We have been programmed to seek ‘external approval’ for virtually everything that we do. Since everyone differs in the way that they view life, it becomes virtually impossible to please everyone all the time. People suffer through life in an endless pursuit of validation from other people and ‘keeping up with the Jones’, and in this mindless pursuit forget one simple question – what makes me happy?
Advice from Masters – External Approval
Our conditioning makes us feel, we are inadequate, lacking something. As if we must constantly improve and strive for something. As a result, a perfectly beautiful life starts to feel inadequate as we start seeking external affirmations and approvals.Om Swami – Spiritual Monk, Author – If Truth Be Told / A Million Thoughts
What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.Confucius
If you are an approval addict, your behavior is as easy to control as that of any other junkie. All a manipulator need do is a simple two-step process: Give you what you crave, and then threaten to take it away. Every drug dealer in the world plays this game.Harriet Braiker – Author – Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life
The freest people in the world are those who have senses of inner peace about themselves: They simply refuse to be swayed by the whims of others, and are quietly effective at running their own lives. These people enjoy freedom from role definitions in which they must behave in certain ways because they are parents, employees, Americans, or even adults; they enjoy freedom to breathe whatever air they choose, in whatever location, without worrying about how everyone else feels about their choices. They are responsible people, but they are not enslaved by other people’s selfish interpretations of what responsibility isDr. Wayne W. Dyer – Author – Pulling Your Own Strings
The opposite of nice is knowing who you are, what you believe in, and what you value. It’s you being powerful and going after what you want because you are no longer held back by the fear of what others will think of you. It’s you being fierce, determined, and courageous. It’s you being your best self.Aziz Gazipura – Author – Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty
Holding on to conditional beliefs about how people should behave toward you because of all you do for them will only set you up to feel disappointment, anger, and resentment to people in particular as well as disillusionment about others in generalHarriet B. Braiker – Author – The Disease to Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome
Recommended Books to Manage our Need for External Approval
Other concepts on Happiness
Most people are only grateful when things go their way, and lose out on the powerful positive benefits of gratitude. By being grateful, you shift your energy, which shifts your thinking, actions and ultimately your results. Gratitude is a state of mind, not dependent on your external circumstances.
Paradox of Choice
Do more choices make us happier by helping us find the ‘perfect’ choice, or only leave us more confused. Understand why too many choices can lead to buyer paralysis and buyer remorse, and how when it comes to choices, less may in fact be more.
We often place much greater importance to things, than they really deserve. By practicing the art of letting go, we gain a great degree of freedom from thoughts, emotions and things that prevent us from realizing our true selves.
Desires & Expectations
We link our happiness to the fulfillment of our desires & expectations, only to raise the bar once we achieve what we desired. Contrary to our beliefs, do our desires & expectations serve as an obstacle (as compared to a key) to the happiness that we seek?