Psychotherapist. Coach. Consultant.

Do you keep seeking approval?

In the middle of a beautiful fall day, I could not stop thinking about our need for approval.  Some people spend months, years, a lifetime, looking for someone else to approve of them and tell them that they’re ok.  I had a friend who would jokingly say, “How am I doing?” It was supposed to be a joke, but I knew that he meant it.  His life was based on other people’s perception of him.  He was never really happy because he struggled with his own value and the value that others placed on him.


We all want people to think well of us. The need for love and respect is true for everybody.  None of us goes into a situation thinking, “I hope they don’t like or respect me.”  It is natural to want people to like us.  The problem occurs when we have the need for approval.  It is when we base our entire sense of value on the opinions of our parents, spouse, boss, or co-workers.


Unfortunately, we will never receive kudos from someone who doesn’t approve of themselves.  We can wear the right clothing, work hard, make gourmet dinners, and yet, we won’t receive the adulation we desire.  If we are working hard, being honest, and loving ourselves, what difference does their approval make?  Some will love us and those who don’t aren’t worth the time or energy.


You may ask yourself:


If I never get ______________approval will I still be ok?


Will life go on?


Will I still have value?


Does it really change the way that I live my life?


Answering these questions can get you out of the rat race of looking for other people’s ok.  As long as you know that you are, no one else needs to approve of you.


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