APPROVAL
A POSSIBLY "DEADLY" GAME, PSYCHOLOGICALLY SPEAKING


TOPICS (Some sections to be added)

A huge cost!!!
The origin and thinking behind the belief that you need approval
Letting Go Of Thinking You Need Approval
Society Makes All Of This Up
Living for the fictional "they"
Approval Is Not A Need
Disapproval As A Non-Sensical Practice
You Simply Followed The Path
What Is The Disapproval Stemming From?
The Endless Game Of Carrot-Stick On A Treadmill - Is It Worth It?
Who You Get To Be Such That You Are Not Susceptible
You Get To Do The Controllable Part - And Win!

Related Affirmations And Disclaimers
Readings
Resources
Example of one handling
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Preface:  If someone doesn't like me and/or disapproves of me, my habit of mind checks to see if this is important to my survival and well-being at all.  For me, it most often generates a quick impulse thought and an instant resolution that "this is not important", so I have pretty much a zero reaction/feeling - and then I move on, knowing it is not worth my time to correct it and that it is not really relevant to me.  Of course, I have thought about this ahead of time so that I can do "proper sizing" of the supposed threat, as in Proper And Proportionate Response.

A HUGE COST!

The belief that one needs to get approval can be one of the greatest detriments to one's life, as it draws away from what actually does one good.  "Needing approval" is damaging in its various forms:  people pleasing, "having to be loved", "being good enough", having to be "nice", "it's not ok to confront", "it's not ok to make my needs known" or to ask for what I want, "it's not ok to be selfish" (it's "bad"), "I must be a good boy/girl or...", "I'm not worthy unless..."   Those are not correct beliefs at all. 

The basic belief of "needing approval", in its various forms, is incorrect, not true, false, erroneous, etc.  All of those sub-beliefs are based on something unsaid, something not quite put into specific language, leaving a "ghost" of something that one thinks is a threat.  Part of that "ghost" in the child's mind adds a seeming imperative that one thinks must be obeyed for one to be sufficiently "ok" with something or someone or "they".   The missing piece is the "so that" - I must do these "so that..." [I get "something"]  But the "so that" is actually a fiction and until someone realizes that he/she is run by it, one does not have freedom, nor wisdom.  The person must see that it is based on a complete fiction, an unreality - and that it must not be believed, ever again (to the extent possible).

The cost of not correcting this is immense!  The cost is that one gives up so much of what would be valuable in life, all for a payoff that is not really a payoff but actually a cost to oneself. 


THE ORIGIN AND THINKING BEHIND THE BELIEF

The belief that you need approval is the surface indication.  The clue that leads to what is underneath it is finding the beliefs that create the fear emotion. 

What is there to fear?  The answer for you is in your most basic belief about what would happen to you if you do not receive approval. 

Let's put that off for a second and address what actually happens to you if you do not receive approval, from a "what's so" point of view.  So, we're not talking here about what is created in your mind as a fiction and a temporary organization of neurons. 

Answering the question of what's so:

I think someone disapproves of me. 

I think others will see this and disapprove of me. 

At that moment what is so is that there is no manifestation in the real world out there.  (I can still eat, use the benefits of society, take care of myself.)

If it is in your job, however, and it threatens your income, then it is "real" and simply needs to be repaired if it can, or you need to find a suitable job fitting your current capabilities - correcting misperceptions is something you would do as a healthy person using rational thinking. 

In a group I want to associate with, it may impede that, so I might want to correct the misimpression if that is what it is, or find a group I am more suitable for, where I am accepted at the level of my current abilities.

The answer is that "nothing occurs" 99% of the time.  In the other 1%, there is no devastating consequence if one assumes one can do what is necessary to correct the impression or to seek a new job or new group.

So, be clear that reality is that nothing happens - and that you made-up all the rest, which is all untrue.  Identifying the truth is always the first step in correcting the identified belief, for everything else is, logically, not true.  (See Truth - Know The Difference and specifically The Truth Test.)

What is the actual consequence of disapproval?

If someone says to you "your hair is ugly green", how much of a reaction (besides a guffaw) would you have?  Probably none.  You would think they were kidding or that it was something about how they think.  You would not buy into it because you know better.

