Are You Seeking Other People’s Approval?

This is part 4 of my series on Other People’s Opinions.

how to overcome anxietyStop Hiding From Criticism

One way that a lot of us deal with criticism is to hide, because we feel like we can’t handle the criticism.

Really all you can’t handle is your interpretation of the criticism.

Can you allow for that?

That’s a really important question to ask yourself.

Approval versus Aversion.

Growth Mindset for kidsSo many of us are approval addicts. We just are locked into the patterns of our childhood where we are literally trained to perform for approval.

We get good grades and then we are approved of, we act politely for mommy and we get approval.

We say please, we say thank you. We clean our plate. We clean our room.

We Get Approval.

We get locked into that pattern of taking action for approval.

It is not always a negative thing to be motivated by approval. It only becomes a negative, when you don’t get the approval.

People are busy.  Often they are not paying close enough attention to us to give us approval, so we become devastated by the lack of it.

The lack of approval is devastating, but then if someone is paying attention and they don’t like what we’ve done, we get the F on the paper, that’s when we are devastated.

Seeking Approval

Are you willing to live your life in a way where you are not seeking that approval anymore?

Where you are not constantly looking for the A paper or the pat on the head?

That patterning can keep you hidden in your life, because you don’t want to show up, because if you are not getting approval, you don’t want to show up.

Emotional Adulthood

getting other people's approvalThe next step in our evolution into emotional adulthood is to figure what would it take to get you’re your own approval.

What would it take from you to get to that space where you can really feel approved by yourself?

The bottom line is we want people to like us, because we want to feel like we are good, that’s why we are seeking that approval.

We were trained as children to believe we are good girls or good boys when we do it right, when we get the approval.

It is a pattern that you developed and has actually served you in many ways.

But if you are only going to do stuff where you can get approval, you are going to end up doing a lot of stuff you don’t even want to do only to get approval from somebody else.

Getting Your Own Approval

What would it take to get your own approval?

What would you be so proud of yourself for doing?

What do you approve of in your own life?

getting approvalIf you have your own approval, you can make room in your life for other people not to like you.

You can recognize that the reason you want them to like you is, because you make that mean something about yourself

For example if somebody likes you and you think, “Oh gosh I must be great” or someone approves of you “I must be doing this right.”

If that’s what you are depending on when you are doing your work in the world, you are going to be acting crazy because you are going to want to get everyone’s attention and then their approval.

You Decide

But if you decide for yourself, “I’m going to like me. I’m going to figure out what I approve of and then I’m going to go out and do that. I’m going to keep doing that even when I don’t get someone’s approval.”

That’s when the magic can happen. That’s how you evolve into the best version of yourself by actually owning that you are the only one that needs to give yourself approval.

It is not someone else’ job to like you and in fact if someone doesn’t like you that’s okay; that’s their prerogative.

You don’t need to negotiate with them over what they like or don’t like.

It takes courage to continue to be yourself. To continue to show up with confidence and not caring what you think of me.

The Flip Side Of Seeking Other People’s Approval…

woman thinkingWhen people don’t like you it has nothing to do with you, but also when they do like you, approve of you and think you are amazing, it also has nothing to do with you.

It has to do with them.

Their opinion of you isn’t about you.

When you don’t take on their criticism as something that you don’t want or that you have an aversion to, then you can set yourself free.

All you have to do is show up, be yourself and let other be who they are.

Let other people change their mind about you, let them have their opinion about you, set them free to do as they will in their minds with you and notice how your life will change.

Are you interested in living your life in a way where you are not seeking that approval anymore? If so I’d love to help you get started.

Click here to go on to read the next post in the series, How To Deal With Criticism.

Clarity Session with Wendy Lynne, Life  Coach