Instead of seeking approval from others – parents, partners, family, friends, bosses, colleagues, strangers – a need that weakens your position and destabilises your internal ground because you’re constantly throwing your power away, strengthen your position and stabilise your inert ground by giving the approval you seek yourself.
And the way you do this is to change your internal dialogue from self-critical to self-approving.
So rather than telling yourself off for what you haven’t achieved or for falling short in any way, train that voice in your head that likes to continually pass comment on your progress or lack of, to acknowledge yourself for everything you do achieve and for being accomplished in the things you do. Train that voice to pass comment on your achievements rather than your failures.
Children grow more healthily through encouraging their strong points than by criticizing their weaknesses, for whatever you focus on grows and the more strength there is, the less room exists for failure.
And we are all children.
And the way to develop that self-encouraging voice to the point it becomes the default mode is to spend a few moments today in private, actually talking to yourself out loud. This does not constitute madness. To the contrary.
By giving sound to the kindly, loving, self-encouraging, self approving voice within, you get to hear what that voice sounds like and so can continue hearing it more clearly when the conversation goes internal again, once you’ve returned to the everyday world. And you need to hear this self-approving internal voice within loud and clear for the transformation to have the desired effect of freeing you from the weakening need to seek approval elsewhere.
Speak to yourself in the second person. Acknowledge yourself for what you might otherwise overlook as insignificant moments, but in fact constituted triumphs over apathy, lethargy, laziness, fear or shyness, all those seemingly little things like managing to get out bed this morning, managing to sort yourself out to leave the house, to get yourself to work, to smile at a stranger in the street, to organize your thoughts sufficiently to fulfil your tasks and so on. Because when you consider the unimaginable complexity involved in making every little movement you make, let alone the unfathomable ability of the mind to conceive of what action’s required, see it, and give the order to your body to carry it out, even the every day act of brushing your teeth is akin to the greatest wonder in the universe.
You’ll find by doing so, your self-confidence will increase significantly, along with your positive outlook and that will get you in the right space to achieve excellence and so win even more self-approval, thereby strengthening your position even more and thus instigating a virtuous cycle.
Loving wish: you become totally self-contained, self-determining and self-possessed in a jiffy and achieve miracles of progress now and through the weekend in all areas of your life by it.