If you know that their image of you is not you, then there is no problem.  Only if you buy into it is it a (totally mental) problem for you.

To experience emotional pain from disapproval, the thinking in terms of belief must be one of two sequences of beliefs.

The first sequence:

1.  If someone else believes this negative thing about me it must be true.
2.  I believe it is possibly true (or it wouldn't concern me) and the thought of it being true creates emotional pain because I think that is bad or I am bad.
3.  If someone else believes something it must be true.
4.  What someone thinks of me can hurt me emotionally. 

In #4:

The point here is to get perfectly clear about who you actually are, so you'll not buy into other's perceptions and beliefs AND to realize there is no reality to experiencing a negative consequence in the real world.
If someone doesn't like me, it is a "so what?" for me.  I simply am not meeting their image of what they think is necessary to meet their approval.  I also think that if a person is aware and without alot of filters that they will like me - and they might choose to not associate with me because they have others they prefer to associate with, which is ok with me - I don't need them to fulfill my needs.


LETTING GO OF THINKING YOU NEED APPROVAL

Letting go of believing that you must have approval to be "good enough" or something related to that is one of the great doorways to FREEDOM.  When you let go of this fiction, you are free to be who you are and you are free to spend your energy elsewhere, where it will get you a greater benefit. 

It is also the point of "growing up" and no longer being a dependent child.  Thinking one needs approval is part of a panoply of childhood beliefs, which is why I recommend to people that they decide not to allow themselves to operate from the viewpoint of being a child and, instead, to choose to operate from the viewpoint of a rational, nurturing adult.  Just by proclaiming and affirming that "I am an adult and I shall operate from the adult point of view" one moves into seeing through those eyes without the filters of untrue beliefs in the child.


SOCIETY MAKES ALL OF THIS UP

Love songs and our cultural conditioning make it hard not to believe that "love makes the world go around" (and we're screwed without it).  And we learn that approval means love.  And then we interpret that, as children, we must have approval to be ok (which is not a truth).   

However, there is no truth to that.  

In tribal days, it might have been useful to have a skill to contribute to make us worthy to be in the tribe and to be protected by the tribe so that we could survive, but we don't need any approval to survive nowadays, period. 

We'll still be able to go to the grocery store, drive on the roads, etc., and to survive just fine regardless of whether we are approved of. 


LIVING FOR THE FICTIONAL "THEY"

I noticed even in my own old brain recordings that the idea of a "they" out there that I need the approval of pops onto my radar and I start using whether "they" would approve of what I was doing.  See the discussion of "They - The Big People".


APPROVAL IS NOT A NEED!

There is no legitimate current need for your getting approval.

There I said it! 

This statement conflicts with the cultural "drift", but please take it into account that cultures make up incredible stories to explain things they don't understand, from gods to mystical vibrations, and to sell their current beliefs that arrived unquestioned into their lives.

Tara Brach, in her top recommended book "Radical Acceptance":

Under the category of "false beliefs that cause us not to accept reality" is the belief 'we must avoid disapproval'.   And we adapt to this belief by hiding who we are and operating in fear of being discovered."  A big waste of time and energy.  And the reason behind the creation of such beliefs: 

Once one gets to the point of realizing that all self-judgments (right/wrong, good/bad, and I’m powerless to survive) and almost all threats are not real and are strictly fabricated as a childish way of “protecting” oneself from the concept of “non-survival,” there is nothing left to not accept

In what Tara Brach refers to as "Cage" statements (lock yourself in as a prisoner, with an untrue belief): 

“If I don’t get approval from those people, I’ll be devastated.” (See one case on how to handle that:  The Finding The Solution To The Problem Created By The Conversation of “I Must Not Be Disapproved Of By These Powerful People." )  

However, an acceptance statement would be:  I am my own best friend and my higher self provides the key love I need.” and “I am as good as I am and if someone else doesn’t agree that is just their viewpoint and way of thinking.  If that person really knew me, he/she would very likely like me.”

