You know what you are meant to do in the world.
But each time you try to move forward something pulls you back.
Through research, writing books, creating programs and even through investigating my own life I have found that 90% of the time, the underlying cause of people not living their purpose is their need for approval.
For the majority of my life, I depended on others to confirm my sense of self-worth. I grew up in a small rural town where conformity was the norm. There wasn’t a lot of room or acceptance for boys like me.
After I left that small town I still looked for acceptance. Throughout my 20’s I jumped from city to city constantly searching for approval, thinking that a consistent stream of validation would bring me security.
Ironically, however, I realized that my chronic craving for approval was keeping me from really living.
I knew things had to change.
I think it is safe to say we have all been there.
And I think it is safe to say that we all return to that place occasionally where our need to be loved and accepted overrides our dreams. But when approval dictates the majority of our life and decisions we get stuck in patterns.
Then we aren’t just sad one day, we are depressed. We aren’t just nervous, we are anxious. We aren’t just watching one Netflix show we are watching ten.
So how can you get over this need for approval?
You have to accept yourself. No one else can do that for you. Having a strong foundation and sense of self can get you through the ups and downs of life. Keep a journal, where you start acknowledging things you’re most proud of about yourself. Write about times you have stayed true to yourself.
Practice pleasing yourself
Let go of seeking validation from others. What do you want? What makes you happy? When someone asks you which restaurant you want to go to, don’t say I don’t care. Tell them where you want to go. Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you made the right choice or did the right thing.
Instead, when you do make a decision, check in with yourself to see that it feels right.
Say what you think
There are so many stories out there right now about how women communicate. Watch how you communicate today. Do you say just in your emails a lot? How often do you apologize? Do you say things like, I know I don’t know as much as you do about this subject, but I think… Try saying what you are thinking. You don’t have to be mean or rude. But you can say what you want and what you are thinking clearly. You might just be surprised by how the world responds.
At the end of the day, remember you can’t control what others think, anyway.
So be you.
ps. I have created a FREE EVENT at the Center of Spiritual Living. Join me on Wednesday, October 21st from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. for a soul searching evening. I will share my story and how I turned pain into purpose.