing approval and needing to be authentic makes effective decision making feel impossible and it undermines our confidence and our potential.
Get in the habit of approving of yourself – make it a habit. Tune in regularly to your inner thoughts and feelings. Are you living a life you want or one that has been created for you by the needs of others and/or your need to approval? Start looking at areas where you can regain your authentic power – whether that is in a job or a relationship. Start asserting yourself and asking for your needs to be met. It’s never too late to approve of yourself and live a life that you feel proud of. We all enjoy approval from others but never let it be at the expense of your self worth.