Human beings are inherently social creatures, and our desire for approval from others is deeply ingrained within us. While seeking validation and acceptance from our peers can be a healthy aspect of human interaction, an excessive need for approval can lead to a host of problems, including low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression. In this article, we will explore the concept of accepting how not to need approval from others, what that looks like in practice, how to handle failures, and how to redefine success on your own terms.
Understanding the Need for Approval
The need for approval from others often stems from a desire to fit in, be liked, or feel validated. While these are natural human desires, they can become problematic when they take precedence over our own values, goals, and well-being. Recognizing and understanding this need is the first step toward breaking free from its grip.
What It Looks Like to Not Need Approval
- Self-Acceptance: When you no longer require constant validation from others, you’ll find that you become more accepting of yourself, flaws and all. You acknowledge that you are not perfect, but that doesn’t diminish your self-worth.
- Authenticity: You start living authentically, true to your own values and beliefs, rather than trying to conform to the expectations of others. This authenticity is empowering and attractive to those who appreciate genuine individuals.
- Confidence: Not seeking constant approval boosts your self-confidence. You become less anxious about what others think of you and focus more on being the best version of yourself.
Failure is a natural part of life, and fearing it can paralyze you into inaction. When you don’t need approval from others, you approach failures differently:
- Learning Opportunity: You view failure as a chance to learn and grow. It’s not a reflection of your worth, but a stepping stone on your journey toward success.
- Self-Compassion: You practice self-compassion and kindness in the face of failure, rather than berating yourself. This helps you bounce back stronger.
- Resilience: Not seeking approval builds resilience. You develop the strength to persevere through setbacks and keep pursuing your goals.
Society often defines success in narrow terms, such as wealth, fame, or prestige. When you no longer need approval, you can define success on your own terms:
- Personal Fulfillment: You prioritize your own happiness and fulfillment over external markers of success. What brings you joy and satisfaction becomes your measure of success.
- Values-Based Goals: You set goals aligned with your values and passions, rather than chasing after what others deem important. This makes your journey more meaningful.
- Inner Peace: Success is also about inner peace and contentment. You realize that material achievements may not guarantee happiness, and you focus on finding balance and tranquility in your life.
Letting go of the need for constant approval from others is a liberating and empowering journey. It allows you to embrace self-acceptance, authenticity, and confidence, while also changing your perspective on failure and redefining success. Remember that this process takes time and effort, but the rewards in terms of personal growth and fulfillment are immeasurable. In the end, your validation should come from within, and the approval of others, while nice, should not define your worth or happiness.