I very much want to talk about seeking the approval of others when you’re making decisions for your life.
In short, don’t do that.
I wish it were that easy to dispel, but the urge runs far deeper than that. We’re conditioned to adjust our actions in order to elicit positive reactions from those around us. We’re taught to do so from when we were small. We learn how to condition ourselves to act in a way that is pleasing to those around us.
It gets even more complicated when you’re financially dependent on those whose approval you seek – be it a spouse, a parent, or a rich uncle (hey over here!)
But see, the thing is, the desire for approval lies more firmly rooted in us, than in the person from whom we’re seeking it. I mean, think about it. How important is it really to you whether or not you approve of someone? Probably not that important. But on the receiving end, we sometimes give that endorsement the power to sink or buoy our joy.
A hundred Facebook likes and a couple dozen shares? Yeah, baby *pats back. Shares something truly meaningful, hears crickets? Excuse me I’ll be over here in the cave of dejection, but you probably don’t care anyway.
[tweetherder]Let’s stop putting the power of approval into other people’s hands, shall we?[/tweetherder]
You will not make it through this life and please everyone. It’s impossible. In fact, if you’re in the pursuit of the extraordinary, you should expect to displease many. They won’t understand. They will judge. They will question your sanity and your durability and your logic, because they don’t understand.
It stems from fear; every judgment does.
For those who love you, they fear for your pain. For those who are jealous of you, they don’t know how to find it for themselves.
You cannot listen to their opinions. You cannot curtail your desires based on the knee jerk reaction to please everyone.
This, however, does not mean that you run through life with the omniscient attitude of a pompous dictator – you don’t know what’s best for anyone other than yourself, so your approval of others doesn’t matter either.
Walk with humility, proceed with honor, but do NOT make decisions based on other people’s reactions.
[tweetherder]You must like yourself, but that does not mean that others must like you, or approve of your decisions.[/tweetherder]
But, when who like you are and who you’re becoming along the way, the approval of others won’t matter.
It’s your life, do it your way, and to dust with the peanut gallery.