When you were a child, you were expected to ask for approval and consent before you do something. And you needed validation to confirm whether your behavior and actions were acceptable.
Without the go ahead and OK from your parents or the elders, you probably felt lost and unsure.
You needed to be told what was right or wrong. You believed the authoritative adults. You needed their support, blessings and encouragement. You could not function without them. You wanted to feel loved, accepted and worthy.
Many grown-ups brought along the approval seeking behavior into their adulthood. They still act like children. They worry too much about what their peers, parents, children, friends, superiors, and coworkers think of their actions, choices and manners. They are unable to make firm decisions in life because they still crave for attention, love and guidance.
These people are unable to go far because they require other people’s permission to decide for them before they take action.
3 Tips to Stop Your Need for Approval.
1. Notice What’s Going Inside Your Head
Listen to those voices inside your head. They are voices from your past. They are still there because you are still replaying what were said then. Stop rerunning the images of disapproving remarks. Start looking at those images face to face and question yourself.
Some of the images of people playing in your head may no longer exist but their words linger on and still make you feel rejected and unloved. How do you get rid of them? By putting in the efforts to cancel the old and negative criticisms and replacing them with positive and uplifting affirmations.
You can go through the process by getting into a resourceful state of mind which you can attain through meditation or any mind-body relaxation exercise. You can also use subliminal messages and self-hypnosis. When your mind is quiet and deeply relaxed, you can provide positive suggestions and create new mental images through visualization.
2. Start Making Your Own Decisions
Is it really important that other people have to agree with your choices and decisions? Can’t you function without them?
Ask for opinions and assistance if you lack the knowledge or skill but make your own decisions.
In order to make good decisions, practice making lots of them. It entails that you face and fight your fears, especially the fear of being rejected.
You may make wrong decisions, but hey, the more decisions you make the better and faster you will learn. You will inevitably improve your confidence and worthiness and your insecurities will disappear.
You have to catch the old mental programming often, interrupt it and replace with positive statements such as “I choose to have control over my thoughts.”
Try to be mindful as often as you can so that you can stop the old negative conditioning and limiting beliefs.
3. Learn to Trust Your Judgments
Accept yourself for your mistakes and how or what have become of you. So what if you have made mistakes before. Who doesn’t? Mistakes don’t make you a failure or a reject. If you do feel such a way, it’s because you want to think that way.
Fears and the dire need for acceptance are common weaknesses. But you must overcome them if you value your own worth. Start believing and trusting yourself and your judgments. You must work on improving your self-esteem and developing self-love. Learn to feel good about yourself before people can feel at ease in your company.
How long it’ll take for you to stop the need for approval depends on how bad you want to change. If you have had enough of waiting for validation, if you are sick and tired of depending on others, you will do something about it quickly.
The ball is in your court.