Seeking approval from others changes the trajectory of your life. This is one of the reasons why people don’t follow through on their dreams and don’t live up to their potential.
Often we don’t realize how much the search for approval impacts our lives. It becomes a subconscious habit that makes us look first at others before we think about what we want.
How does seeking approval change you?
It all begins with seeking approval from parents. If you needed to question their love when you were little, then you train yourself to look for the ways how you can ensure their love.
To receive their love you may have had to be quiet and agree with everything your parents told you. Maybe they have pushed you to have only the best grades at school and having a lot of hobbies at which you needed to excel.
Over the years, your subconscious mind learned to believe that in order to receive love, you need to become someone else. To receive approval from others, you need to be the person they want you to be instead of being yourself.
The subconscious equation in your brain runs:
“I am unacceptable the way I am. Therefore, I must be what others want me to be.”
7 Ways how seeking approval stops you
1. You don’t live your life
When you seek approval from others, you become someone else and live the life of others instead of yours. What other people expect you to do gets in the way of your inner guidance. Thus, you’re not able to hear your inner GPS.
Consequently, you don’t know what your life purpose is or perhaps you do, but you don’t allow yourself to act on it.
Seeking approval from others is like waiting for permission to start living your life.
But what if you never receive approval? Will you rather keep others happy than doing what you were born to do?
2. You feel insecure
People who seek approval from others are insecure and have low self-confidence. Based on what I’ve seen with my coaching clients I can say that low confidence is the result of you focusing too much on others instead of checking in what you want.
When you want to be likable, you need to constantly suppress your true self.
You raise the opinions of others on a pedestal and let them decide your fate. Thus you have a little control over your decisions because you adjust them according to others. As a result, your sense of self is in the hands of others who are the arbiters of your worth.
It’s inevitable to fall into the trap of comparison when you seek approval from others. In order to receive love, attention, and approval, you need to know what others want.
You also need to analyze your competitors. When you seek approval from your boss, you compare yourself to your colleagues and even criticize them in your head.
If you seek approval from your partner, you may compare yourself to the ideal version of you that you think your partner wants. Or you even begin comparing yourself to other potential people who could “steal” your partner. The list could go on.
When you seek approval from others, you believe that you need to be someone to someone else.
Thus without realizing it, you’re cutting off the parts of you that make you unique so you can fit into the image that others have for you.
4. Wrong place
Another way how seeking for approval impacts you is that you may end up in a wrong job or relationship. I’ve met many people who took a career path that their parents wanted them to have. Or they have a job that society approves as successful, yet they’re unhappy.
I’ve also seen many people create a dependent relationship and they stay out of fear of what would happen had they left. Being dependent on approval from a partner can make you stay in a relationship even though the partner may not be the right one for you.
When you seek approval from others, you’re like a leaf drifting in the air, and you wait for the wind to move you from place to place.
You’re not an active force in your life because you fear that if you did what you want, others would stop loving you.
5. You can’t be successful
If you seek approval from others, then you can only be as successful as they’re. In some rare cases, others want you to become more successful than them, but it doesn’t happen too often.
It’s more likely that the person you look up to keeps you limited. It’s like an energy cage that defines how much you can grow, but if you touch the wall, you get energy shock.
To prevent the pain, you use a considerable part of your energy to keep yourself small.
If you subconsciously seek approval from parents, then the chances are that you can’t become more successful than they’re. The same can apply in a relationship.
Now, those people may not want you to play it small; it can be just the story playing on a loop in your mind.
But if that the case is that they indeed don’t want you to be successful, do you truly look up to those people, or you define your own rules?
6. Too much ease
This is the funny part, if you’re an empath, lightworker, or a person seeking approval from others then you don’t allow yourself to have an easy life.
I say you don’t ALLOW yourself because it’s your unconscious decision to struggle just like other people do so that you fit in.
Think about it for a while, if your parents struggle and you seek their love (because it’s not there unconditionally), is it alright to have an easy and happy life if they don’t?
If you look up to a friend who has constant drama in their lives, is it okay that you share how happy you are? Likely, they’d judge you.
Since you were little, you were trained to be less than others and to suffer when they do.
This becomes a habit that feels so natural that you don’t even remember that once it was your choice.
When you seek approval from others, both of you play a manipulation game. Don’t ever think that other people don’t know how much you want their approval. Thus they can consciously or not make you do things that you don’t want to do. They take advantage of the inequality in your relationship.
On the other hand, you manipulate them too. You want to decide for them whether they love you or not. Thus you change your personality when you’re around them because you want them to see something that isn’t real.