The last couple of weeks I had several reminders how often people make themselves dependent on the approval of others and how that can limit their expression. What about you? Do you make your actions and happiness dependent on what others say or think? Does that serve you or does that limit you? Wouldn’t it be nice to live more freely, independent from the opinion of others?
Depending on the approval from others is a habit
Already at a young age, we are trained to look for approval, First from our parents and family, then from our teachers and friends and later from our partner, boss and coworkers. This is so deeply embedded that we don’t think anything bad of it, in fact we all find it very natural and it becomes a habit.
When selecting new clothes or a new car we like our partner to be enthusiastic, when considering new initiatives at work we like our boss or colleagues to be in agreement and the approval of our parents and friends is usually desired when we find ourselves a partner. There are many, many examples and we are not always consciously aware of it.
Approval from others is limiting you
What I noticed at work is how many people have ideas about improving some process, better promote a product or service a client more effectively, only to hold back because they did not obtain the consent from others. The result? A lot of good ideas are not used and more importantly, people often get frustrated because they feel limited, especially when later on an external consultant like me suggests the exact same idea and gets applauded for the results.
But also in their personal life people hold back because others don’t approve of their ideas or desires. Take a minute here to reflect on your own life. Are there any things you would love to do, but don’t because your partner, family or friends are not supportive? Be honest.
Switching to approval from Self will set you free
What people often forget is that they are not limited by others, but by themselves. Not doing things because others don’t approve is a choice. When I suggested to change certain routines at work a number of colleagues said that I couldn’t do it because so and so wouldn’t approve or that I first needed the approval of some committee. I still decided to implement the changes, without the approval I allegedly needed, because I was excited about it and convinced that it would benefit the organization. Now, after some time, everybody is enthusiastic and glad that I persisted.
The key to living an unlimited life is to only listen to the approval of Self. Whatever makes you feel more happy, abundant, more alive, passionate or inspired is an indication of the approval from Self. And, the funny thing is once you start to follow this guidance from yourself all of a sudden people around you will no longer object but envy you because they know you are living freely. Why not try this yourself, starting today?
If you still find it difficult to live without the approval from others you may want to listen to this clip (7:34) with some interesting insights and practical advice from Abraham.
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences when it comes to dealing with the approval and opinion of others.