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10 Reasons Why People’s Approval Shouldn’t Matter

10 Reasons Why People’s Approval Shouldn’t Matter

If you want to live a life that is inspiring, fun, adventurous and meaningful, it’s going to entail letting go of your need for approval from others.

Here are 10 reasons why others’ approval shouldn’t matter to your life:

1. It’s Not Their Life

It’s as simple as that. This is your life to live. At the end of the day you are the only person who needs to approve of your choices. Besides, it’s not their life. They have their own things to focus on and worry about. You can even remind them to mind their own business and concentrate on their own life, while you focus on yours.

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2. They Don’t Know What’s Best For You

Nobody will ever be as invested in your life as you. Only you know what is best for you, and that entails learning from your own choices. The only way you will ever truly learn is through making your own decisions, taking full responsibility for them, and that way if you do fail, at least you can learn from it wholeheartedly, as opposed to blame-shifting it onto somebody else. If you want to live a meaningful and fulfilled life, you have to own your choices and learn from them. This will build your character and help you grow.

3. What’s Right For Someone Else May Be Completely Wrong For You

It’s important to recognize that someone’s opinion is often based on what they would do. This alone is the problem. What is best for somebody else, can be the worst thing for you. What one person considers garbage can be another person’s treasure. We are all so unique, thus, only you know what is right for you.

4. Be Independent Of The Good Opinions of Others

Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra writes:

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“If you’re really spiritual, then you should be totally independent of the good and the bad opinions of the world…you should have faith in yourself.”

This is one of the wisest teachings I know. You see, often the people who give you their opinions (and even commands!) love you and have your best interest at heart. They are telling you what they believe is best for you. They have good intentions and thus their opinion is essentially good, since they are telling you what they believe is right. However, even if their opinions are coming from a good place, you still need to be independent of them. Inside all of us is a deep intuitive knowing that gives us solid information on what is best for us. When you listen to that deep knowing, you will feel a sense of joy, expansion, and deep peace (even if the choice is a little scary and out of your comfort zone). The wise teacher is inside of you. At the end of the day, you must choose what is right for you—even when others’ well-intended opinions differ from your own.

5. You’re The One Stuck With The End Result

In life, you are the one stuck with the consequences of your decisions. For example, if someone suggests you buy some stocks, but you just don’t feel like it’s the right choice, you are the only one who will live the consequences. If the stock falls and you lose a lot of money, you are the one that will have to live with the fact that you didn’t follow your inner call. When people give you their suggestions or even orders, there is no risk for them. They don’t have to live with your choices—but you do.

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6. Your Inner Guidance Matters

When you listen to the call from within—your deep desires, yearnings, and dreams—you end up living a fulfilling life. As Joseph Campbell famously teaches: “follow your bliss” as this always takes you to the place you are supposed to be. And only you know what that inner call is. It is better to live a fulfilling life that you can approve of than living a life for somebody else.

7. Trust Your Ability To Make Decisions

It’s common to want and seek the approval of others, however this can leave us in a terrible position where we lose trust in ourselves. The more you seek approval of others, the less confidence you will have in your ability to make your own decisions. Making decisions by yourself is akin to working a muscle. The more you make your own decisions, the easier it becomes, and the stronger you become inside leading to greater confidence in your choices. Conversely, every time you give your power away,  and rely on others to make decisions for you, you weaken the muscle of confidence and decision making. Start strengthening your decision muscles today by relying on yourself to make your own decisions.

8.  Live With Integrity

When you live life by your terms and with your approval you are living an authentic life. Alternatively, when you live searching for others’ approval, you end up living a lie since it is not the life you truly desire. Living with integrity means acting in alignment with what you feel is right. When you live by others’ standards you are not living a true life, nor is this a life of integrity.

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9. Others Don’t Care As Much As You Think

If you find yourself worried about what others think of you, chances are they are not thinking about you as much as you believe. We all have complex lives to attend to, and whatever approval you are seeking from another, chances are they don’t care as much as you worry about. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is take the energy you put into worrying over others’ approval, and transform that energy into evaluating what you truly approve of. Make sure you approve of what you do—that’s what matters!

10. The Hard Truth: It’s Impossible To Please Everybody

The fact is some people just won’t like you, and some people will never approve of what you do. So you might as well get on with what you feel is right. Whether it’s regarding what you are wearing, a business decision, or career decision, not everyone you know—from family to clients and co-workers—will approve of what you choose. It’s just the hard truth. But that’s part of the saving grace in all of this. Simply knowing this gives us the freedom to act honestly in our lives. At the very least, you’ll be able to sleep at night with peace, knowing that you approve of and are pleased with your choices.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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