The Need for Approval

Here’s one of those things I am not all that proud about; my quest for approval.  Know what I mean?  When you know what is the right thing to do yet you do something else simply because you believe it is what someone else wants?  Not a great feeling is it.

Humans are, by nature, a herd animal.  We go along to get along,  no matter how long it takes to get the bad taste out of our mouths.  This tendency to do what others want is trained into us from early childhood.  Often it has nothing to do with our best interests, it has to do with making other peoples lives easier.  We take the classes we are told to take, we go to the school that fits someone else’s idea of what is best for us,  we take a job that makes our parents or spouse happy, we go to events so that others will approve of us.  Yes, we want approval, we want to fit-in.

This is a very difficult habit to break, but it can be broken if it is important enough to you to break.  The most insidious aspect to this quest for approval is the gradual loss of our sense of self.  When we lose our sense of self, what do we have?  An empty shell.

This holiday season, if the urge comes over you to say Merry Christmas, say it.  If the right and perfect phrase for you is “Happy Holidays,” say happy holidays.  If you have held back an I Love You from a family member because you fear you will not be met with approval, maybe this is the year to stand in your truth and let it fly.

As long as you are acting in integrity, the time to be you is  now.

The Involved Observer