“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson
Good news: You Can Free Yourself from Needing the Approval of Others
Since we were children, most of us learned that it could be advantageous to make others happy. Most children want the approval of their parents, teachers, and peers. We tend to carry that same tendency into adulthood. While it’s natural to seek the approval of others, sometimes it might not be for the best.
Being a strong and free person includes the ability to move freely through the world without excessive concern about the opinions of others. Think about the people you respect the most. Do they allow the opinions of others to dictate their decisions? You can live the same way.
Live life on your own terms with these tips:
Learn to say what you think. If you’re concerned about the opinions of others, you’ve probably developed a habit of keeping your opinion to yourself.
Start giving your opinion on smaller issues. For example, if you’re asked what movie you’d like to see, give a specific answer.
As your comfort level improves, you can speak up about more important issues.
Take the time to appreciate yourself. Keep a few minutes each day to remind yourself of all the things you like about yourself. Think about all the good things you do each day. List your positive characteristics.
If you can approve of yourself, you’ll be less likely to need approval from others.
Remind yourself that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. There are a wide variety of people in the world. So no matter what you do, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you. Interestingly, those that try to please everyone tend to be less respected. Others admire confident people, and confident people march to their own drum.
There’s more gray area than you think. Many people that desperately seek the approval of others believe that perfection is the only thing that pleases others. You’re not going to be condemned (or considered a saint) for everyday words and actions.
Even the best people occasionally do or say things that most would consider to be negative. Others understand that no one is perfect all of the time. Do you judge people harshly over minor issues?
Avoid reacting to disapproval in a way that encourages the criticizer. Many people use disapproval as a way to control others. When you apologize unnecessarily or change your opinion in reaction to disapproval, you might be simply rewarding that other person.
If you feel that another person is being unreasonable, consider confronting them in a calm, reasonable manner. You’ll likely find that the criticizer’s tendency to disapprove will stop when it fails to affect your choices. The disapproval you’re showing is fair under the circumstance. For once, disapproval will work for you instead of against you!
Before taking an action, ask yourself if you’re primarily doing it to receive approval. Try to eliminate activities and choices from your life that are driven by the need to have others think highly of you.
Do a few things each week that you enjoy, even if they’re not going to impress anyone. It gets easier with time.
We all seek the approval of others from time to time. But allowing that need to control your thoughts and behavior makes life less enjoyable and more challenging.
The first step to changing approval-seeking thoughts and behavior is recognizing them as they occur. With a little work, you’ll find that the disapproval you’ve been avoiding has much less impact than you thought! It’s simply not a big deal. Free yourself from needing the approval of others. You’ll be glad you did!
If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve probably been in an uncomfortable situation where you needed some help.
You might have spent hours going over the particulars of what you were going through, desperately trying to determine how you would resolve the event.
If only you’d had enough money to get through until payday, had someone to babysit for you, or been able to borrow someone’s vehicle, the issue could have been all worked out. Your situation would most likely have been easily and quickly resolved had you reached out for assistance.
You may even have had someone in mind whom you could have asked. But you just couldn’t bring yourself to request help. What stopped you? Why didn’t you ask for help?
Maybe it was your pride. Maybe you were ashamed or embarrassed about what you were experiencing. Perhaps you convinced yourself no one else in the world has ever been in the fix you were in.
But even if this may seem contrary to what you were taught as a kid, it’s okay and even smart to ask for assistance when you need help.
Why you should ask for a little help from your friends
1. All of us are entitled to ask for help. Sometimes, each of us needs a bit of assistance to solve a challenge we’re dealing with. When you ask for help, you acknowledge your humanity. You show you belong to the worldwide community.
2. Asking is an effective method of problem-solving. Sometimes, issue resolution and relief is just a phone call or conversation away.
3. Give others a chance. You’ll provide a friend or family member with an opportunity to help you through a difficult time. After all, if one of your friends or a family member needed assistance and all it would take was a quick call to you to solve the issue, wouldn’t you want to get that call? Your friends and loved ones are most likely glad to help you.
4. Set the example. When you ask for help, you show friends that they could ask you for assistance someday if they’re in a bind. Frankly, asking for help is what friendship is all about. Friends are usually pleased to reciprocate some favor you’ve done for them in the past.
* Your relationships are also enriched when you ask for and accept help from others. You’ll feel closer to the person who helped you and they’ll feel emotionally closer to you.
5. Connect with others. The person who helps you will gain a better understanding of you and your current situation. Knowing that someone you care about truly understands you can feel incredibly reassuring.
6. Show your character. By asking for help, you’re provided with an opportunity to show your true character. If you borrow money, for example, you’ll be able to show that you repay your debts by promptly paying back the person that helped you. And that’s a good thing.
Re-frame the way you view asking for help. Asking for help demonstrates your humanness, is an effective way to solve challenges, and provides your loved ones with the chance to reach out to you.
