When working with my Personal Life Coaching Clients, it is common for people to admit that they feel that they constantly look for approval from other people. This could be a boss, partner, friend, family member or even a complete stranger!
Unfortunately, many of us work hard to gain this illusive approval from others, becoming people pleasers and turning ourselves inside out in the hope that other people will give us a few kind words and show that they like us or like what we are doing.
In doing this, we forget our own needs and wants and literally shove them to the side. We say Yes when we really want to say No and we end up agreeing to do all sorts of things we may not want to do. Gaining approval becomes an addiction, the ‘hit’ that we want so desperately to receive from other people.
Only when we receive it do we then feel accomplished, that we have done a good job, or feel like a good person.
This idea of seeking of approval from others however, is fatally flawed. You see, we can never rely on the approval from others. They have their own lives, their own stuff going on and may not even consider the importance of ‘approving of you’. As a result, when we don’t receive the approval we crave, we can become upset, frustrated and feel like a failure.
Seeking approval from others never works as you are seeking a positive emotion from other people instead of finding it inside of yourself.
The key is to start approving of yourself. Give yourself the approval and acknowledgement you desire rather than craving it from other people. It can take a little time, but when you build momentum up on this, you will no longer keep seeking it from others, as you feel it deeply inside of yourself.
This itself gives you freedom. The freedom to be you. The freedom to do as you want and the freedom to care about your own wellbeing. The freedom being tied to the approval of other people.
Today, try giving yourself some well deserved praise or a pat on the back. Do this regulary and watch how you move from seeking approval, to finding it within yourself.
Lisa Phillips is an award winning Sydney Life Coach and Sydney Confidence Coach. She runs workshops for organisations on the importance of empowerment, resilience and confidence. She is also the author of ‘The Confidence Coach’ (Exile Publishing). To find out more about Lisa’s work, please see www.amazingcoaching.com.au or www.howtoempoweryourstaff.com.au