20 Time To Stop Seeking The Approval Of Others

seeking approval, approval of others

Whether you are trying to get hundreds of likes on Instagram, thousands of people to like your Facebook page, or millions of twitter followers, sometimes it seems like our satisfaction is tied to the confirmation of others. In today’s episode we discuss five strategies which are sure to help you break your need to seek the approval of others.

  1. Increase your awareness through self-evaluation
  2. Evaluate the accuracy of your beliefs
  3. Build trust in yourself
  4. Understand why you are seeking approval
  5. Develop a greater sense of self-worth.

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Not looking for forgiveness and not asking for permission

There is a scene in Avengers Infinity War when Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and Vision walk into the Avenger base. In the base is Rhodes having a video conference with Secretary Ross.

If you watched Captain America: Civil War, you know that Ross and Cap. are not on speaking terms (to put it mildly). This is their short, but powerful exchange (you can listen to their exchange in the podcast audio).

Cap: Mr. Secretary

Ross: You got some nerve. I’ll give you that.

Widow: you could use some of that right now

Ross: The world is on fire and you think all is forgiven.

Cap: I’m not looking for forgiveness. And I’m way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender. So we’re here to fight. And you want to stand in our way, we’ll fight you too.

Ross looks to Rhodes and says: arrest them.

Rhodes: all over it and closes video conference.

Rhodes looks at Cap and says: that’s a court martial.

Over the movies, Captain America transformed from the good, obedient solider who followed orders (and needed the approval of others) to someone who was willing to do what felt right, even if no one else agreed. This scene is the culmination of that transformation.

A similar transformation that took up less air-time was that of Rhodes/War Machine. He remained the good solider up to this scene. While Cap and others were fugitives on the run, Rhodes remained the good solider.

Rhodes knew he would be throwing away decades of service if he were to disobey orders. Yet, he too found himself fed up with needing the approval of others to do what he believed was right.

If you are ready to become the champion of your life, you must make a similar transformation. Follow the below five strategies are you will be on your way.

1. Increase awareness through Self-evaluation

Ask yourself lots of questions. You are dealing with self-doubt, a fear of uncertainty, and a fear of inadequacy. You are going to want to create a list of the beliefs that you currently possess. This is not very easy, and you will likely need the assistance of someone else to help. This person is going to need to know you pretty well.

The difficulty with most of the beliefs that shape our actions is we are not truly aware of most of them. We are simply living and reacting to situations more than we are dictating them. It is important for you to understand that if you are not getting the results you want in your life, then you have a belief that is holding you back.

2. Evaluate the accuracy of your beliefs

As you start to uncover your beliefs, take a moment to understand if they are true. You will find the inner-critic that sows your fears and self-doubt is usually a horrible record-keeper.

For example, if you do not see yourself as a creative person, I am sure you have been creative at least once in your life. The same holds true with whether you are a compassionate, successful, or hard-working person. You may not be these traits all the time, but you have been them at least once in your life.

Therefore, it would be more accurate to say you are creative, compassionate, successful, and hard-working. Your goal is to see if you can think of a situation where you have contradicted your beliefs.

Too often we are holding ourselves to the unattainable standard of perfection, which distorts our perception of ourselves.

3. Trust yourself

Taken from California State University Stanislaus

  • Maintain a good relationship with yourself

Maintaining a good relationship with yourself is no different than maintaining a good relationship with your friends and family. All relationships take time, effort, and good communication. Poor communication with yourself can cause you to esteem others higher than yourself.

You need to have regular communication with yourself; allowing yourself time to listen to your thoughts, body, and feelings. Do not judge yourself or jump to harsh conclusions.

  • Appreciate yourself

Take time to positively reflect on your accomplishments, and remember, small accomplishments count too. In your belief journal, write things that you appreciate in your life. Also have a section devoted to your self-esteem. In this section, you can write about things that you like about yourself.Take time for positive self-reflection.

  • Work out problems and develop solutions.

When dealing with any situation, one of the best ways to build trust in yourself is to become a problem solver.

You will need to (1) design your plan; (2) obtain assistance from others. Do not waste a lot of time for no reason. Be aware of things you can and cannot change; (3) Implement the plan, but understand the situation can change; (4) Evaluate the outcome. Learn from your mistakes. Simply put, what got you here, will not get you there.

Do not allow yourself to believe you failed because your original plan (based on the best information you had at time) fell short of where you wanted to be. It got you exactly where you needed to be, and now you have additional information to make adjustments.

  • Build trustworthiness.

If you want to trust yourself, having others trust you is a good place to start. All you need to do is keep your word, and follow through on your commitments.

4. Understand why you are seeking approval

Stop comparing yourself to others. When you compare yourself to others, it is the biggest waste of time. That is why so many of these reality and talk shows are so popular. People enjoy watching shows where others are being portrayed as more dysfunctional than them.

Popular shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s, any Real Housewives show, Maury, and Dr. Phil all have that one thing in common. This false sense of success when you compare your life to the train wreck on TV may feel good, but it is not helping you get results.

The same is also true if you are comparing yourself to someone further along in their professional journey than you. You end up believing you are not doing anything right. There is little benefit in comparing yourself to someone else because you are rarely comparing apples to apples.

A common side-effect of comparing yourself to others is the need for external confirmation. You want to do what society has deemed acceptable or you want to have symbols that society believes the successful share. You need to look inward to determine what matters to you and you need to chase that.

5. Develop a greater sense of self-worth

The first thing you want to do build your self-worth is help others in their time of need. Oftentimes, when we are trying to increase our self-worth, we start by asking others what they think about us. This dependency on others is not going to help you build your self-worth.

When someone asks, “does this make my butt look big”, they may feel a moment of confidence from the reassurance of their spouse or friend. However, it is not going to last. The underlying issue that made you ask someone else their opinion is still there.


If you are dealing with the fear of inadequacy, self-doubt, or the fear of uncertainty, every time you help someone is an opportunity to overcome the false beliefs.

When you help someone, allow yourself to believe:

  • If I can help them, I can probably help myself
  • Since they see me as an angel from God, maybe there is more to me than I allow myself to believe.
  • If the value I can create in someone else’s life is that helpful, then there is no reason I cannot add similar value to my own life.

You are also going to find building your confidence has a lot to do with preparation. If you were confident about a test you must take in school, or a presentation you have at work, it is likely you were prepared for the event.

Final Thoughts

If you want to over the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs are creating in your life, you are going to need to break your dependency on others. Having others agree with you is nice, but when you make it a necessary step to move forward you are sabotaging your own success.

Free “Conquer Your Fears and Self-Doubt” Coaching Session

  • If you want to accomplish your goals and find your purpose without sacrificing your happiness or your well-being, I invite you to set up your FREE 2-hour “Conquer Your Fears and Self-Doubt” coaching session. Book Your Session 
    • We will work together to identify the constricting and false beliefs that are sabotaging your life.
    • You will uncover hidden mindset techniques to change your beliefs from one of fear and failure to one of accomplishments and confidence.
    • And you will leave the session renewed, rejuvenated, and inspired to finally start living your dream life.
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