Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH.
One of these days, I really should thank my therapist for helping me come up with ideas for Self-Appreciation Saturdays; a lot of what we discuss are easily SAS posts within themselves. I say that because, in the recent months, we’ve both noticed a pattern of behavior that could possibly link most of my anxiety together: I’m a person that seeks approval from others.
And she’s not wrong. I know for a fact my anxiety flares up the most when I feel like I’ve disappointed another person for if I’m doing something that a loved one may not approve of, and I constantly worry about bring issues up because I don’t want to upset people in the making. It’s weird though: I find myself doing these things because they just are so natural to me when in reality, there are the same reasons why defending myself and making big decisions in my life are so hard for me to do, but that’s a different story for a different day.
What I’m trying to point out is that seeking approval from others isn’t such a foreign thing to do; many of us do that. Seeking approval from others typically stem from places of self-doubt, insecurities, and low self-esteem. It stems from a lack of self-confidence. Normally, seeking out advice is not a bad thing to do preferably for some guidance through something, seeking approval is pretty much saying that these other people have your life in their hands. You don’t allow yourself to make risky decisions and learn from them yourself. It restricts you from your freedom.
By seeking approval, you’re losing such important parts of yourself that ultimately make you, you. You’re left living your life like a Sim character, to say the least. Your decisions are influenced by those around you, you’re left constantly telling yourself that you don’t mean shit unless someone tells you that you are validated. Your self-worth is left in the hands of other people, and I’m slowly learning that no matter how much it feels good to have other people see worth in you (I mean, doesn’t that say that to the universe that you’re a good person?), if you don’t feel that and know it for yourself, you will forever be seeking that validation of self-worth. RuPaul said it best: if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else?
As a person who is actively trying to make decisions and seek validation for myself and to myself, I understand how hard it could be to break out of that toxic cycle. I know how hard it could be to not be so afraid of what other people may think or say regarding this big decision or anything regarding yourself in that matter. I know how frustrating it could be to have this desire to stop seeking approval or to had built up this courage of thinking and doing things for yourself and then ultimately regret it because you’re back to seeking that same approval from others. It’s not an easy thing to do, so please give yourself some time, patience, and persistence to achieve something to this degree. Doing this goes completely against who you are as a person and what you learned as a human being. But please, let’s stop seeking approval and start just doing because it’s our life and our decision to make.
Let your journey of self-discovery begin, guys.