Asking for assistance also lets friends know they can ask you for help later on and enriches your relationships. Go ahead and reach out the next time you need help!
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” ~Bo Bennett
We have all struggled with feelings of unworthiness or of feeling like we’re just not good enough. Sometimes, we justdon’t feel particularly comfortable with ourselves.
If you’ve been in a situation where you suddenly felt that someone didn’t like you or didn’t respect you, even though you had no tangible proof other than “just a feeling”—you’re not alone.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, you’re right. There are unfortunately some very toxic people in the world today (however, they’re NOT your problem–remember that.)
But other times, you might just be projecting your own feelings on to those around you.
For example, if you feel like your boss has a problem with the job you’re doing, maybe it’s because you secretly believe that you could be doing more, doing better. But in reality, your boss might not feel that way at all—maybe you’re just a bit of a perfectionist. Or maybe you don’t love your job.
These kinds of feelings are all a verycommon part of the human experience—you’re normal, I promise. But the problem with these kinds of common feelings is that they change your energy—and when you focus too much on things that you fear, which brings more of those things into your world. It’s a snowball effect—the fear of rejection and the constant focus on that fear can literally cause you to experience rejection.
On the plus side, it’s possible to drop these kinds of concerns so that you can return to the business of creating the life you want.
So what does fear of rejection look like, anyway?
You might feel scared about meeting new people or getting together with old friends. You think that people might reject you for one of a number of reasons. Maybe you think you’re having a bad hair day or those extra pounds you’ve put on have dampened your self-confidence. All these things can be part of fear of rejection.
Use these solid strategies to banish those fears:
Figure out what, specifically, you’re afraid of. Do you fear the opposite sex will be turned off by your looks or the clothes you wear? Maybe you think that others believe you have a big nose or that you have nothing interesting to say. Are you afraid that you’ll say something silly and embarrass yourself? The point is that you must know exactly what it is that you fear before you try to tackle it.
Dispute your fear with facts. As an example, let’s say your fear is that you aren’t as smart as others. When was the last time you were graded on something? Chances are probably pretty good that you didn’t receive 100% failing grades. Acknowledge that there are times when you performed well. Write them down. Stick with reality when it comes to disputing your fears.
Let go of others’ responses to you. If someone doesn’t accept you, that’s their choice.Really, it’s okay if someone doesn’t think you’re smart. No one gets 100% acceptance 100% of the time.
Admit that you can function just fine, live well, and excel, even if someone rejects you. Even if 5 people reject you today, your life is still going to go on however you’ve planned from this point. Before going to a party, acknowledge you might encounter someone whom you believe doesn’t like you. You’ll also meet some people who do like you. Also, recognize that you probably won’t know for sure one way or the other whether someone you just met likes you or not.
Apply the knowledge you have. What makes you attracted to other people? Maybe you like people who show humor or smile a lot. Perhaps you gravitate toward those who are helpful to the host of the party. Why not try displaying some of those pleasant characteristics that draw you to others? If you demonstrate the qualities that attract you to others, others will most likely be drawn to you as well.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.The best way to get rid of a fear is to repeat the behavior that brings on the fear until you become comfortable and are no longer paralyzed by that fear. Follow through with attending parties, making the acquaintance of people, and facing your concerns. This is the single best way to learn that your fear is just a human emotion that you can overcome.
Friends, you can do this. Banishing your fears of rejection is totally within your reach. Use what you know about what makes you like other people and let go of how others respond to you. Since fears are just emotions, you can face your worries and apprehensions. Doing so will bring you lasting confidence and satisfaction.
How do you deal with the fear of rejection? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section, below.
“If you give your life as a wholehearted response to love, then love will wholeheartedly respond to you.” ~Marianne Williamson
Although it looks a lot like a poem, the brief prose I’m sharing from author and lecturer Marianne Williamson today (below) offers us a chance to take a hard look at ourselves and our perceptions.
And maybe, it will help us to find new ways to feel more confident and secure in ourselves–to learn to shine our own lights as we encourage others to shine their own.
Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.”
What I Think
As I see it, it’s not about being “full of ourselves” or “arrogant”–it’s about being confident and secure.
I believe that self-confidence and arrogance are two very different things.
True self-confidence gives you the ability to feel good about yourself, while still genuinely encouraging others to shine their brightest and celebrating their accomplishments and general awesomeness as you celebrate your own.
Arrogance, on the other hand, is based in insecurity, an often secret fear of not being good enough (or maybe, as Williamson believes, a fear of success). In either case, that fear makes you want to push others down in order to lift yourself up–and in the long run, you might find a little bit of superficial success, but you might end up feeling so empty or unfulfilled that you can’t really enjoy it.
That’s just my take, of course.
How do you see it? Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section, below. I’d love to know what you think!