How to Stop Seeking Approval to Do
What You Want to Do & Succeed
Everyone needs to feel appreciated on a regular basis. This stems from our very human need to know and feel that we’re doing a good job in life (and a little recognition also prompts our brains to release the feel-good chemical dopamine).
However, while feeling appreciated is a healthy thing, feeling a need to seek out approval from people in our lives (your boss, spouse, parents, friends, neighbors, even your kids) is quite the opposite. Being addicted to such approval can cause you to miss opportunities and put your own dreams on hold – all for the sake of being approved of, of being liked.
“Wanting people to approve of you is very pervasive in our society. Most of us feel that without others approving of who we are and what we do, we have no value,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates.
Approval Addiction: Are You Addicted to Approval?
How can you tell if you are truly addicted to seeking the approval of others? There are several telltale signs, and they include:
• You describe yourself as a “people pleaser”
• You will do anything your boss requests of you, even if it’s unreasonable or puts you under excessive pressure
• You have trouble saying no to people
• You’ve taken on extra obligations at the request of others, only to feel resentful of them later
• You have not gone after your dream of starting a business, being a singer, traveling the world, etc., because someone told you not to
• Every second of your free time is taken up fulfilling the needs of others (and never the needs of yourself)
• If you do something that someone doesn’t approve of, you feel very guilty
How to Stop Seeking Approval
The risk of being addicted to others’ approval is that you end up living your life for other people. You don’t feel free to pursue your own goals and dreams, and if you do, you feel guilty for it. But you deserve to live the life YOU want, and you don’t need anyone to approve of it but yourself.
“All value comes from within,” Dwoskin says. “You can give yourself the approval that you are seeking from others.”
If you are having trouble getting past the feeling that you need others’ approval, give The Sedona Method, a simple but powerful tool, a try. The Method can help you to learn to let go of your negative feelings, including approval addiction.
“Remember that you are the source of love and approval,” Dwoskin says, “you do not need to get it from others. You can let go of wanting others to approve of you just like you can let go of any other feeling – and you will feel whole and complete unto yourself.”