An empowering truth is:  "I do not need their approval, as I am fully capable of surviving on my own.  I have the power to create my own happiness, no matter what."

In the article A Life (More) Worth Living, the "life more worth living" statements dismiss approval as not being a need and a barrier - and inform us that free self expression is without limit.  In How Are You Going To Spend The Rest Of Your Life?  Tick, Tick, Tick... , you are asked to make a decision on whether you want to live a life contingent of outside circumstances and people or one that you can create and make happen. 


DISAPPROVAL - AS A NON-SENSICAL PRACTICE

If a computer was missing a particular program, would you get mad at it and call it stupid?  Or would you just get the needed program? 

If a person (the equivalent of a computer system) was missing some wisdom and acquired ability, would you get mad at him/her?  Or would it simply be better to get the needed wisdom and/or ability? 

The answer is obvious, I think.

And, given that the above is true, there is no legitimate reason to get mad at yourself or to disapprove of yourself for missing parts of the program.  You can go get it and improve it, but you can't berate yourself for not having it.  You are simply the computer with all of the programs added so far - and you have as many as you have so far and no more.  

You got your programs from the culture, your upbringing, and from what you created from the experiences in your life. 


YOU SIMPLY FOLLOWED THE PATH

You followed the path you started on and some things happened that influenced that path, but you could only take the next step on that path (not on someone else's! or on some path that was far different) - and so you ended up here.  You couldn't have done otherwise, period.  There is no disapproval there. 


WHAT IS THE DISAPPROVAL STEMMING FROM

An enlightened person does not buy into right/wrong nor judgment, as they see that every person is simply doing the best the person can do at the time given the current limits of his/her awareness - they cannot possibly know more than they know, and there is no blame for that. 

Therefore, if a person was enlightened and looked at you, there would be no disapproval. 

So, if someone disapproves, it is because he/she is unenlightened.  The disapproval is simply part of their programing and projections.


APPROVAL IS AN ENDLESS GAME OF CARROT AND STICK

If you're hooked into the game, you're spending so much time and effort at getting approval that you're like a donkey on a treadmill with a carrot hanging just out of reach - constantly seeking the unattainable.  Or, more accurately, the "sometimes attainable", but never quite something you can hold onto. 

Or, sensing that you're what used to be called in the old new age seminars an "approval suck", people can use disapproval with occasional approval to manipulate you into doing what they want, much like a puppet, but it doesn't feel so good.  We sense there is something wrong and our feeling confirms that, though we ignore our prevalent feeling because of the occasional reward - which  is never enough.onto you - but, make no mistake, it is about them, not about you.


WHO YOU GET TO BE SUCH THAT YOU WON'T BE SUSCEPTIBLE

Since "approval" is a mental construct (mental creation) from childhood, it is solved by taking a whole stance in life that is beyond staying a child in thinking.

We are no longer powerless nor dependent, so we need no approval from others from an emotional standpoint or a survival standpoint.  The solution lies in going from the Child Persona over to The Rational, Nurturing Adult, though there are steps that are helpful.  Everyone who "plays the role", even without many of the other learning steps, of The Rational, Nurturing Adult, and who keeps it in mind as much as possible, sees remarkable differences in how they experience life.

And, of course, the practices under Loving Oneself are a good part of what it is all about as you learn to "feed" yourself, rather than being a starving wafe, hungry for a morsel of love from another (unreliable, uncontrollable) source.


YOU GET TO DO THE CONTROLLABLE PART - AND WIN!

Basically, it is smart to do that which is controllable by you and to avoid wasting time on what is not controllable.  Read the Loving Oneself section and then proceed to implement it!!!!!!
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RELEVANT READINGS

You As A Human Being - With Limits, But... - Let's be real!
Life As A Game - It doesn't work if we think we need approval...
How Are You Going To Use The Rest Of Your Life?  Tick, Tick, Tick...
    - Living for approval?
Core Statements, Core Beliefs - The Belief Transformation Process - The one  
   about approval is a critical one, limiting.
The Underlying Basics Of Life Management, Part II - See "The Upset/'Problem' Situation", "Our Real Needs Versus Our "Manufactured" Needs", "The Pink Elephant In The Room", and "First Love Thyself".  This is an abbreviated, power point summary designed for review and for overall perspective on life.  You can use the search engine on the site to link into the subjects of interest for more in-depth discussions.
The Pink Elephant In The Room - Having It Dictate Our Lives - From the viewpoint of relationships, but highly relevant for the individual, as you identify your pink elephants.
It's All OK And It's Wonderful And This Is The Way I Choose To Live - A poem, but a declarative statement also, around judgment, approval, etc. and living without them! (I keep this in my Reminders Notebook, for reminding myself of what life really is about.)

