Feeling appreciated is not a bad thing in itself; it can be affirming and positive. It only becomes problematic when it is the focus of all you do. You can’t live with authenticity if you are living for the approval of others.
According to Dr. Linda Sapadin, PhD., “Seeking approval from others can be :
- Draining – because you use up so much energy seeking approval that you can’t focus on what’s important to you.
- Diminishing – because your own needs often end up at the bottom of the pile.
- Disappointing – because no matter how hard you try, some people still won’t like you, appreciate what you do, or value your opinion.”
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” — Shannon L. Alder
Here are five suggestions to break the cycle:
1. Find Your Identity.
The only way for your authentic self to emerge is when you discard the image that you have been trying so hard to project to meet the expectations of others about you. People who live authentically report a surprising increase in synchronicity and serendipity in their lives. Remove the mask and bask.
2. Find Your Voice.
Inevitably, some people would use disapproval as a means of getting what they want out of you. By keeping quiet, it only reinforces such people’s behaviors. Part of speaking up for yourself is accepting that there will be consequences. Prepare for them, understand what may come back your way when you speak your truth, and be ready for that.
3. Find Your Tribe.
Learn to walk away from the people who don’t want the best for you. Differentiate these people from those who love you and have your best interest at heart. If you want a genuine tribe to hang around with, be a genuine person first. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Remember, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
4. Find Your Element.
In his best selling book, Finding Your Element, Sir Ken Robinson wrote that when you combine what you’re good at with what you like, you will discover happiness, regardless of what society tells you. That’s because you found your element. However, you have to be prepared to work diligently at it. It requires practice and perseverance.
5. Find Your Purpose.
When people know their purpose in life, they enjoy every minute of it. They are not easily swayed and are better at tackling every situation in a productive way. Knowing your purpose helps you find your true passion, and that passion becomes a vital motivation for you to achieve something extraordinary.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Apostle Paul
“Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.”– John Wooden
“Be strong and courageous.” (Deut. 31:6)
Fred Tokè aka Dr. Tokèmon