Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. is an executive coach and trainer who works with high potential and senior executives to rapidly remove any blocks to their leadership effectiveness. She combines ‘best practices’ executive coaching approaches with behavior change methods she developed over 10 years as a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. To get a free sample of her Friction Free Relationship program go now to http://sharonmelnick.com
Why do we still need approval from other people, even though we ‘know we shouldn’t need it’?
As a child, your brain is wired to learn about yourself through the eyes of parents, teachers, siblings, etc.
So you developed behaviors designed to get other people to think well of you. This way you could see yourself through their eyes and build positive self regard.
Your ‘approval-seeking’ behaviors are normal and they “work”, meaning they help you believe in yourself and see yourself as worthy. Just as you need to breathe in physical oxygen, you need this ‘emotional oxygen’.
You may stay reliant on these strategies precisely because they “work”. However, there are problems:
You are beholden to other people’s opinions. You would be a lot further ahead in your life if you spent less energy worrying about what other people think and more time building your own skills and accomplishments.
Your actions get compliments, but the effect is temporary. You work so hard to get a compliment but then you shrug it off.
You create a vicious cycle: You feel inadequate for needing approval and then you have to seek approval to bolster yourself. (And even when others are caught up in their own ‘stuff’ and can’t see you clearly, you still give their opinion a lot of weight!)
You CAN move past approval seeking and get this “emotional oxygen” from within yourself and from satisfying accomplishments.
When you have that confidence in yourself, you agonize less over making decisions. You compare yourself less to other people. You get a lot more accomplished and contribute more.
Bottom line: You make more money, have more time, and are more happy.
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