CONFIDENCE/SELF-ESTEEM SECTION - The need for approval is around a lack of confidence and self-esteem, which is an erroneous viewpoint.  Re-learn a new, very useful viewpoint.

Some to be added, see search engine....


OTHER SITES, WHAT THEY SAY:

www.life-with-confidence.com, Stop Needing Approval, How To Stop Needing Approval, How To Break Approval Seeking Habits.


THE GRAND UNDERLYING AFFIRMATION

This takes learning as to what it means and then understanding it to the level of knowing it is true (it's actually a "tautological truth", true in itself):

All humans do the best they are capable of at the time given the current limits of their awareness.  There is not fault here, only a lack of awareness.  Therefore, the solution lies in increasing that awareness.  (Read Sufficient Knowing.)

I learned this at a crucial time from L. S. Barksdale, from the course that was based on the Building Self Esteem book which I've provided free, linked from
Barksdale EBooks.  It's really about "straight thinking". 


RELATED AFFIRMATIONS (Note that these are similar and related to those under self-esteem.)

I approve of myself.

I always do the best I can.

I love and accept all parts of myself.

I express my feelings openly and easily.

I am a loving and positive person.

I forgive myself for past mistakes, knowing I was
doing the best I could at the time. 

I am happy with myself.

The importance of disclaimers

Somehow, most people want to hold onto their old child beliefs, no matter how irrational.  In those cases, we need to clarify and make stronger the idea that these are foolish, harmful, no longer applicable, and untrue.

One would take whatever the untrue, harmful belief is and create the opposite, in fact as many opposites as possible, so that you stamp out the whole fire, so to speak. 

I am not a dependent child.  I am not a victim.  I am not at the mercy of another.  I do not need approval.  I have the ability to create all I want.  It is only important that I love myself; that is sufficient.  I have full control over the ability to love myself, though I may need to learn more about how to do that (and I commit to learning that).  No outside person or circumstance has control over how I feel.....

You could create as much as a full page of this, to really drive the point home, that you, indeed, do not need approval and that you will have much more freedom and feeling good by letting it go and giving up being in the child mode of being and thinking.

Getting rid of what supports the "I need approval" thinking

Studying and doing the related affirmations to these following beliefs is essential. These need to be eradicated from one's beliefs, which, of course, takes not only deciding the truth in the new ones but continued practice in using the new beliefs.

The two overarching supporting beliefs are related to

Not Good Enough  and
I am powerless (and dependent)

Read and understand these in order to help collapse the supporting pillars for the non-sensical idea that you need approval.  Each of these two also lead into their related core beliefs, such as "I am not safe" and other vague anxieties/fears. 


CASE EXAMPLE:

How it was handled in one case:

The Finding The Solution To The Problem Created By The Conversation of “I Must Not Be Disapproved Of By These Powerful People."   - Taking the sentences (beliefs) and reworking them, with new affirmations and core statements to start off on the road of no longer believing one needs approval.


EXCERPTS AND QUOTES

Above all things, reverence yourself.

       Pythagoras, 6th Century BCE, Greek Philosopher, Mathematician


From actsweb.org, extracted from between the religious references:

Like thousands of other kids I grew up suffering from love-deprivation and for a big part of my life worked tirelessly to gain approval, not realizing that I was substituting this for the love I yearned for deep inside.

Approval can look very much like love. It can be given in love but it isn't love, and when substituted for love it never satisfies.

