Too many targets are bullied so frequently and for so long they begin to look for any crumb of validation they can find. They think that somehow, kissing up will win them friends and allies. But it only ends up doing the opposite. It only gets them doubly ridiculed and bullied. Also, it attracts even more users and abusers into their lives.
But what else happens when you consistently seek approval?
- You lose your freedom and autonomy to be yourself and to do what you want to do. You give away your personal power and become a slave to the thoughts and opinions of others.
- You lose sight of your goals and aspirations and replace them with goals of being liked, approved of, and favored by others. And the fact is, there’s no guarantee that you will be liked, approved of, or favored because there’s no way you can control the thoughts, opinions, actions, or words of other people. You are the only person in the entire world that you can control, which makes it that much more important that you keep your focus on you because you are your only guarantee. At the end of the day, all you have is you.
- You stop being creative. You only become a carbon copy of someone else, their style, and their way of thinking and doing things. When you do this, your creativity suffers. It’s much better to be original!
- You copy others. You give up the ability to think for yourself. Instead of having opinions of your own, you conform to the opinions and beliefs that are most popular. You say what others want to hear and do what others want you to do and how they want you to do it. In short, you allow yourself to be programmed and become a robot!
Understand that not everyone will like you or support you. And not everyone will want the best from you or for you. Some may, in fact, hate you and judge you harshly. They may even derail you from your goals and sabotage your success.
When you seek validation and approval, you only look for permission from others, which will leave you feeling controlled and imprisoned. It’ll also erode your self-esteem. Each time you engage in approval-seeking behavior, you lose a piece of yourself until you completely forget who you are. Not good!
So, how do you break this nasty habit?
- You start by accepting and loving yourself. All parts of yourself- the good, the bad, and the ugly!
- Count all the qualities of yourself that you’re proud of. Everyone has great qualities. Find yours, and list them.
- Ditch and Switch. Walk away from the negative people who make you feel bad about yourself. And don’t look back! Rid yourself of the haters, the naysayers, the whiners, complainers, and those with self-defeating attitudes. Replace them with people who love you, who want nothing but your best. Seek people who lift you up and those you feel safe around. Choose people who are happy and who take responsibility for their lives instead of those who bellyache and blame others for their misfortunes.
Understand that no one wants a copy. They want an original!
Realize that once you do these things, you might get a lot of pushback at first. Many people get threatened and angry anytime you make positive changes in your life, and they may give you tons of grief for it.
But understand that they give you a hard time because they were benefiting somehow when you sought approval and they don’t want to lose those benefits. Also, understand that we live in a world full of copies- where most people only conform and seek approval themselves. So, it’s only natural that you get pushback.
Embrace the pushback and keep doing what’s right for you. To hell with what others might think, say, or how they act! Only you can know what’s right for you. No one else knows your inner reality but you. So, trust that and trust yourself. I guarantee that you’ll be surprised at how it’ll change your life for the better. And you’ll only thank yourself for it later!
Knowledge is empowering!