3 Tools to Stop Seeking Approval
Are you fed up of living in someone else's shadow, for example, a partner, sibling or parent etc.? This post will share with you 3 tools to stop seeking approval from others by building your self-esteem and sense of self.
From an early age, we have learned to change our behavior to 'seek the approval' from others. For example, as a child, you may have experienced positive attention from your teacher when you had good grades at school, or, managed to avoid punishment from your parents when you were quiet.
The list of scenarios that can impact on you as a child to modify your behavior is endless, from the approving smile of a parent to the withdrawal of hugs, etc. As children, we quickly learn to adapt our behavior to receive love and acceptance.
We stop listening to what we want, and what is right for us, because of our basic need for love, and acceptance, from our parents (or caregivers), is hardwired and perceived as a necessity for survival.
Issues arise when we take this childhood learned behavior for survival, into adulthood. Also, some adults are addicted to positive affirmations and approval from others and will deliberately sabotage situations, or relationships, by spreading negative information to gain attention.
Yes, gossiping is high up there when it comes to seeking approval, including putting someone else’s needs before yours and pretending to be more experienced than you are.
How many times, on an average day, have you actively sought the approval of others?
Seeking approval from others takes away your real, and authentic, self. Why do you want to get approved and liked by others? Are you fed up of trying to get someone else's approval and living in 'their shadow'? For example, a partner, sibling, work colleague or parent, etc.? Are you always putting the needs of others before yours?
Why do you put the needs of others before yours? I know I put the needs of others before mine because I wanted their approval. I wanted to be accepted. I feared rejection. I wanted to keep my relationships. I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to be isolated. These, and more, were my childhood fears coming to the surface. The fears that were coming to the surface were wanting to be loved, not pushed away (again) and ignored.
The need for approval from others has adverse consequences on your life, for example, it can cause anxiety because of your inability to stop worrying about ‘what others think’ of you.
Needing approval prevents you from actually letting go and reaching out for what you want in life. You procrastinate and avoid doing things that are important to you. You’re unable to take advantage of new opportunities; you're not all that you are and can be!
To be in a place where you no longer need approval from others, you need to have a strong sense of self. You need to accept and love yourself just the way you are!
I could give you a list of ideas of how to stop seeking others approval. A list of how to develop your sense of self by telling you ‘what I think you want to hear' so I get your approval.
You know the obvious self-help tips? For example, keep a journal, be genuine in your interactions with others, do positive affirmations, be grateful, etc. Or, I could get out of my head and resist the need to seek your approval and tell you what I know to be true and what has worked for me.
In this post, I will share with you what I know to be true for me, so here is MY list:
3 Tools to STOP Seeking Approval
1.Work on your Chakras.
Each Chakra is an energy center, and when your Chakras are off balance, under or overactive, they will affect your life. According to, Belinda Davidson, if one Chakra is imbalanced, it will affect your other Chakras. You can't work on one Chakra and ignore the others; they all need love and attention.
Working on your Chakras improves your relationship with yourself and attracts loving and supportive people into your life. There are many Chakras, but seven main Chakras in total.
Below, I will give brief examples of how your first three Chakras being out-of-balance can impact on your life, well-being, and need for approval from others.
- When your Chakra 1 (Root) is out of balance, you may feel unsafe, insecure, you do not have a sense of connection or belonging, you are unable to trust yourself or others, and set healthy boundaries.
- When your Chakra 2 (Sacral) is out of balance, you seek people who will make you feel good about yourself, and you may form obsessive (unhealthy) attachments.
- When your Chakra 3 (Solar Plexus) is out of balance, it affects your personal power, self-confidence, and self-esteem. You can become dependent on, and put the needs of others' before yourself, and attract people who have narcissistic traits.
The above is a very general overview to give you a basic understanding of how imbalanced Chakras can affect your life.
So how do you work on your Chakras? Spend time focusing on each Chakra two to three times a week (every day if possible).
Where your attention goes, energy flows, and when this energy flows, you are balancing your Chakras. The longer you focus on a Chakra, the quicker you will see and feel results (minimum of five minutes on each one is a good guideline).
Do not expect to see results overnight, after all; you took your lifetime to get where you are today!
2.To be Mindful.
To be aware of your thoughts.
Be aware and acknowledge when you seek the approval of others. Is there a pattern? Does it bring up any sensations in your body when you think and behave differently to get other's approval? Focus on the sensations in your body that arise.
Do not judge the feelings and make them wrong; just feel and send them love. Observe the sensations leave your body. The process can take anywhere between a couple of minutes and several hours to achieve.
You are doing deep work. You are clearing your buried hurts and traumas. You are working on and changing, your energy.
3. LOVE Your Thoughts & Feelings.
When you 'catch' yourself thinking, or behaving, in a way that is seeking the approval of others, acknowledge the thought and feeling that is associated with you wanting to get approval, and LOVE it!
When you make yourself wrong, you are in resistance.
What you resist, persists. If you want to change your behavior, acknowledge it and LOVE it!
As Kyle Cease says, if you feel bad about feeling something, say what you are feeling followed by "and I love that!"
You stand in your true power and authenticity when you do not seek or need approval from others!
So there you have it. My top 3 tools to stop seeking approval from others by working on your inner strength and sense of self.
Your turn: Why do you seek approval? What tactics do you use? How is this impacting on you and your relationship? What can you do differently?
Contact me and we'll transform your relationship from "on the ropes" to "happily ever after."