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10 Reasons Why People Who Stop Seeking Approval Are Happier Souls

10 Reasons Why People Who Stop Seeking Approval Are Happier Souls

Basically, from the time of our birth we are constantly sent the message that what others think of us matters. It isn’t long before we realize how we behave, how we look, what we say, and the choices we make can draw the approval or disapproval of others. In society, certain behaviors are obviously needed in order to show respect and consideration for others. However, the problem occurs when we require others to approve of us in order to validate how we feel about ourselves.

According to research reported in Time magazine, the part of the brain associated with reward is activated when we receive approval, more so in some people than others. Therefore, receiving approval can make us feel better, at least temporarily. However, a constant obsession with seeking it certainly does not. Some people have learned to stop seeking approval and found that this brings its own rewards.

1. They know that it isn’t someone else’s responsibility to make them happy

By constantly seeking approval from others, you are effectively handing over the responsibility for controlling your happiness to them. It’s not their job. Take it back.

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2. They love the freedom they feel when they stop worrying

Getting rid of that need for approval is very freeing. You no longer have those imaginary boundaries around you dictating how you should live your life.

3. They’ve discovered that trying to seek approval from others takes time and energy

Thinking about what everyone else’s opinion might be of you, and working out how you might best receive favorable responses from them is draining. Consider how much more time and energy you would have if you only worried about pleasing yourself.

4. They refuse to keep setting themselves up for disappointment

Aiming to get approval from others takes a certain amount of guesswork. You can’t know for sure what others will think, you can only speculate. This means you can often get it wrong and end up disappointed by their reaction.

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5. They understand that everyone will view them differently

When we talk about others, we are referring to a whole range of people with differing likes, dislikes, and opinions. Everything we do could be viewed in contrasting ways by different people. We can’t possibly please them all.

6. They know that everyone else is too busy seeking their own approval to notice

Seeking approval from others is widespread, so while you’re worrying about how you will be judged by people, those people are busy worrying about how they will be judged too and may not even notice your efforts.

7. They realize they deserve to focus on their own needs

Who are these other people that think they know how you should run your life better than you do? They don’t exist. Only you know what you really want and need. You deserve to receive your focus and attention in meeting those.

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8. Their anxiety decreases

According to the Social Anxiety Institute, around 7% of the US population are suffering from Social Anxiety at any one time. One of the key aspects of this is a fear of being judged negatively. If you find your anxiety about what others think of you feels out of control, there’s a chance you could be suffering from Social Anxiety and might need to seek help. However, even those of us without the condition can experience symptoms of anxiety if we’re continually worrying about how to gain the approval of others.

9. They grow in confidence

A big part of confidence is being comfortable with yourself. It’s pretty hard to feel comfortable with yourself if you let the opinions of others define you.

10. They’ve discovered that the less they worry about seeking approval the more likely they are to get it

It is somewhat ironic, but when you stop seeking approval, you are more likely to receive it. Being confident and comfortable with yourself is an attractive quality. By becoming self-assured, rather than self-obsessed, you will more likely gain the approval that you no longer crave.

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Featured photo credit: They just LOVED him/Paul L Dineen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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