Feelings of acceptance are a motivating factor when it comes to our productivity and performance. Certainly, positive forms of accountability can benefit us in positive ways such as when those around us expect kindness, integrity and for us to be our excellent self. But are you caught in a toxic cycle of approval addiction? Could a constant need to seek validation from others be preventing you from living the life you truly want?
“Extensive research highlights the relationship between the need for approval from others and anxiety. The self-esteem for those with a high need for approval is often correlated with how positively they believe others perceive them.”
Some of the negative consequences of approval seeking behaviours include:
Changing your views and decisions in the face of disapproval
Afraid to say no for fear of disapproval
Allowing people to walk all over you
Agreeing with someone when you don’t
Striving for complements and attention
Unable to be your authentic self
Like many people, I use to subconsciously have these approval seeking habits. I too was consumed by what others think, motivated by the need for approval. But during my quest for happiness, I realised that this ingrained behaviour was holding me back; preventing me from achieving the life I wanted. Therefore, I made effective changes, allowing myself the confidence to defend my rights to be me. It was only then that I felt a sense of possibility and purpose in my life. This enabled me to grow into a stronger and wiser version of myself.
Being free from approval seeking behaviour has allowed me to live by my own values with integrity and certainly less stress. I have told myself that I am a person who has free will and can determine my own journey and actions.
You can too!!
Ask yourself these questions :
‘Where in my life did this validation seeking behaviour begin?’
‘What would my life be like if I granted myself self-approval?’
‘Do I have the right to be me with my own thoughts and goals?’ Visualise a person from whom you have constantly sought approval. Ask yourself:- ‘Could I let go of wanting validation from this person?'
Like all ingrained habits, overcoming approval addiction will at first require practice. If your mind formulates reasons why you’re not good enough – challenge these thoughts. Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself - ‘I am a worthy person whether or not I have the approval of other people’.
Remember - It is YOU that has the power to release this unhelpful drive for approval. It is only YOU that can give you permission to set yourself free to be yourself!!