There was a time when my self image and how I value my self was completely based on how others treated me. Every decision I made from how I behaved, who I hung out with and how I looked was based on the objective of getting people to like me. I believed that I needed it for my survival.
And it was exhausting. And eventually made me feel lost and resentful.
Thankfully that self depreciating behavior is well behind me.
Today I want to share with you some insight that I have gathered on why we seek approval from others and how that chronic habit can be changed.
My intention is that no matter how old you are when you read this, you are inspired to build a strong foundation of who you are and know without doubt your own value irrespective of what others think of you.
These are some of the reasons why we tend to seek approval from others
Those of you who understand the Law of Attraction terminology know about the " Vortex". It's the place where you feel most happy and aligned to who you really are or your higher self. When someone appreciates you, showers you with affection and validates your choices, you feel good. That feeling of feeling fabulous is what you are wanting to achieve. And you are addicted to those feel good emotions. And why not ? It's a free ticket into the vortex and every bit of you knows how wonderful it feels to be in the vortex.
Our inner being / source sees how special we are and knows are value. When someone else matches are inner being's perspective and sees us the same way, it feels really good.
In the absence of unconditional love and approval that we should be giving ourselves, we feel immobilized to move forward without other people from our lives giving us that much needed love and approval.
In early childhood most of us have been raised in an environment where behaving nicely meant that we were loved and appreciated more. Since we were still forming our identities and developing a relationship with ourselves at that time, we adopted beliefs around pleasing others to receive love and appreciation. And our self identity got tied to how others saw us.
Now that we are all adults and conscious adults at that, its time we take the power back into our own hands. We no longer need to depend on others for their approval and validation to feel good or to feel appreciated and liked.
The downfall of continuing this exhausting habit is that you have to constantly meet the demands of what others expect from you and what will get them to approve your choices and your decisions.
Your state of mind and mood starts to depend completely on how others treat you and how the world perceives you.
When you get compliments, appreciation and party invites you feel fantastic but when you say hello and the other person doesn't respond or smile back or when someone puts you down for your choices you feel your world is coming crashing down at your feet.
Here is what you can do to change this approval seeking habit and set yourself free to be who you want to be and yet feel loved, appreciated and special.
Awareness - The first step is to be aware of the motivation behind your behavior and actions. Each time you show up as a spouse, parent, daughter/son in law, friend and employee, become aware of how authentically you are showing up. Show up as you really are because you truly are unique and wonderful just the way you are.
Use your emotions as a guide to see whether you are showing up as you really are or as someone else expects you to be. When you feel good internally, when you are free of anxious thoughts about being liked or not, when you feel proud of who you are and when you accept yourself unconditionally then you know you are heading the right way.
Your feelings and emotional state is your responsibility- Accept and take responsibility for your emotional state. No body has the power to make you feel bad about yourself. It's the meaning you give to how others behave around you that makes you feel bad or good. Take the instance when my mum and I recently disagreed on a ongoing personal family issue. At some point we ended up arguing and I felt attacked, alone and unloved for a brief moment due to my differing opinion. I realized that the meaning I was giving to my mums words was making me feel bad. Once I was able to change the story that I was telling myself about what my mum thought of me, I felt instantly better. In this instance, I reasoned with myself that it is a possibility that she felt attacked by me because I didn't share her opinion and so she lashed back at me as a defense mechanism. This had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her state of mind.
Daily practice of loving yourself - If you have to feel loved and appreciated irrespective of whether others approve of you or not, then you must establish a good, healthy and strong relationship with yourself. And there are no shortcuts to achieve such a relationship. You need to have daily practices in place that remind you of your own value. That also remind you of how special and loved you are by the universe or your higher self. Practices like, meditation, mindfulness, positive self talk, being kind to yourself, self care routines and connecting to your higher self to feel loved are just a few that you can incorporate in your daily life.
You can validate your own choices in the knowledge that no matter what the result is , you will be fine. Redefine what you think failure is by reminding yourself that each time you fail, it is an opportunity, the universe sends to you to learn something that will help you succeed eventually.
Release fear and panic that sets in when you are at the receiving end of disapproval from a loved one by rewiring your brain with new empowering thoughts like " I am special", " I will act according to what feels good to me"," The universe has my back". The more you use these affirmations, the more you hard wire them in your brain. And that will make it easier for your brain to access these positive affirmations when you are emotional and spiraling downwards.
In conclusion I want to tell you that beyond a doubt, You are special and awesome just the way you are. No matter what you do or what you have achieved, you are special for just existing , for being you.
I invite you to own your specialness with your head held high. You only need to pay attention to your connection with source or your innerbeing. And when you feel good for just being you with whatever you have in your life and whichever way you show up in the world with all your strengths and weaknesses that make you unique then you are connected to this universal energy or source and then everything will always be fine.
Reach out to me at email@example.com to share your journey and stories. I am eager to connect with you.