Everybody is born wanting to please their parents or guardians. It is natural for a child to want to do what makes their parents happy because it normally wins them praise and affirmation. Sometimes, no matter what a child does, their parents disapprove or find ways to tear the child down so the child will work harder to prove themselves to win their affection. They may also be self-destructive in order to get attention. There are myriad ways people work hard to gain other people’s approval and those habits are hard to break. They may even lead to substance abuse due to the stress and strain of trying to cope. What people do in recovery is learning how to navigate those feelings and habits and turn them into strategies for living better, healthier lives. Find some helpful tips on ways to let go of needing other people’s approval to live your best life now.
The negative impact of seeking other people’s approval can deter you from discovering wholeness in your life. Maybe you feel anxious or stressed because you want to get approval from the people in your life. It may be that fear of failing has you giving up before you start. It is very important to focus on how your need for approval is holding you back from doing what is important to you. Once you move on, you can be free to achieve what you want in life without the stress of worrying about getting others to like you.
To Thine Own Self
There is a phrase that goes ‘to thine own self be true.’ The only person living your life right now is you. When other people accept you, it changes how you see yourself in the world. When other people don’t accept you, it changes that perception as well. Everything that happens to us in the world shapes us, for better or worse. You might feel stuck doing things you don’t enjoy and keep doing negative things that don’t make your life better. What you can do is ask yourself what you value and how you see yourself moving forward. Listen to what you want in life and begin to align your actions with values and goals. Living in line with those values makes things much easier for you when you know what they are and hold strong to those in times of challenge.
The hardest part of seeking approval from others is letting go eventually. While freeing, it is also disconcerting. It means having the strength to let go of what feels right for you. You will no longer feel the need to seek validation and will become more self-aware. Some tips to help you navigate the journey:
- Pay attention. Know what it feels like in your body when you strive for someone’s approval and take note of it
- Reflect on and pay attention to the choices you’ve made and how it related to this need for approval
- Be honest with yourself and commit to changing this habit, one day at a time, with help from friends and loved ones
- Only say yes if you mean it (and don’t fear saying ‘no’)
Step back in your own life and see where you may be seeking approval from others in what you do and how you are in the world. If you see what’s important, you may realize how you are seeking approval so you can re-evaluate and figure out what to do in that moment. While hard to change old habits, it is better than reliving old patterns that keep you stuck and don’t help you move forward with your life.
Oceanfront will help you kick addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-296-7477