Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dream Come True: Kicking the Approval Habit

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

Everyone wants approval and acceptance from those we care about. However, too often we depend on approval so much that we lose sight of the most important approval of all: our own.

Do you find yourself agreeing just to avoid disagreeing?

Are you constantly seeking out the approval of others before you make a decision?

This approval addiction is damaging to your quest for improving your life through positive thinking. By feeding your approval habit, you become less reliant on your own thoughts and feelings, and therefore less in tune with your goals and what is truly best for you. Though it’s nice to have the support of other people, the only person you can make happy one hundred percent of the time is you.

How can you kick the approval habit and stop worrying about what other people think of your actions? Here are several action plans you can follow in order to make sure your people-pleasing prowess is used only where you want it to be, and not as a crutch for social acceptance.

Know Your Code

In order to avoid seeking approval for approval’s sake, you have to know your own beliefs and standards. Being aware of what you believe in will help you voice your opinions and choose the right path for yourself, even when others don’t agree. Developing a healthy moral code is an important part of the process of positive thinking.

Writing down your moral code can help to cement your ideals and beliefs and serve as a guide for your decision-making process. Think about the issues that are important to you. Do you believe family values come before everything else? Is your career important to you? Where do you stand on politics: would you rather be vocal in your beliefs, or try to make a difference in the background through voting? Your moral code should govern your actions in every situation, and you should never violate your beliefs simply to gain approval from someone else.

Standing up for what you believe in can be an integral part of taking control of yourself and your life. When you stop seeking approval or validation for all of your thoughts and ideas, you become a stronger person- and the people who truly care about you will respect and admire you for it, rather than turning away. Be informed and develop your moral code, then stick to it. You will be surprised at how much better you feel about yourself...and you won’t need anyone else to second your opinion.

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