If you have followed the activity in the previous post, you probably understand that it is impossible to be totally free from needing approval. Again, do not blame yourself or others for this mindset, because you always do the best you can and your parents always did the best they could. But now that you know how dangerous approval can be to live with, you cannot afford to pass it on to your children, because doing what was done to you is not longer the best you can do.
To change, we need to make a conscious decision to change!
If you need some help in motivating yourself to change, think of how much pain you have endured over the years while seeking others’ approval and about how much more heartache and pain you will have to endure through in a year, 5 years and 10 years if you do nothing.
Think how cruel you will be to your kids by continuing this cycle. My mentor life coach did this trick to me when I faced a difficult change. He said to me, “Would you want Eden to be like this?” and I understood that I managed to live with the pain as a survival mechanism, but I could not live with the pain of being a role model to my daughter and making her suffer for it. I made the change immediately!
The good news is that you can minimize several approval-seeking behaviors at once by developing a single skill. For example, if many of your approval-seeking behaviors are due to lack of significance, working on your sense of uniqueness and learning to feel special will reduce or even eliminate about a third of the behaviors mentioned.