December 10, 2018

Why Approval Seeking Is Such A Trap + How To Get Out Of It

Why Approval Seeking Is Such A Trap Delightful client I’ll call “Claire”. A gentle sweet soul, making her way through life in a quiet and unassuming way. It turns out Claire is not doing a whole heap of things that would make her happy. Joining a choir. Making her own clothes. Taking a trip to Asia. Going for a promotion.

Why? Because she is so, so, very afraid that each choice will not meet with universal approval. What if she misses a note and people laugh? What if people don’t like that quirkily fashioned skirt? What if no one from the tour wants to talk to her in the temples of Thailand? What if she can’t do the new job perfectly and everyone knows it and thinks she shouldn’t have got it?

It paralyses her. And so. And so. She does none of these things. And life stays small. Her fear of not receiving approval stops her from creating opportunities to make her own heart sing.

She has handed all her power away.

She is not alone.

Before you judge Claire, take a look inside. There are way more of us who are closet approval seekers than you might think. The rise of social media and the selfie have fuelled a culture of approval seeking. Ever had a little lift in mood as you got more “likes” than you thought; ever wondered what was wrong with that status update that it got so few (doesn’t anyone care?)? Approval seeking comes in many forms, and when we base a piece of our self worth on it we are in trouble. It means we have handed the power of how we feel about our own self directly into the hands of others. That we are dependent on receiving a certain response from outside our self in order to feel good on the inside. That, my friend, is a very dangerous way to live.

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