Why I Stopped Seeking Approval in the Name of Self-Care
I am in that brutal yet beautiful time in my life where I realize it’s time to take the training wheels off and put my superwoman cap on so that I am properly dressed to be the chief of my own life and destiny. I’ve spent far too much time "needing" and, in the most unhealthy way possible, I needed "you."
You out there, whoever you are or were to me, were critical in my understanding of my navigation of the world around me. You let me know when I did good and you let me know when I did bad. You let me know when you approved and what I should do and how not to do it. You smiled and nodded and frowned in disapproval, all while exercising your verbal and nonverbals to manipulate my every move. What you said is what I went with, because if you are pleased, then I know I am worthy—I know I am loved.
When did my self-confidence and the trust in my own inner voice become ever so elusive?
When did my inner ear refuse to be intertwined with my gut, no longer allowing me to use my internal energy to go left or right...should I go left or right? Indecisiveness, to not have or show the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively. I am a Gemini so I know this feeling far too well. How do I ever know if I’m making the right decision?
Seeking Approval Is Exhausting
It's like a hamster on its last limb fighting to keep going, as the space around you feels more and more confined. I had to go through this feeling in order to be able to confidently demand more for myself and for my life. In an enlightening video from an idol of mine, Oprah Winfrey, we gazed into each other’s eyes via the monitor screen, and she looked into my soul and asked:
Do you believe that you are worthy of happiness? Is abundance, joy, fulfillment, comfort, peace, and love a part of your birthright? You will always manifest the life that you believe.
I learned just how I’d been living a life too focused on pleasing you. As long as I did what would ultimately please you, then you’d be happy and that was enough. But what about me? It is a testament to our self-confidence on how effectively we can prioritize what we truly intend to manifest in our lives. It is not always easy. Being a woman and a nurturer I am inclined to lift others up, to care, feel, and empathize with the souls around me.
Knowing that I am truly worthy of happiness and fulfillment in my life gives me of all the motivation to have the self confidence and courage to proudly state my true intention and to find comfort and peace in that intention regardless of your approval.
The disease to please is real, but only until we develop the courage within that comes from understanding that it is YOUR right as a human and a spirit to have joy and peace and happiness and love not only in YOUR being but around YOU. Once YOU know and feel that YOU can confidently state YOUR own intentions, you won't need the consent of any other person who is not able to create the life that YOU desire for YOU.
When YOU do only what it is that YOU intend to do, YOU allow the Universe to clearly move out of YOUR way and easily create opportunity for these desires to manifest organically in YOUR life.
Become an alchemist, a mystical chemist, able to turn lead to gold and lemons to lemonade through the power of the mind. It is a courageous act to do only the things that we really want to give our full selves to, including our time and attention. The world does not stop, people will ultimately be okay even when having to deal with feelings of upset that are not your own.
Self-confidence is the catalyst to the fulfilled life that YOU envision in YOUR head. Life is fleeting, and when all there is to experience has been completed, we should have done all in our power to live in a way that allowed our true selves to be fully expressed—this is our intention.
To all the "you's" in my life that I have loved so deeply as to put your wishes and desires far beyond my own, to the "you’s" in my life who have meant so much to me that I’ve given my power of direction to you so that you could blindly lead me in a way that you best see fit, to the "you’s" in my life who I’ve needed so much that I’ve been scared to fully express myself in fear of your vanishment—I still love and care for you deeply, but my self-confidence these days is far too high to ever operate in that previous manner.
I no longer fear your reaction to the way in which I decide to live my life. I have 100 percent responsibility of my years to come in this lifetime. I am stepping into the adult world for the first time with clarity and intention, and the courage and confidence to no longer let that be dictated or manipulated by the outsiders that I will always love.
Now I ask you, all of you, to consider: Who is it that YOU are living for?
Main photo by Eric Michael Ward