Give yourself the thumbs up, and save time and worry about what others think! Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net
Most people, at some time in their lives worry what others think about them, and desire approval. However, seeking approval from other people before undertaking a venture for example, may mean we never do it, if the approbation is that important to us.
It is understandable that others’ approval of us and our actions may be important. After all, we are social animals, and need connections with other people for meaning, a sense of relatedness, satisfaction from helping, and for support when we feel we need it.
However, the maxim “You can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time” seems to be an inevitable truth at the end of the day.
When we don't get the approval or support we desire, it can be disappointing, because we may lose faith in ourselves. If the relationship with the one we sought support from is important to us, we may acquiesce - however inside, there may be a sense of emptiness, disappointment and even anger if we have to have others' approval at the expense of our own dreams.
If the person we want to approve of us in a particular way, does not abandon, criticise or behave in any other negative way because of we may choose to go ahead anyway, then the friend is a true one.
Another common problem is that we think others won't like us or abandon us if we do what we believe in. However, even if they disapprove of an action, it does not mean they disapprove of us.
It is a different matter if people give us heart-felt advice with logical reasons why an idea may not be a good one. There is a difference between advice and telling someone what to do.
If people have the attitude “my way or no way”, it is highly unlikely that they have your best interests at heart. Being a positive friend means one can give their opinion – however, they will support or at least, not abandon the friendship if you would like to go your own way.
In the case of people who you know tend to be somewhat controlling, or negative/pessimistic, it may be better not to share your ambitions. If you desire their approval and know you will not get it, or they don’t have confidence in your ability to follow your dreams, you may feel flat and/or discouraged if you feel you need approbation from that person.
Consistent with this, it can be encouraging to share your hopes and dreams with people who are positive and supportive. It can boost your morale, and help you believe in yourself.
There’s also some truth in the quote “Succeed first”. This can help you focussed on achieving your goals are without the distracting thoughts of what other people think of it. You may find you are more connected with your intuition without the confusing self-conflict of “what will other people think”.
When we act to try to win approval, we may always be disappointed. The most important thing is that one approves of their own self. Finally, I find the most helpful quote regarding being authentic to ourselves is “To thine own self be true and thou cannot be false to any other man.”