Approval is based on what we do, but we need to feel loved and affirmed for who we are. Approval is a good thing when given and received for the right reasons, but when substituted for love it can become another addiction to anesthetize the pain of not feeling loved. It can be like a drug. The more we get, the less it satisfies, so the more we seek after it.

Affirmation is based on who we are apart from what we do. And only when we feel affirmed, can we get off the merry-go-round of doing all sorts of things to get approval.

"One must learn to love oneself – thus do I teach – with a wholesome and healthy love: that one may endure to be oneself, and not go roving about.  And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather it is of all arts the finest, most subtle, last and most patient."

              Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German Philosopher, Critic, Poet
                  Thus Spake Zarathustra

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

              Oscar Wilde, 1856-1900, Irish Poet, Dramatist, Critic, Wit

The kinds of people who can go on to greater emotional maturity are those who really like themselves, even if the world seems to turn against them. Their self-worth does not rest on events, but on their opinions of themselves. Their inner security lies in the confidence that they will be able to contend with bad breaks; if they can't change the situation, they will nevertheless somehow endure. They take reverses as part of the normal pattern of living.

               Theodore Irwin, 1907-, American Writer, How to Cope with Crises

I am somebody. I am me. I like being me. And I don't need nobody to make me somebody.

               Louis L'Amour, 1908-1988, American Writer

A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.

               Vernon Howard, 1918-1992, American Writer, Dramatist
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From a friend, with no source cited:

Disapproving Faces
Not Everybody Will Like You

When someone doesn’t like you, rather than taking it personally we can release the need for approval and move on.

It is not necessarily a pleasant experience, but there will be times in our lives when we come across people who do not like us. As we know, like attracts like, so usually when they don’t like us it is because they are not like us. Rather than taking it personally, we can let them be who they are, accepting that each of us is allowed to have different perspectives and opinions. When we give others that freedom, we claim it for ourselves as well, releasing ourselves from the need for their approval so we can devote our energy toward more rewarding pursuits.

While approval from others is a nice feeling, when we come to depend on it we may lose our way on our own path. There are those who will not like us no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with us. Each of us has our own filters built from our experiences over time. They may see in us something that is merely a projection of their understanding, but we have no control over the interpretations of others. The best we can do is to hope that the role we play in the script of their lives is helpful to them, and follow our own inner guidance with integrity.

As we reap the benefits of walking our perfect paths, we grow to appreciate the feeling of fully being ourselves. The need to have everyone like us will be replaced by the exhilaration of discovering that we are attracting like-minded individuals into our lives—people who like us because they understand and appreciate the truth of who we are. We free ourselves from trying to twist into shapes that will fit the spaces provided by others’ limited understanding and gain a new sense of freedom, allowing us to expand into becoming exactly who we’re meant to be. And in doing what we know to be right for us, we show others that they can do it too. Cocreating our lives with the universe and its energy of pure potential, we transcend limitations and empower ourselves to shine our unique light, fully and freely.





To be added:


Having to get it
    The "come-from" of it
Trying to get it - Captured...
Is this psychological, philosophical, or relationship related?


RELATED

If you "need" approval, you must read these and nail the false beliefs down and replace them with valid perspectives!

Need - What is a need, really? (Do I really need approval?)
 
I Must Not Be Disapproved Of - Contains some sample conversations and replies, along with ways to think about it. 
 
Rejection - Is It Really All It Is Reputed To Be?

You're Not So Special... But... - Proper perspective on "worth", etc.
 
Loving Oneself - Many problems stem from false beliefs about this.  Get rid of the key ones and learn how to love yourself!

Giving Enough To Myself  

Am I Worthy?

Playing To "They" - The imaginary internal people we try to please.

I am not good enough
Use the affirmation resourcesunder:

Affirming/Empowering Statements
CORE BELIEFS - Nail the following false core beliefs down and free yourself up to be happy.
 
Not Good Enough
    
  Something is wrong with me
  Self-Worth
  Approval 
  Powerless, Dependent
       I am powerless
       Child "Role"
      Power in life

Solving The Social Status Problem - Another "Enough" Problem? - Quickly disappear the gap.
 
There Is Danger

  Safe

       Life will turn out well
       Something is wrong