People tend to get confused between self-approval and ego – either personally skating that fine line of being confident vs boastful, or judging others for the very same attribution.
The difference between success and self-sabotage
'Successful' people lead with love – they do not need to judge, criticize or bully others in order to feel validation for themselves. These individuals do not need to justify their existence nor be party to interrogation, and they disapprove of pretension and hypocrisy. Self-approval, intention and self-belief are powerful factors in successful living that boost confidence naturally.
They appreciate themselves – including all of their faults and foibles. They take pride in their accomplishments and do not set themselves unrealistic expectations. When others do not choose them for a job or as a partner on a dating site for example, they do not take it personally as they know others’ approval and rejection are not tied up with their own values and emotions, and so they don’t need to let their opinions become a reason to reject themselves.
On the other hand, many people seek much more than loud applause, fake kisses, and media attention to help them feel worthy. They have a deep-rooted need for self-approval – but instead of searching within, they look outside for validation and constant assurance, needing to be loved by everybody at any cost. This is a quick fix, and quick fixes wear off.
The paradox is that the more you look to be liked the less authentic you become and then the less you are liked. Seeking approval is not a good look, and when you do this, you are giving away your ability to feel your own feelings, make your own decisions, and think your own thoughts. Successful people have fears and have inner critics too – they just don't allow them to destabilize every part of their lives. Here, we look at how you can boost your self-love and worth practically in order to banish negative self-talk and more feel confident in your everyday life.
How to build self-approval
1. Identify your triggers
There has to be a point when you know to stop seeking validation from others, stop relying on their opinions and trust yourself. Plain and simple – approval feeds your deepest and strongest desires, and when you internalize negative feedback, you often start to doubt your inner worth, which can threaten your sense of security. Try to identify where and when you feel the triggers – is it in the office? At home? Is it a certain frenemy?
2. Kick negative self-criticism to the curb
Repeating unkind behavioural patterns can stem as far back as childhood. Go easy on yourself – you wouldn't be as critical to your best friend the way you are to yourself, would you?
3. Get rid of judgment
Quit belittling yourself and being self-deprecating for not being good enough for whatever it is – the job, the social group, whatever it is. In fact, the more you convince yourself that you're not good enough the more you'll feel like a failure, when truthfully, you are just being hard on yourself.
4. Surround yourself with self-loving friends
Energy is contagious – so be picky about who you hang out with, because who you associate with the most, you emulate. When research shows it's estimated that we make between 300 and 400 self-evaluations a day, 80% of them being negative, this could not be more true.
5. Own your power
You have to be your very own cheerleader – if you are insecure you may not like to speak up for yourself and end up becoming hostile and internalizing it. This is dangerous because these bottled up thoughts can manifest themselves into more serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
6. Invest in yourself
When a person is low in confidence, they don't feel worthy of the good that's made for them. Many don’t feel worthy of investing time and energy in themselves, often resorting to punishing and self-sabotaging behaviour, like binge drinking, eating smoking etc. Seek help, and don't be ashamed of it whether it's a coach, mentor, or therapist, find someone who you feel comfortable enough to talk to and work with them on your self-esteem.
7. Harness your worn-out behaviours
Have a think about how you can change the circumstances in which you find yourself and then think about how you can handle the situation if it happens again. Stop searching for your weak points and instead look for your strengths and assets. Once you turn your inner critic into your best friend, you don’t take what others say so personally.
Make this the year you conquer your negative self-talk and master the art of self-approval – no more excuses because after all, you're worth it.
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