Fighting (and getting there) the need for approval can be one of the greatest favors we can do for ourselves in life. This urge can cause all kinds of negative effects, such as straying from the paths we really want to take. However, it is a need or desire that we have all had at least once in our life, to a greater or lesser extent.
It is necessary to distinguish between the desire not to offend and the desire to please, as well as between those acts which please others and which do not hinder our true desires from acts which, in turn, take us away from it. that we really want in essence.
Ending the need for approval doesn’t happen overnight. However, as the philosopher Lao-Tseu says, “a path of a thousand kilometers begins with a first step”. While there are hundreds of acts that can help you achieve this, some of the most effective are as follows:
- Identify the consequences of this attitude
- Strengthen your self-esteem
- Generate an internal locus of control
Let’s take a look at each of these points.
The biggest hurdle you will face when it comes to combating the need for approval is precisely recognizing that this need motivates your behavior. Studies tell us that the majority of us are unaware of everything we do to please others.
To start, we suggest you do an analysis exercise and identify how the need for approval affects your life. So answer the following questions: What would you do differently if everyone could love you no matter what you do? If you were the last person on Earth, what would you spend your time on? If no one could judge you, would you change anything in your life?
Questions like this will help you combat the need for approval and identify anything you are doing to meet that need. Thus, you will be able to make the decision to keep certain habits, to modify them or to eliminate them.
A low self-esteem, along with the feelings that derive from that self-esteem, can cause us not to seek the approval of others again. When we have doubts about our “qualities”, the need for others to strengthen us with their approval increases. The problem is, sometimes it will cause us to behave in a way that we really don’t like.
Thus, our self-esteem will continue to decline, and this can lead to a vicious cycle, where we feel more and more bad as we seek the approval of others even more.
However, if you work on building your self-esteem, you’ll find that fighting the need for approval just got easier. No matter how you do it, loving yourself more should become a priority from now on.
One of the key components of a good self-concept is the internal locus of control. This strange name refers to the belief that you have great power over what happens to you. When something happens to you that you don’t like, ask yourself: would you blame something on the outside, or on the contrary, would you decide to take responsibility and work to change it?
If you have an external locus of control (that is, if you believe that your life depends on factors over which you have no control), it will be easier to need the approval of others to feel good. This is why increasing the feeling of control will turn the gaze more towards you and less towards others. Tell yourself that whatever you do, there will always be someone who will not approve of your actions. So why should you worry about what other people think of you?
Once you decide to take the reins of your life, fighting the need for approval becomes extremely easy. At the end of the day, when you do what you really want to do, outside opinions don’t matter.
The three tips we give you in this article to combat the need for approval are mutually reinforcing. Therefore, choose the one you want and start working on it. In no time, you’ll realize that what other people think of you won’t be such a big factor anymore!