Who Are You Trying to Impress Anyway? 3 Ways to Start Transforming Approval Addiction

JT - The most splendid achievement of all is in the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

~ Judy Garland

Oh life is an amazing journey…

Have you ever found yourself working hard to try and please everyone? Maybe wanted to start that business, however are too scared to take the first step for fear of what other people may think? What about checking your Facebook status for how many ‘likes’ you receive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then read on as today I am discussing approval addiction.

In this post I am going to discuss –

  • What is Approval Addiction?
  • What are Some Signs of Approval Addiction?
  • Can You Relate?
  • What Are Some Causes of Approval Addiction?
  • 3 Ways to Start to Overcoming Approval Addiction.

So let’s get started…

What is Approval Addiction?

In her book, Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone,Joyce Meyer indicates –

“an addiction is something that controls people – it is something they feel they cannot live without, or something they feel driven to do in order to relieve pressure, pain, or discomfort of some kind. Someone addicted to drugs, for instance, will do whatever he needs to in order to get another “fix” when he begins to feel uncomfortable. Likewise, someone addicted to alcohol will feel compelled to have a drink when life’s problems begin to rise up and stare him in the face. The substance that people are addicted to helps relieve their pain momentarily, but then a damaging, controlling cycle starts in their life. Approval addiction is much the same, but instead of running to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or eating to heal the hurt, those who suffer from it seek people’s approval. When they feel unsure and shaky about themselves, they look for a “fix” – they seek out someone to comfort them and reassure them everything is all right and they are acceptable.”

Simply – “approval addiction” is when a person feels unsure about themselves and then seeks a “fix” or “high” through approval from another person.

What are Some Signs of Approval Addiction?

Following are some signs of approval addiction –

  • You would describe yourself as a “people pleaser”
  • You have a hard time saying “no” to people in your life
  • You are overly responsible and take on the responsibilities of others
  • You feel guilty or stressed if you do something that someone doesn’t approve of
  • You depend on other people’s approval for your self-worth
  • You fear rejection or conflict
  • You measure your success on what other people think of you
  • You think other people are better than you and you are a fraud
  • You take things personally
  • You have really high standards for yourself
  • You think you can read other people’s minds and what they think of you
  • You believe when someone disapproves of you, there is something wrong with you
  • Your free time is filled up fulfilling the needs of other people.

Can You Relate?

If you have a number of the signs above, it may be time to identify if you are looking for love in all of the wrong places! Only you can answer this and it is important to be true to yourself (i.e. by having the courage to be truthful and honest).

For me the answer was yes and habit by habit I am learning to unravel approval addiction and identify and honour my own needs and dreams.

What are Some Causes of Approval Addiction?

There are a number of causes to approval addiction. Some of them include –

  • Insecurity,
  • Poor self-image,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • Self-loathing or self-hatred, and
  • Distorted thinking (e.g. that you are not enough)

Also – just because you may have the above, does not mean you have approval addiction. Again, you have to check-in with yourself and see if this resonates. If so, know you can receive help.

3 Ways to Start to Transforming Approval Addiction

Transforming approval addiction can be challenging (or maybe it won’t be for you) and generally we have to suffer before we can transform it. However, when you continue to be addicted to other people’s approval, you end up living your life for other people instead of your own.  Following are 3 ways that can help in overcoming approval addiction –

1. Know What You Want –

Yes it may have been some time since you gave yourself permission to identify what you want. But why not sit down and identify what it is that you really want?

2. Cultivation Your Own Worthiness –

Yes each day identify what you need and make it a priority to put your needs first. As you do this you are learning to cultivate your own worthiness.

3. Be Compassionate Towards Yourself –

As you start to unravel approval addiction, remember your self-compassion! Accept yourself unconditionally and allow yourself to be seen. It truly takes courage to see your imperfections and flaws, however we all have them 🙂

Over to You…

I hope this post has helped you get some clarity on approval addiction and also start identifying some ways to start moving past it. Remember –

“The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval”

~ Denis Waitley

If you are ready to take yourself on the adventure of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.

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