Everyone has experienced seeking out our family and friends’ opinion and advice before making decisions. Usually, the reassurance and recommendations that others give us give us a sense of confidence and assurance that we are headed in the right direction.
However, without realizing it, these “opinions” cause us to lose control of our own lives and make decisions that don’t always mesh well with our nature. So if you feel that control over your life is slipping through your fingers, these are the 8 reasons why you should listen to your inner voice and stop, looking for approval from those around you.
We all love being loved and appreciated by others, and we have no doubt that the more they love us, the better we feel. However, it’s important to remember that the nature of the world to be diverse and saturated with a variety of types of opinions, traditions, lifestyle, and others affect each of our perspectives. Because of this, there will always be people who think that your behavior is inappropriate, that your way of thinking is flawed, that the way you dress is disrespectful or not fashionable, and the list goes on. Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." From his words, one can understand that we can never be in line with everyone, but we can certainly be in line with ourselves.
Our worldviews are constantly changing, and the most famous philosophers and theoreticians throughout history have changed their views from time to time, influenced by the voices spoken in discussions with their learned colleagues and by the wishes of their students. So, the next time you look for another person's approval, try to remember that opinions are things that are shaped at any given moment and are directly affected by the external environment. Who knows, it is very possible that even a conversation you have with someone while seeking their approval about a decision you want to make may even begin to change and reshape their opinion!
It is important to understand that when we choose to rely on the opinions of friends or acquaintances and seek their approval for a specific decision that we want to make, we not only risk going against our true will but also wasting precious resources of time and energy. Instead of starting to act toward what we really want, we find ourselves spending a lot of time listening to the opinions of others, trying to satisfy friends and explaining our line of thinking. Remind yourself that the time and energy you’ve spent on this process could have been spent in reaching your goal.
Just before you choose to rely on the advice and approval of others, it is important to remind yourself that it is you, and sometimes the people close to you, such as your family, who are left to deal with the consequences of the decisions you make. Even if the person you sought approval from for your decision had your best interest in mind, you are the only one who will have to deal with the results. So in the future, try to ignore the external voices that want to influence your decisions and take into account only those who really matter.
The constant preoccupation with seeking others approval and opinions is exhausting, but most of all, the medley of others’ opinions can confuse us and make us put aside, even if not intended, the really important questions - "What is the thing that falls in line with your inner truth and just make you happy? " "Should you take that job even if it really isn’t for you?" "Should you invest money in one thing or alternatively, cut back expenses in something else?" And even simple questions such as "should I dress how I want or try to fit in?" Just as you take into consideration other’s opinions, so to you should take into consideration your opinion on what will make you happy at the end of the day.
In a study published by the Social Anxiety Institute in the United States, 7% of the country's population suffers from social anxiety at any given time and suffers from symptoms such as accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, and exhaustion. One of the main causes of the social anxiety that arose in the study was people’s fear of being perceived negatively by the immediate and distant environment. So the next time you look for the approval of others so that you can feel more confident that you are doing the right thing, try to notice if your body is signaling to you that you’re banking too much in other’s opinions to the point that it might even be harmful to your health.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking that if we attach great importance to a particular subject, then others probably see things the same way. However, we all have a different worldview, and it is very possible that what we consider very important may not be perceived so by others, leading to their opinions being invalidated in terms of the decision you have to make. So in the future, instead of seeking approval, just be who you are and do what feels right to you.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are,” said Marilyn Monroe, and she was right. We are all different and that is the real beauty of our world. The constant search for approval is a logical way by which we can sometimes make balanced decisions, but at the same time, if we seek it out too much, we may also go against our inner truth and “waste” our uniqueness and the gift that life has given us - Being who we are.