by Catherine Pratt
This is Part 1 in a 3 part series
One of the biggest obstacles to people improving their self esteem is their constant need for approval by others
They feel that unless someone tells them what a great job they did or how wonderful they are then they’re just not good enough. They don't believe in themselves so they need to find someone else who will.
The problem with this is that until you believe in yourself, it will never matter what someone else says because the most important person doesn't believe it, You.
You'll constantly look for more and more people to tell you that you're valuable. The search will continue until you find that one person who agrees with what you truly believe about yourself; that you're really a fraud or a failure. Then, it wouldn't matter if a million people said wonderful things about you, you would only remember the person that had spoken negative comments.
It's In You
The approval you really need to find is from yourself and this can only begin once you stop searching for approval in others and take the time to heal yourself.
Often even just the awareness of your actions will provide you with a great deal of healing. Be sure to take the time to explore your feelings and learn why and where it's coming from. Once you do that then you'll most likely find that you no longer need approval from others for that particular feeling.
The moment when you suddenly realize that you don’t need anyone else’s approval is incredible. There is a sudden peace inside of you which will make you absolutely giddy with joy. It’s like you’ve suddenly woken up from a nightmare and you’re now free to just be you. Your whole life will be completely different. You may find that for the first time in your life, you understand what it means to feel "content" and "happy".
But, how do you get to the point where you can let go of needing
approval from others? If it's something you've been doing your whole
life, you may not even be aware that you're doing it.
How Do You Seek Approval From Others?
It starts with being aware of how you might be seeking approval from others. For example:
These are just some of the more common ways you may be searching for approval from others.
An Important Clue One important clue that you're desperate for approval is the next time that you feel pain, distressed or anxious when dealing with someone else. Your stomach suddenly feels like it's tied in knots or you feel guilty or you're feeling confused and don't know what to do. Ask yourself if this feeling is because you really want this other person's approval. It doesn't even have to be someone you know. It could be a complete stranger that you feel the sudden need to explain to why you just did what you did. As Byron Katie says, “When you say or do anything to please, get, keep, influence, or control anyone or anything, fear is the cause and pain is the result”. So, if you're feeling pain, it could be a sign that you've hurt yourself by needing that approval that you can't find within yourself. Once you realize what you’ve been doing to try and influence other people's opinion of you, you’ll very quickly start to understand what part of you needs to be healed. You'll also start to notice how many other people around you are also trapped in a cycle of constantly needing approval from others. You may be surprised by who you see needing approval. You're definitely not the only one. So, now let’s take a closer look at "How to Stop Needing Approval" and then illustrate some behaviors you may be using to gain approval and then how to break approval seeking habits.
Also, here's a quick visual reminder how to stop needing approval: