Our obsession with approval is destroying us

We all strive for approval from our peers – this is normal to a certain degree. There is nothing wrong with wanting recognition for our accomplishments, but it seems like this has become more of a need than a nice to have. Many people are living their lives based on “what would people think?” and that’s a scary thought.

It’s easier said than done to say “just don’t care what other people think”, but there is some value behind the phrase. If you place your value in other people’s hands then it will surely get lost or thrown aside some way into the journey.

The need for approval is developed in early childhood

We grow up in an approval economy which makes it difficult for us to break such a long entrenched habit. Be good at school and everyone loves you. Please the teacher and get a gold star. Wear cool things and become friends with the right kids at school. Our system is set up in a way which places achievement and approval on a pedestal when it should rather teach inherent value.

We put up a front and deny our true self

The things that make you you are usually the things which are squashed in the process of trying to please everyone else. Don’t try to brand yourself as something which you believe other people will like, rather be yourself and in time you will find a crowd of people who appreciate you for who you are. We try too hard to become something which we are not.

We fall apart when we don’t receive the approval we think we deserve

If your sense of self is based on what everyone else thinks then at some point, when the world doesn’t deliver as you wish it would, you fall apart. Nobody likes your selfie pic – and all of a sudden you aren’t pretty, you feel like you shouldn’t try and your world crumbles.

We hang out with people for street cred and not because we like them

Fake friends will only ever make you feel good for a short amount of time. If you hang out with people in order to feel like you fit in or look cool, you will soon find that when things get rough they will not be there. We all need quality relationships in order to feel good about ourselves. Fake friends are never worth the trade in for real friends who know you and love you for you.

What can you do to change?

You are the only one fixating on all your failures. Nobody else is. Nobody cares how many likes you got or if your face has one more blotchy spot today. Nobody cares if you have a long nose or long legs. Everyone is going on living their life and the sooner you gain some perspective, and realise we actually don’t care that much,  the better.

Don’t listen to the haters

People will hate. Often because of their own insecurity and need for approval. Don’t stoop to their level. Stand strong in who you are and ignore all the trash talking. People who bring down, instead of building up, other people are never worth the time or effort. Peace out from all the haters and go find your crew – the ones who tell you good things and aren’t competing against you.

Unapologetically be yourself

God made you you, with one finger print unique to you and only you. You are made the way you are for a reason and nobody can take that away from you unless you let them. God loves you, and He wants all the good stuff He has placed within you to come forth. Trust Him and lean on Him for your approval because He already and always approves.

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear what you think.