You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.
~ YOGI BHAJAN
The need for approval doesn't work. It's a waste of time and kills freedom. Don't let the desire to get people to like you motivate your choices and actions in life. People will tell you what you want to hear because they know why you're asking... they either see or hear your expression and don't want to disappoint you. Did you know that the need for approval could negatively impact your performance,causing you to procrastinate, avoid doing important things, feel anxiety, fear, and get stuck in worry? Your need for approval creates immense anxiety about the quality and value you provide and cause you to spend far too much time on tasks in order to perfect them. Your career and life could suffer.
You waste so much time and lose so many opportunities... either let the business go or learn how to live the truth in you. When you first start your business, social or otherwise, there is a craving for acceptance, but over time, if you keep this up, it could cause you to miss opportunities where, not only is the potential for reward high, but the possibility for criticism is equally large. And if you're unable to speak your opinions or always avoiding disapproval or criticism, then this could significantly impact your success in a negative way. This is something you can, and dare I say, must change if you want to be happy in your life and successful in your business or chosen work.
Below are three strategies to help you get to the place where you'd have a sound sense of self-acceptance and will no longer need to rely on the approval of others.
- The first step is to strengthen your core foundation... your values and beliefs, so that you feel strong enough to go with what feels right for you. This way, you'll no longer feel the need to look to others to feel good enough about your choices and decisions. Keep a self-appreciation journal, where you start acknowledging daily or a few times a week, the things you’re most proud of about yourself; choices you’ve made, insights you’ve learned, things you like about yourself, times you’ve stayed true to yourself, or whatever feels right for you.
- Secondly, you need to practice letting go of seeking validation for your choices. This means you need to start noticing your own language, self-talk, and behavior towards you, and identify when it's coming from wanting someone else to say you’re okay, that you made the right choice, or that you did the right thing. When you do make a decision, check in with yourself that it feels right, remind yourself that it's your choice, and give yourself validation for just being you, and don't forget to notate it in your self-appreciation journal.
- Lastly, start being honest with yourself when you take on a new task or commitment, whether you are doing it because it's “right” for you or because you want to get approval and avoid disapproval. Sit down and evaluate your weekly tasks and ask yourself what's really necessary and important, verses what's driven by people pleasing. Then, slowly work through the “people pleasing” list and eliminate them.