Once our physical needs are met, meeting our core emotional needs becomes our number one priority in life. The desire for belonging is deeply ingrained into our DNA as human beings.
We seek the validation & approval of others as a way to affirm that we belong, that we are in fact enough. Without this approval we feel unsafe and fear is triggered at a subconscious level in us.
The approval of others helps stem these fears, which is why it’s so important to us to get that approval.
Wanting vs. Needing
But there is a difference between wanting approval and NEEDING approval. When you need someone’s approval, your emotional well-being rests on how they respond to you.
This may show up as you anxiously holding your breath until you hear how someone thinks or feels about you or what you’ve done. And if they don’t approve of you or worse criticize you, it causes you to spiral into a negative place of self-loathing and berating or beating yourself up.
If this is your response to not receiving praise from someone then you have a need for approval and that need changes how you show up in the world.
When other people’s opinions of you is the measure for how you live your life, you only ever become who others say you are capable of becoming. You end up a muted version of yourself instead of your most authentic self.
You inevitably only see the world through the lens of those whose approval you seek. You don’t see all the wonder and possibility around you, and you especially don’t see your own possibility.
Letting go of needing approval can be especially hard for the people pleasers out there. But you can gain a few important benefits if you can learn to do it. Here are just three of them:
1) You stay in integrity with yourself.
The need for acceptance turns you into a bit of a chameleon, causing you say and do things that may be the opposite of what you truly want. When the need for approval isn’t as strong, you no longer say one thing while really thinking or desiring something else.
You allow yourself the freedom to speak how you really feel and what you really want, knowing that integrity with yourself trumps everything else.
2) You honor your values
Compromising your values for the sake of gaining the praise of others, or avoiding their criticism, is a slippery slope. Your inner compass for what is right or wrong is yours and yours alone. No one else gets to tell you what is right (or wrong) for you.
You do yourself a huge disservice when you ignore your inner wisdom for the sake of someone else’s bigger picture. You end up living a life that is out of alignment with your sense of right and wrong and your peace of mind pays a price when you are out of alignment at that level.
The benefits you may gain from being praised and applauded is not worth the price you pay for violating your value system.
3) You model integrity and courage to others
Those you influence or lead, at home and at work, are watching you whether you know it or not. When you can be in a place where the approval of others doesn’t influence how you show up, you teach those around you how to do the same.
There are enough leaders, teachers and mentors telling people they need to fit in or else. It will be great for them to see what it looks like to be successful while choosing not to be influenced by the voices of others outside of you.
Needing approval robs you of your power. Instead of being grounded in the absolute certainty that you are enough, you allow someone else to make that determination for you when the truth is who you are is neither enhanced nor diminished by another’s praise or criticism.
May you know this to be true so you can rise into your greatness!
From my heart to yours,
If you sense that being a people pleaser has been holding you back and you’re ready to experience life without that limitation, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today where we can explore what it would look for you to no longer NEED approval from others.