It’s exhausting trying to be everything to everyone. Approval is like a killer drug. Not only can you never get it from everyone, failure of achieving a certain expectation can even jeopardise your life. To be truly happy, you must honor the truth of you. But all too often, finding this truth is profoundly complicated.
1. Stop living in fear
Perhaps, it has been a lifelong dream of yours to become a pilot, but sadly, the male figures in your life tell you that aviation is not a place for women. Which makes you sacrifice chasing your own dreams, in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings.
Start considering opinions as a story or advice, rather than demands. What someone thinks or says about you is only their perception. Feel the freedom when you stop worrying about the imaginary boundaries that dictates how you should live your life, and show the world what you’re all about.
2. You’re not getting any younger
It’s time consuming, and you know it. The need for approval is a pretty normal behaviour, until you start requiring acceptance from others in order to validate how you feel about yourself, that you tend to value their beliefs, opinions and needs more than your own.
Thinking about what everyone else’s opinion might be of you, and working out how you might best receive favourable responses from them is draining. Consider how much more time and energy you would have if you only worried about pleasing yourself.
3. Your happiness is your own responsibility
Being dependent on others, even the one who you have faith in, signifies that you’re handing over the responsibility for controlling your happiness to them. It’s not their job. Take it back. You’re not supposed to depend solely on anyone to make you happy.
It is a choice, in which you have the ability to control your own emotions, where you get to decide if you want to stay sour and despondent forever or not. Drop the negative people and dramas in your life. It also means acceptance, where you have to accept that there are things that are beyond your control. Accept you for who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking, but instead solely focus on what makes you happy.
4. Find yourself in the process
If you feel stuck like in a rut while constantly hating your life, those around you, or even your own self, maybe it’s because you’ve forgotten to take care of your own needs. Ignore those people who think they know how you should run your life better than you do. Consider them as noises.
Only you know what you really want and need that can benefit your life. Recognize that your actions of seeking approval comes from the emotions and beliefs that arise within us. Provide full attention and focus in getting to know yourself, hold on tight to your own values, ideas and dreams.
5. Find your tribe
While there’s nothing wrong in discussing your values with other people, try your best to avoid being persuaded because you may not truly believe in your voice yet. Check the accuracy of their stories, and if you recognise that their belief is not stable, you should be able to consider other perspectives. Keep an open mind.
Don’t take rejection and abandonment personally. Seek out like-minded family and friends, or new ones, and walk away from the people who doesn’t want the best for you. Good company will do good things for your mind and soul, while a negative one might lead you to a toxic relationship.
6. Make a decision to stop
Before you turn to others for approval, stop and ask yourself, “What do I think about this?” Change your point of view, and ask where your need for approval comes from. Understanding why can make it easier to eliminate the behaviour altogether.
Perhaps you are seeking approval because you’re uncertain, and you want someone else to like or accept you. But think about this, you are not anyone’s puppet, and your opinion matters the most.
7. Make friends with rejection
Remember to be just as kind to yourself as you are to your friends. Have the courage to take risks, commit and allow yourself to fail. It’s okay, you live and learn. Don’t compare yourself with others too. Just because you’re not going down the same path as other people, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong path.
Practice makes perfect, right? Remember that this new thought process is not going to change over night. Don’t simply give up when you encounter any obstacles. Learn from your mistakes and try again.
8. Embrace a growth mindset
The good news is that anyone can develop a growth mindset. By having one, you’ll consider setbacks as simply part of the process of continuous learning and improvement, that makes you keep looking forward, not back, and be excited to apply lessons learned to future challenges.
Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy by having negative thoughts about yourself, and quashing these is key to recognising your own self-worth.
9. Focus more on process, rather than outcomes
Don’t let anyone else tell you your choices are not good enough. Hold on to your truth and allow it to absorb into your psyche. When you find your self going into judgment around it, label the judgment as defeating thoughts and dispose of them quickly.
Learning to trust your gut can be one of the best things you can do for yourself. It can help you understand the path you’re supposed to take, and feel more confident in the direction you’re going. The process may have the tendency to make you feel demotivated, but have faith, as it will help to deepen your knowledge of things.