Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. For years you’ve known that there are some specific changes that you’ve wanted to make. You told yourself repeatedly that you were definitely going to take action once the new year rolled around. For good reason. There is something undeniably powerful about new starts. That’s why every morning
Recently I had been feeling some anxiety and I couldn't pinpoint where it was originating. When this happens it becomes sort of a heavy feeling in my chest and a relentless weight on my mind. Whenever I experience this sensation I know that something is off center in my life. So with great persistence I process and analyze until I discover where the anxiety is coming from. I’m careful to allow every feeling, even ones that are distressing, to flow through me so that I can become more aware their origins. And then it dawned on me. The anxiety was coming from a desire to be liked and to have the approval of others. This is something I've battled my entire life and for the majority of my life it's a battle that I lost more than I won. This is what drove me to alcohol abuse and constant cocaine use when I was younger. This is what had led me to a pattern of destructive relationships. This is what had me hating myself in the past. However, many years ago I became aware of my destructive behavior and did something about it. What's more, these last two years I’ve also become aware of the things I need to do so that I am on guard against this and I had found a distinctly profound sense of freedom from it. And for the most part I had been doing really well. However, the desire for approval is a crafty one. We all want to be liked and we all want to be approved of by others. Those who say they don't struggle with this are either lying to themselves or aren't aware of it.
But there it was, rearing its ugly head again. I began to think through the different people that I wanted approval from and the list seemed pretty long. Not as long as it had been in the past, but long nonetheless. The incredible news is that just knowing where the anxiety came from was 80% of the battle.
I knew I had to get centered and connected to my true source and to myself. I reminded myself that I am enough, just the way that I am and that this world is better off with me being my authentic and true self. That guy that I am who tries to win the approval of others doesn't really bring life to anybody, especially himself. But when I am my true self, life abounds. When I am connected to the divine and loving myself from that place, something incredible happens, Divine energy if you well, that flows through my life.
As I connect to the true source and to myself, the anxiety dissipates almost immediately. All the energy that I was spending worrying about how I'm perceived and if people will like me is no longer wasted on that useless endeavor.
We never add value to ourselves, the world, or those we love by trying to win the approval of others. It's only in affirming our authentic selves that we have the energy to care the way the world needs us to care.
The feeling of freedom that comes with casting off this anxiety and weight of desire for approval is almost blissful. I can be me, and that's enough. I'm grateful.
What about you? Who do you want to like you? Whose approval or you after? Go ahead and write out their names. Then once you're done ripped the paper up or burn it or whatever it is you do.
How do you connect with the source or with yourself? What is it that you do that that grounds and centers you and your true self? Do it. Do it today. Do it now. And then enjoy the freedom.
"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval" - Mark Twain
Last Thursday was part 1 of following your intuition, today is part 2. Just because someone agrees with my opinions and thoughts does not mean that I am anymore connected to them, to humanity, or to the Source. Just because someone lets me know that they think I’m ‘right’ does not mean that they have shared love with me, or I with them. It also doesn’t mean that I’m right, by the way.
And the opposite is true. Just because someone disagrees with me does not mean that they hate me or that we are anymore disconnected then we were a moment before. It also doesn’t mean that I’m wrong in my opinion or thought process. Just because someone thinks I’m wrong doesn’t mean that we cannot love each other and be connected on a deep level.
Abraham Maslow said “be independent of the good opinion of others.” Dr. Wayne Dyer drives this point home by saying that “you can’t get anywhere by simply doing what other people say or listening blindly to what your tribe tells you to do.”
I’ll go a step further and say that you have to own who you are, what you believe, and what you want for yourself.
Trying to please everybody means pleasing no one, especially yourself. In fact if you were trying to please everybody around you one thing I will guarantee is that you will never ever, ever, ever be happy (3 evers, that’s making a point).
I'll also guarantee you that you'll never truly know who you are what your purpose is. If you are always trying to please others you will never know where you belong. Because if you spend all of your time trying to make other people like you, trying to make other people happy or trying not to disappoint anyone, you will have spent no time figuring out what you like, what you want to do, and who you want to be. It's not sustainable.
In an effort to please everyone you will add no value to this world. But if you take the time and you do the work to figure out who you are, what you want and what your purpose is, then you can add extreme value to this world.
You don’t have to please people to truly love them. You don’t have to make people happy in order to act out of love towards them. You don’t have to have people like you in order to add value to their lives. But if love is the aim then you will have done your part to connect them and you to humanity. Now that is adding value.
How can you love those who disagree with you? Maybe its by engaging them, or maybe its by completely ignoring the way they so negatively announce that they disagree with you. How can you love those with whom you can seemingly do no wrong? How can actively love the people around you and free yourself from the chains of approval or disapproval?