Letting Go Of Wanting Your Own Approval
Ever had a time in your life when those closest to you disapproved of your behavior? It is very uncomfortable is it not? In a moment, peace of mind can vanish in a puff of smoke and you crave approval more than anything else. This time in the wilderness seems to last forever and when it is finally over the newly earned approval of your peers feels just great.
This wanting approval can get out of control though. We can easily extend this need for approval to all people we come into contact with in our life. When we want and need approval we encounter this lack of approval everywhere we go; the waiter does not smile when he takes your order; the checkout operator hardly looks at you; and your boss only compliments your work when the moon is full and the first Tuesday of the month precedes a wet weekend!
All of a sudden life is a struggle, a constant battle to get other people, all people, to like you and to approve of you. And the more you want this approval the less you seem to get it.
What is the solution? The answer is to not be concerned about what other people think of you. This can be achieved by approving of yourself completely despite your past indiscretions, failings and errors of judgment. When you totally accept and approve of yourself you will have little interest in how other people view you. If they like you *Great*, if they do not, that is their choice and their loss.
There are many ways to boost your opinion of yourself. I recently discovered that just letting go of wanting your own approval works really well. Simply ask yourself the following question:
Could I let go of wanting my own approval?
Sounds too simple to work. I know! It works if and only if you ask the question with your attention on your feeling response not on the answer that pops into your head. Our goal is to let go of the limiting feelings, this is not a mental exercise.
Spend twenty minutes concentrating on this question. Ask the question again and again, and each time just notice your feeling response before asking the question again. After twenty minutes you can expect to feel lighter and more at peace with yourself. Your breathing may also change and it is likely to become deeper and more relaxed.
The effect of letting go of wanting your approval is that you release the limitations that stop you from approving of yourself and you are left with what you wanted - your own approval.
You can also ask yourself the question, could I let go of wanting my own approval?... anytime you need to communicate at your best to make a good impression. Just say it softly to yourself under your breath or quietly inside your head. Ask the question, notice your feeling response, and repeat the process again and again.
By approving completely of yourself you will not be concerned with winning the approval of your listeners and ironically people will tend to reflect this approval back to you since they will take you at your own value.
Now, go and prove this for yourself!
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert and published author.
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