Re article on needing others' approval

by Valerie

I have read many of the articles on this website and they are all very inspiring.

However, a lot of the ideas are very centered on the self, like we should not be seeking other people's approval etc but the thing is that we share this world with other people. How can we possibly live and act by putting ourselves, our feelings etc so much on a pedestal and dismissing what other people think?

Thanks for your insights.


Comments for Re article on needing others' approval

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Oct 07, 2008
Definitely more than affirmations
by: Catherine,

Hi Valerie,

There's definitely more than you can do than saying positive affirmations over and over. Affirmations have never worked that great for me. I'd say them and in the back of my head I'd hear, "yeah right".

First, I do want to tell you that you don't have to be positive all the time. You're human so you're going to have good days and you're going to have bad days. Even the most positive person in the world isn't positive all the time. The difference is how you choose to respond to those down times. Know that it's just temporary. Emotions can also tell you a lot about what's really happening. They're like tools you use to learn a lot about yourself and the world around you. But, you are more than just your emotions. You are in control of your emotions, they're not in control of you. So, let go of that pressure that you have to be "happy" and "positive" all the time. You don't. It'd be weird if you were.
: - )

Feeling overwhelmed can come from a few reasons. Maybe your imagination is going into overdrive imagining all the things that MIGHT happen. Focus on what's in front of you. Let the "might happen" thoughts go. If they do happen, you'll deal with them then. But, for now, just deal with what's in front of you. I talk about this more in this article: An easier way to handle stress.

Also, overwhelm can come from "reacting" instead of responding. This article will explain what I mean in more detail: Feeling overwhelmed?

Also, sometimes if you're feeling overwhelmed in one area of your life, then everything in your life suddenly seems overwhelming. So, is there one thing that's causing you a lot of stress right now? Maybe notice if it's the feelings you have for that situation spilling over into the other areas of your life. If it is, then it's easier to realize that the other areas may not be as bad as they first seem.

But, you take step by step. It seems like a lot of work but you'll find that it's not as hard as you think. You'll actually find that once you learn a few techniques, your life just gets easier and easier. Or at least, you're far more in control and feel more calm no matter what's happening around you.

I'm going to send you a separate email as well. So, watch for it.

Oct 06, 2008
Re article on needing others' approval
by: Valerie

Hi Catherine,

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this to me. It is very much appreciated.
I think deep down I understand what you are saying.

I think I just feel overwhelmed. It seems like a lot of work. I have read a lot of self help books and I just feel a bit confused now as to how I should feel, be and act.

I guess once I will have a better level of self esteem and stronger belief in myself, I will stop asking myself all those questions and everything will just flow more easily.

It just looks to me like a lot of work from where I am standing now. I am scared not to be able to maintain a positive outlook on things at all times.

Is there any other way to raise my self esteem and self confidence than just through positive affirmations?

Thanks again


Oct 03, 2008
Develop a strong sense of self
by: Catherine,

Hi Valerie,

I think I've given you the wrong impression.

I don't want you to dismiss other people's thoughts outright. I want to encourage you to have a strong sense of self and a belief in yourself. Then, when someone makes a comment, you can make the decision as to whether it's a comment you can use to improve yourself or whether the comment is an indication of how the other person is thinking. Perhaps, they're jealous of you so they make that negative comment to put you down. If you didn't have that strong sense of self then that negative comment would make you doubt yourself or believe that their thought is true.

When people are seeking approval from others, they do things that aren't being true to themselves just for the sake of gaining that other person's approval. For example, you might put yourself down because you want the other person to give you a compliment and tell you what you just said isn't true. But, this doesn't help you or the other person. You're hurting yourself and you're going to end up feeling horrible inside because you'll be believing the things you say about yourself. Also, you won't get the approval you're seeking from the other person. Until you give yourself the approval you're really seeking (eg. respect or love) you can't get it from someone else. You also can't truly give that to someone else either.

So, what I'm trying to encourage is for you to be your true self and to not get caught up in self doubts, low self esteem, etc.

When you feel good about yourself then you treat others much better as well. You also allow your spirit and your talents and your beauty to shine through. You'll also be encouraging other people to let their true spirit shine. It's like a win-win situation.

So, I don't want you to dismiss other people's comments. I'd like for you to have more of an awareness of where the comment is coming from and also taking the time to figure out how you want to respond. I want you to be able to feel calm, centered, and at peace no matter what is happening.

Absolutely, we have to live with other people. It's also how we learn our greatest lessons. If you're feeling calm and centered though, you'll be able to have much better relationships with others. Your relationships will be more open and loving. There won't be the game playing and the self doubts that sometimes destroy friendships.

Anyway, does that help explain my thoughts? Just let me know if it doesn't.

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