The Seal of Approval
I have been known to go around telling multiple people my newest idea, only to gauge their reaction and from that reaction either gain confidence in my idea or determine that maybe it sucks. Tell me I'm not the only person who does this!
I recently found myself doing this very thing, and asked myself "why?". If I have a burning desire, a goal, a dream, an idea, a strategy, or just a want....why do I feel the need to validate it by getting people on board with it? What do their opinions even matter when it all boils down to THIS IS MY LIFE and I'm the one who has to live it?
"If you are emotionally dependent on other people's approval, you will always be unhappy." This statement comes from an incredible podcast episode I'm linking here from Ed Mylett called "Unlocking Your Success". (this is such a great podcast by the way. I took three pages of notes from this particular episode)
Isn't it true though? If you are constantly seeking happiness from external things, then you will always come up short. Happiness and contentment have to come from within. This starts with working on your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. And your thoughts and beliefs are grounded in whether or not you love and accept yourself for who you are. Easier said that done right?
Re-training your mind isn't short work. It doesn't happen overnight. Instead it happens with consistent, daily, healthy habits of what I like to call "mental hygiene". Just like brushing your teeth is a daily habit (for most of us), practicing clean, healthy mind habits should be also. They are intentional and strategic and must be executed on the regular in order for it to be effective.
For example, when you become aware of an unloving and mean thought that you may have about yourself, you should immediately cast it out and replace it with something positive. This HAS TO BE DONE. You cannot allow the bad thought to linger and fester in your mind. This is damaging and will only add to your disbelief in yourself, your abilities, and in any hope you have for future goals.
I use to struggle in this area often. Along the way, I learned to have some good one-liners ready and at the front of my mind in these moments. So when a hateful thought would pop up, I would say, "I am not defined by my past mistakes." Or "I deserve amazing things." Or "I'm a forgiven child of God and He chooses to use me."
This is just one way to keep your mind clean and healthy. There are other ways such as regular prayer or meditation, only listening to uplifting and positive things (such as podcasts, music, books, speakers) and surrounding yourself with positive and encouraging people. These are MUSTS in developing a true love and acceptance for yourself. There are other things also, but that's a whole other blog article.
Bottom line: you won't need validation or approval from others if you already love and approve of yourself. Because self-approval is far more powerful. Seek your own approval. (and I'd throw in there to seek God's approval also!) It's not my job to get everyone around me to be on board with my dreams and my goals for my life. No matter how crazy my goals or dreams may sound to everyone else, it doesn't matter because they are MY crazy goals and MY crazy dreams. So if I decide to be a pig farmer, I'm going to work to be the best darn pig farmer that ever was. And I don't care what people think! Because at the end of my life, none of that will matter. What will matter most is that I felt fulfilled and accomplished myself. (and also that I lived life to honor God) So stop looking to everyone else to give you a thumbs up or to tell you are awesome. Just KNOW inside that you are. It's much more fulfilling that way.
PS- No, mom, I don't want to be a pig farmer. I was just sayin'.....
Share in the comments below, if you dare, what your crazy goals or dreams are. Sometimes when you speak them out loud, or put them in writing, they become more real in your mind and you subconsciously will begin stepping out towards making them happen!