As Confucius once said, “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others”. This quote just means that whatever approval or validation you seek is in you. Many years ago, I used to live on the approval and acceptance of others; I was beautiful when someone said so, I was brilliant when someone said so, I was slim, fat, short, tall when someone told me so. That was how I lived my life and my oh my! Was it a hard life. As the years went by, I started to realize that the more desperate I was for approval and validation, the more I didn’t get it; and the less approval that I got, the more desperate I became. It was a vicious cycle that I was stuck in until it all came crashing down and one day I decided to choose and approve of myself no matter what.
“What do you mean I have to wait for someone’s approval? I’m someone. I approve. So I give myself permission to move forward with my full support!” Richelle E. Goodrich
There is absolutely nothing wrong with gaining validation and acceptance from others; we are creatures of love. How can you love something/someone without validating and accepting it to some degree? The problem only comes when we cannot feel good about who we are without the validation of others.
It’s okay to care what your closest friends think of you especially when it is in a loving way and it has to do with you or your relationship with that friend becoming better but when you cannot find happiness until your friend tells you how much she/he thinks you are cool every single day. Exhausted much? If you need reassurance every day or you cannot make a decision on your own until it is validated or approved by others; I am here to tell you for free that you are currently living a hard life.
There is a special kind of relief and freedom in the ability to make decisions without NEEDING the approval of others; Emphasis on need. I say that because, in all honesty, it is a great feeling to gain the approval of the people we care about especially when it comes to some pivotal decisions in our lives but what are you going to do when no one supports you? Not move forward?
Most of the people in the world who have done game-changing things often went ahead with the disapproval of many.
So, what do you do when you are in desperate need of constant validation and approval from others?
Pause and Breathe
This is one of the best and often most underestimated things to do in a stressful and emotional period. Instead of making a decision right away to try to fix things and make yourself feel better. Sit down, pause, and breathe. You just told your father that you are going to quit your awesome bank job to pursue a career in acting, he disapproves and you are not happy about it; before you say or do anything, pause and breathe as deep as you can. Fill your lungs with oxygen and exhale. It will help you relax and release most of that negative emotion.
Have you ever heard that the more you beg for love the less of it you get? It pretty much applies to almost every other thing. The more you beg for someone’s approval, the less of it you will get and that makes you want to beg even more and then you get even less of it and the cycle begins.