Updated: Sep 21
You Have Nothing to Prove
I’m a recovering approval addict. I spent so much time seeking validation that I didn’t know who I was anymore. So I decided to get to know myself better. I became my own best friend. And I finally realized that my worth and value is not determined by what someone else thinks about me. Neither is yours.
You have unique gifts and talents. But you will never be successful if you don’t trust yourself. You have to decide what your dreams and goals are and refuse to let negative opinions put you on the sidelines. You will never please everyone, so why not live to make yourself happy?
Our true power comes from embracing our uniqueness, not from playing by someone else’s rules. It’s difficult to live a joyful life when you are following a script written by another person.
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” — Brené Brown
Approval Based Living
If you live your life to please other people, you are cheating yourself. You also likely struggle with anxiety. Here are four things I noticed about approval addiction.
Your happiness is dependent upon how many people like you. I felt crushed if I wasn’t invited to a get-together or outing. If included, I was afraid I would do or say the wrong thing. It was hard to relax and be myself.
You forget who you are. When you listen to many different voices, you forget yourself. Somewhere among all the voices, I was still there. A unique individual. But I had forgotten who I was and what I wanted.
You stop trusting yourself. Making decisions was excruciating. I didn’t trust myself, so I had to ask for multiple opinions.
You lose your creativity. There is no way you can nurture your creative voice and people please at the same time. You will be too concerned about what people think.
Power Based Living
Overcoming approval addiction is hard, but the alternative is to continue living to please others. Here are four things I discovered when I stopped seeking approval and embraced my power.
You become your own best friend. I learned to love myself first. This isn’t selfish. It’s essential. Once you love yourself, you can healthily love others.
You know who you are. I reconnected with myself. After all the other voices were silent, I was able to discern who I was and what I wanted.
You become more confident. You become more attractive because you know your worth and don’t need someone else to tell you. I have started trusting my intuition more.
Your creativity blossoms. Don’t be surprised if you discover new talents. I started writing after I finally accepted and learned to love myself.
“I’ve been fighting with one arm behind my back. What happens when I’m finally set free?” — Captain Marvel
I recently rewatched the movie, Captain Marvel.
I identified so much with Carol and her journey to discover who she was. Deep down, she knew that she didn’t need approval.
She rebelled against two worlds that tried to tell her who she was and what rules she must follow. She defied a mentor who told her repeatedly that she had to prove herself to him.
Despite everything, she refused to stay down. She got back up. Every single time. She knew her value.
The best scene in the movie was when Carol removed the Photon Inhibitor and embraced her power. She became her true self.
When she faced down Yon-Rogg, he insisted that she had to defeat him without using her powers. But Carol knew that she had nothing to prove. She simply blasted him across the terrain.
You have nothing to prove either. Embrace your power!