Approval is about acceptance. Seeking approval is a deep need to have your beliefs, actions and appearance accepted by others. It feels good to think that others approve of who we are. This search for approval shows up in 2 main forms:
- I must have him/her/them to like me.
- I must look this way.
It’s not wrong to want people’s approval. But if we make their approval our main focus, it will become destructive. We hide parts of who we really are, lie about our beliefs, and change our actions so we can fit in. Even when we finally get approval, there’s still something missing. Seeking is the movement away from the awareness that your life is already complete, just as it is.
When we’re constantly seeking the need for approval, we forget who we are. We are completely inauthentic. And we become dependent on the acceptance from others rather than from ourselves. In the process, we get out of practice 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, realizing our potential and achieving love and acceptance from others. As we grow, we gain a better understanding of who we are and how we fit into the world.
If we encounter 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 who we truly are in order to avoid rejection or criticism. Eventually, 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 true self. We begin to put the needs of others ahead of our own and we forget what is best for us. Can you see how destructive this can be!
A conflict between needing approval and needing to be authentic makes effective decision making feel impossible. It undermines our confidence and our potential. Get in the habit of tuning 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?
Start looking at areas where you can regain your authentic power. Whether that’s 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.
Ultimately, your opinion of yourself is the only thing that should be able to make or break your life. How you see yourself will determine your limit and how much you get out of life.
Why do we care about other people’s opinions anyway? Granted, it’s human nature to be self-conscious, but letting other’s opinions of us dictate the person we should be is kinda pathetic. It traps us in a square that only leads to desperation, anxiety and stress.
We all want to be liked, but changing who we are just to be liked means we’re not actually liked for who we are. I dare say that most people in their 20’s have a high tendency to be people-pleasers, especially given how important social media is. The amount of Facebook likes we get reflects how good of a person we believe ourselves to be. People won’t like our posts if they don’t like us. If we post something and only get a few likes, we delete it. We put on a show to keep up appearances through social media.
Stop trying to please people and you will realize that you don’t need their approval. The people who love you don’t need you to keep up appearances. They just genuinely appreciate who you are.
The secret is to make sure that the friendships you build are genuine, not forced. Don’t ever try to change aspects of who you are just to fit in to a group. Instead, let your true colors show. The people who love the real you are the people with whom you should keep around. Life’s too short to try to make everyone like you.
It’s difficult to build genuine friendships and a healthy self-image if you’re always trying to please everyone else. Don’t you think you deserve to be who you really are! It’s time you stop seeking validation from others and start feeling worthy, just as you are.
Self-love is about believing you are beautiful, no matter how you look. And believing in your capabilities during triumphs and defeats. It’s about feeling good about who you are, regardless of what others might think. Being happy without needing external validation. Loving yourself through life’s highs and lows.
Stop seeking validation. We are all different people who have different tastes, different ideals, different perspectives and different opinions. Just accept that some people are bound to dislike you, and it’s nobody’s fault. Some people just don’t mesh well together.
There’s only one ‘you’ in this world. Don’t conceal or fake who are really are. Let the world see the real you because you are worthy. Embrace yourself and celebrate you!
Much love and good luck