Everybody wants approval – whether it is from your family, your friends, or colleagues. Having the approval of people close to us gives us a simple satisfaction of feeling secure, wanted and loved. We all want to be accepted, but in a world where everybody is entitled to an opinion, we often find ourselves becoming enslaved to the opinions of others. Eventually it may get to a point where we demand it, and we are never satisfied until somebody has given you that green light.
In the past, I have sought the approval of others, and when I got it, I was ecstatic: over the moon. It gave me this temporary high, let me feel wanted, and then that high disappeared just as quickly as it came, and I was left with this empty feeling inside. You do things to please others, just so you can get that little whiff of approval, but you find that you are not really happy. There is always something else that is missing: self-validation. In this article, I will be providing ten steps to help you stop seeking approval from others, and start looking for approval within.
Here are a few simple changes, you can use to have faith in your abilities:
1. Acknowledge the fact that you are hunting for approval.
The only way you can begin your journey to quelling your thirst for approval is to become acquainted with the fact that you are. Seeking approval becomes an addiction, the more you get of it, and the more you are hungry for it. Once you are aware that you surely are seeking approval from others, you can begin to tackle the issue from within.
2. Practice the art of speaking your mind.
Stop making a conscious effort to say what others want to hear. If you are always in agreement with the people around you, then you will end up bottling your thoughts, and eventually become a bitter and resentful person. Hold on to your ideas, your values and your beliefs. They define who you are. Speak your mind and let the chips fall where they may.
3. Find your crowd.
Seek people who accept you for who you are. Choose people who choose you: the ones who you can be your true self with, the wild, uncensored version of you. In life, you are definitely going to come across people who reject you, but learn to not take it personally. People will come, people will go – and it has nothing to do with you.
4. Do things for you.
When you set yourself to new tasks, evaluate whether you are pursuing this particular course of action because you want the approval of other people, or whether this is for your own self-growth.
5. Take control.
In various instances, you may not know what the right course of action is, and you depend on the opinions of others. While it is always good to have a second opinion, trust your intuition; your gut instinct, and do what feels best for you. Remember that, ultimately, you hold the reins in your life. Take advice from others, but you must always make the final decision in things that concern you.
Meditation will feed your soul. It will help you to relax your mind and reduce all the anxiety you feel you need from external validation. If you learn to do it well, you will be able to center yourself, and give you a sense of mental stability. All your feelings of worthlessness can fall away, and you will be left with a deeper sense of understanding in why you feel a need to please people. While you meditate, you can also repeat a mantra in your head, like, “The only person I need to please is me,” until you generate the feeling within you.
For tips on how to meditate, visit: https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/meditation
7. Allow yourself to grow.
When you always have room for improvement, you are more likely to free yourself from needing approval. Challenge yourself everyday and accept failure and feedback as a platform for growth. By doing this, you unlock your chances to reaching your full potential.
8. Change your focus.
One of the best ways to eliminate the need for approval is pursuing activities or tasks that only you are interested in, without asking others for their permission. Prioritize yourself, and do things for you.
9. Establish who you are.
Have a clear definition of who you are. Know what you believe in, and understand your morals. Be confident with those ideals, and let them keep you grounded. Stand up for what you believe in, and do not let people sway you from what you believe in. If you stay headstrong, nobody will dare push you around.
10. Be yourself.
Stop worrying about what others think of you, and focus on yourself. It is often very difficult to accept all the little things that make you YOU, but you have to acknowledge that the person you are today is the same person you are going to be with for the rest of your life, and you find that you will have to start being comfortable with yourself. If you learn to love yourself fiercely, you will find that nobody will dare to love you half-heartedly. Let go of all the insecurities that are holding you back, and in turn, learn to love yourself for your flaws and your quirks. Show your true colors and let them glow in all their beautiful imperfections.
By constantly seeking external approval, self-esteem plummets, and you kill your own sense of freedom. That dire need for approval encourages feelings of worthlessness to manifest within you. When people reject you, or your ideas, you begin to think that it is because everything you stand for is pathetic and useless.
Always keep it in mind that your fear is what holds you back. Have confidence in you and your choices without any external validation. If you follow your beliefs and your dreams, you will live a happier life. When you awaken your true potential, and accept that you are the only person you need to please, you find freedom.