It is a part of human nature to seek love and approval from others. When we are young, we physically need our caretakers to survive. Whether we realize it or not, we are dependent on them for our physical necessities and for our sense of self.
As children and adults, it feels safe to be loved and nurtured by our families and communities. It felt good to know that others approve of our behavior, our lifestyles, our choices. We internalized this to mean we were on track or making correct choices.
As we grew older this basic system continued, however, we no longer need it. More than anything, it has become a prison. We feel trapped and constantly search outside ourselves for love and approval. We stay stuck and stay small out of fear of what others may say or think about us. In other words, we value a sense of security (false security) over honoring ourselves and trusting life.
This is a recipe for unhappiness.
In every stage of life, the pressure to fit in and conform exists. People are looking around and comparing themselves to others to measure if they are ok. If they are doing it right or wrong. If they could be better or if they could/should have made different choices. Without realizing or maybe with the realization, we have traded in our strong, beating heart for a plastic toy heart because the toy won’t break. At least not in the same way.
If you are tired of comparing yourself to others and seeking approval in order to feel loved, this old system no longer serves your highest good and luckily there is a way out.
The way out of caring what other people think is simple, care what you think more. Value yourself and your opinions more. Know yourself and what feels right for you. Know that safety and love lie within yourself.
Here are 5 ways to stop asking for other people’s approval and start living life on your own terms.
5 Ways To Stop Asking Other People’s Approval
1. Fully Commit to Your Relationship with Yourself
Without realizing and without our highest intentions, we have committed to caring what other’s think and allow it to make our choices for us. It doesn’t serve us, and it doesn’t feel good. Instead commit to YOURSELF. Be so fully committed to the relationship with yourself that other’s opinions, judgments, and labels become background noise.
We are all similar, however we are not the same. Therefore, our choices and lives will look different. If you keep comparing yourself to someone that is on a different path and is having a different life experience (which is everyone), you will remain stuck and unhappy.
3. Look within yourself
The love and security you are seeking will never be fulfilled by others. It can only be fulfilled within yourself. Love yourself, approve of yourself, choose yourself!
4. Value Your Opinions and Feelings
Everyone has opinions, everyone has an idea or thought about something, and many choose to share it without your asking. This doesn’t have to mean anything about you unless you value it over your own. The truth is, we are entitled to living life in different ways and having unique opinions. Your opinion, experiences, and feelings are the most important and carry the most value.
If you are someone that has spent most of your life people pleasing or comparing yourself, there will be a lot of fear and discomfort present when you begin making different choices or speaking up. This fear is normal, and you don’t need to succumb to it. Start by taking small steps and testing the waters. Once you see that other’s judgment (good or bad) can’t break you, you can overcome this fear.
I hope these steps guide you to feel supported and safe in your life and in your choices. Please reach out to me with any questions.