Approval

How to Break free of Addiction to Approval

1. Recognise that other people do not determine your worth and value. It’s your life not there’s. They are responsible to themselves for their life; and you are responsible to yourself for your life. Don’t give up your “self” to please someone else.

2. Also, people change, have different values and outlooks and want different things for, and from, us. It’s simply impossible to please everyone all of the time, or even most of the time.

3. Recognise that spending our lives trying to make others happiness is a recipe for failure and low self-esteem. It’s a pointless way to spend your life. It will stop you being happy and true to yourself.

4. Be kind to yourself. Understand that we all have weaknesses, and things that we regret saying and doing.

5. Also, we’re all on our journey – and the journey is harder and more challenging for some than others. Perhaps you are dealing with obstacles that other people have not had to face.

6. Develop your self esteem from within. Decide on the type of person YOU want to be, and work on being true to that.

7. Think about what really matters to you, and the different goals you’d like to achieve – then set these as a priority. That is, decide what YOU want to do instead of worrying about what others would like you to do.

8. Develop a plan for the direction of your life. Focus your thinking, energy, choices and decisions around living a life that is meaningful to you. At the end of each day, check to ensure you’ve done something that is taking you in that direction.

9. Work on developing your self-reliance – so that although it is nice to have help and support from others, you’re not dependent upon it (or them). Also, being able to think, act and choose for yourself will greatly increase your self-confidence.

10. Work on accepting, valuing and loving yourself. Appreciate the good things about YOU. Notice your successes, and any moves towards living out your goals, and becoming the real you.

11. Choose to live in the moment. Decide not to keep going over the past, or worrying too much about what lies ahead. Notice and relish what is good about “right now”.

12. Choose joy. Allowing yourself to experience joy is freeing, motivating, energising. It keeps your focus on the positives in life.

Are you Addicted to Approval?

Signs of being addicted to approval include:

1. You are very aware of the expectations of others. They also affect how you feel about yourself.

2. You are constantly worried about how others view you/ what they are thinking about you.

3. You choose NOT to do things that others don’t approve of for fear of judgment and rejection.

4. You DO things you don’t want to do as you fear others making fun or you, putting you down, or talking about it.

5. You feel anxious and upset if you think you have upset or irritated someone – and desperately try to make things right.

6. You think the views and opinions of others are more informed and valuable than yours.

7. You agree when others criticise and put you down. Then you start to attack and feel ashamed of yourself.

8. You reject yourself if other people reject you, and basically believed that at core you are flawed.

How to Break Free from Addiction to Approval

1. Recognise that other people do not determine your worth and value. It’s your life not there’s. They are responsible to themselves for their life; and you are responsible to yourself for your life. Don’t give up your “self” to please someone else.
2. Also, people change, have different values and outlooks and want different things for, and from, us. It’s simply impossible to please everyone all of the time, or even most of the time.
3. Recognise that spending our lives trying to make others happiness is a recipe for failure and low self-esteem. It’s a pointless way to spend your life. It will stop you being happy and true to yourself.
4. Be kind to yourself. Understand that we all have weaknesses, and things that we regret saying and doing.
5. Also, we’re all on our journey – and the journey is harder and more challenging for some than others. Perhaps you are dealing with obstacles that other people have not had to face.
6. Develop your self esteem from within. Decide on the type of person YOU want to be, and work on being true to that.
7. Think about what really matters to you, and the different goals you’d like to achieve – then set these as a priority. That is, decide what YOU want to do instead of worrying about what others would like you to do.
8. Develop a plan for the direction of your life. Focus your thinking, energy, choices and decisions around living a life that is meaningful to you. At the end of each day, check to ensure you’ve done something that is taking you in that direction.
9. Work on developing your self-reliance – so that although it is nice to have help and support from others, you’re not dependent upon it (or them). Also, being able to think, act and choose for yourself will greatly increase your self-confidence.
10. Work on accepting, valuing and loving yourself. Appreciate the good things about YOU.
Notice your successes, and any moves towards living out your goals, and becoming the real you.
11. Choose to live in the moment. Decide not to keep going over the past, or worrying too much about what lies ahead. Notice and relish what is good about “right now”.
12. Choose joy. Allowing yourself to experience joy is freeing, motivating, energising. It keeps your focus on the positives in life.

This is something people must ask themselves every single day, sometimes even multiple times during the day. The answer isn’t always one we’re going to like. We know we need to be acceptable in God’s eyes, but we want to be acceptable in the world’s eyes.

It’s hard. It’s hard to try to love a life acceptable to a person you can’t see when there’s people you can see that are hating on you for it. Sometimes, it feels like it’ll be easier to just do what the world wants you to do and hope God understands. It’s hard, I know. Don’t get angry at yourself for struggling with this, it is hard.

But every time you lose the approval of a person, remember that God sees that. God sees what you’re going through and God will get you through it. Not only that, but God will repay you. It’s hard. But keep going, it’s worth it. God’s got you.

Contact and approval 

Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)