When working with my Life and Confidence Coaching Clients or Professional Speaking, I often talk about the need for people to seek approval from other people. This could be at work, at home, with friends or even with complete strangers! Unfortunately, many of us work hard to gain this illusive approval, becoming people pleasers or turning ourselves inside out in the hope that other people will approve of us.
In doing this, we forget our own needs, our own wants and shove them to the side. We say Yes when we really want to say No and we end up agreeing to do all sorts of things we may not want to do. Gaining approval becomes an addiction, the 'hit' that we want so desperately to receive from other people. I see this a lot with staff at work, when they are desperately waiting for their boss to give them some praise or give some indication that they approve of the work they are doing.
Only when we receive approval do we then feel accomplished, that we have done a good job, or feel like a good person.
This idea of seeking of approval from others however, is fatally flawed. You see, we can never rely on the approval from others. They have their own lives, their own stuff going on and may not even consider the importance of 'approving of you'. As a result, when we don't receive the approval we crave, we can become upset, frustrated and feel like a failure.
Seeking approval from others never works as you are seeking a positive emotion from other people (outside of you) instead of finding it inside of yourself.
The key is to start approving of yourself. Give yourself the approval and acknowledgement you desire rather than craving it from other people. It can take a little time, but when you build momentum up on this, you will no longer keep seeking it from others, as you feel it yourself.
At the end of each day - why not give yourself some praise, tell yourself you have done a good job and give yourself a pat on the back - rather than waiting for someone else to tell you.
This itself gives you freedom. The freedom to be you. The freedom to do as you want and the freedom to care about your own wellbeing. The freedom from the approval of other people.
Lisa Phillips is an award winning Sydney Professional Life Coach and Sydney Confidence Coach. She runs workshops for organisations on the importance of empowerment and confidence. She is also the author of 'The Confidence Coach' (Exile Publishing) For more information, please also see www.amazingcoaching.com.au.
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.