"Your self-worth is determined by you. You don't have to depend on someone telling you who you are." - Beyoncé
We often find ourselves seeking validation and approval from others. We desire recognition, acceptance, and admiration from our peers and society. But does this constant need for approval truly make sense?
Isn't it a fact that many people lack brilliance, uphold regressive or deeply concerning beliefs, and tend to conform to societal norms and thus follow the herd? Still, we find it oddly gratifying when they show affection toward us. Such thinking is absurd. It's quite peculiar how much we prioritize the approval of individuals we don't even hold in high regard, and the extent to which we're prepared to go for it.
Let’s face it: Relying solely on external approval can be detrimental to our self-esteem and personal growth.
Psychologist and life coach Sacha Crouch writes, “The need for approval kills freedom. Trust me, I know, because I spent my entire life seeking approval until I realized it was a waste of time and didn’t work anyway. The desire to get people to like me motivated the majority of my choices and actions in early life.” She further adds, “Queen of social chameleons, I mastered the art of telling people what they wanted to hear and being someone they would find impressive—all the while worrying incessantly about what others thought of me, fearing criticism, and holding myself back as a result.”
The pursuit of external approval often compels us to wear masks and hide our true selves. However, in doing so, we lose touch with our authentic identity. “If you are ever tempted to look for outside approval,” Epictetus said, “realize that you have compromised your integrity. If you need a witness, be your own.” We’re all “flawesome” beings. Embracing our uniqueness, strengths, and shortcomings allows us to lead genuine and honest lives, fostering deeper connections with others who appreciate us for who we truly are.
The constant need for approval can stem from a fear of rejection and the desire to fit in. But, when we liberate ourselves from seeking validation from others, we break free from the chains of fear and doubt. This newfound courage allows us to pursue our passions, explore new horizons, and realize our full potential.
Relying solely on external approval makes us vulnerable to the fluctuations of opinions and judgments from others. By seeking approval within ourselves, we develop resilience to criticism and setbacks. As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely stated, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” When we affirm our self-worth, negative comments lose their power, and we become stronger in the face of adversity.
When we grant ourselves the freedom of self-approval, we become more accepting and compassionate individuals. As our confidence grows, we uplift others to embrace their uniqueness without judgment. By inspiring others to seek self-approval, we create a more supportive and inclusive society.
The pursuit of external validation can become an endless cycle, leaving us perpetually unsatisfied. However, self-approval brings about a sense of inner fulfillment that transcends the need for validation from others. Maya Angelou once said, "You are enough, just as you are. Each mistake, each imperfection, each inadequacy, is a necessary part of the journey." By validating our own worth, we unlock the door to a more fulfilling and contented life.
Therefore, it’s crucial that we shift our focus from seeking approval from others to granting ourselves permission to be true to who we are. In doing so, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. As we navigate our lives, let us remember the timeless words of Oscar Wilde, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Embracing our uniqueness and self-approval is the key to living an authentic and fulfilling life.
48% of solo male drivers wear a seatbelt. When a man is in the passenger seat, the rate drops to 34%. When there’s a woman sitting next to him, the rate jumps to 59%.