It could be said that are at least two types of people; those who rarely seek approval and those who seek a lot of approval. When someone fits into the first category, it is going to be possible for them to live their own life.
The reason for this is that they won’t need the all-clear or to receive permission before they do something. So, if they have the need to do something, they will be able to follow through with that need.
Ultimately, they are going to be free to express themselves, and this is going to allow them to live a life that is worth living. This could be how they have been for as long as they can remember or, perhaps, it has taken them a while to get to this point.
Either way, they will be able to make the most of their time on this earth. However, although this is going to be the optimum way to experience life, there are a lot of people who are unable to relate to it.
A Very Different Life
For someone like this, just about everything that they do will be a way for them to receive approval from others. As a result of this, it is not going to be possible for them to live their own life.
They will be living a life that matches up with, and what they think matches up with, what other people want. Therefore, even if they appear to be happy, this is going to be nothing more than an act.
Why Is That?
In order for someone to be truly happy, they will need to be in touch with their true self and for their life to be an expression of it. Through focusing on others and what will please them, they are not going to be able to express their true-self.
Or, if they do express who they are, it is likely to be the exception as opposed to the rule. Who they truly are, then, is rarely if ever going to see the light of day, and this is going to create a lot of pain.
Still, this is not to say that they will ever come into contact with this pain, due to how they behave. Thanks to the approval that they do get, they will be able to experience ‘positive’ feelings and, thereby, to keep this pain at bay.
Also, this whole process is likely to take place without one even being aware of what is going on. Ergo, it is not that they are consciously looking for approval; this is something that is taking place just outside of their conscious awareness.
A Wake-up Call
For them to no longer behave in this way, it will be necessary for them to become consciously aware of what is going on. This insight will need to be something that leaves an indelible mark on them and doesn’t just leave their awareness soon after.
Once they get to this point, it will allow them to reflect on their life and to see that behaving in this way is not serving their highest good. From here, they will be able to do something about what is going on.
The Next Step
If they were to get to this point and they ended up reaching out for support, they could come to believe that they are behaving in this way because they have ‘low self-esteem’. Considering this, the key will be for them to develop this part of them, and this could be seen as something that will primarily take place by changing their thoughts and behaviour.
Taking a step back from what is taking place in their mind, being ‘mindful’, will allow them to get an idea of how they talk to themselves. From here, they will be able to replace their ‘negative’ thoughts with ‘positive’ thoughts.
Through having different thoughts, they will be able to feel better and to behave differently. This will come down to the fact that their thoughts will be seen as being in control of how they feel.
As the weeks and months go by, they could find that they spend less time trying to seek approval and more time expressing themselves. Then again, this approach might not last or it simply might not work.
A Closer Look
If this approach doesn’t have the desired effect, it could be said that it is not much of a surprise. There is a strong chance that their need for approval has got very little to do with what is taking place up top and a lot to do with what is taking place down below, so to speak.
Said another way, their need for approval is likely to be a sign that their emotional body is not in a good way. This part of them will also be where their inner child will be found.
A Time to Listen
Now, one might be completely out of touch with their inner child but this part of them will still be having a massive impact on their life. For all this time, their inner child’s needs will have merged with their adult needs, preventing them from seeing what was going on.
This child part of them will carry all of the needs that were not met during their childhood years. Many, many years nay have passed since they were a child but these needs will have stayed with them and, until they are acknowledged, will continue to do so.
A Different Outlook
What this means is that while they can be seen as having a strong need for approval and this can be seen as being something that is ‘negative’, it would be more accurate to say that the child part inside them is looking for the love and nurturance that it didn’t receive all those years ago. To this part of them, approval, acceptance, attention and validation will be seen as love.
With this understanding in place, one will be able to get in touch with this part of them and to grieve their unmet childhood needs. Without it, it will be normal for them to judge themselves and to try to change the effects of what is going.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.