The great Lao Tzu once said, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” This was something that was said many, many years ago, but it is just as relevant today.

However, while someone could read this quote and see how true it is, it doesn’t mean that it will have much of an effect on their life. One reason for this is that while they may see that their need for approval is holding them back, they might not believe that they can do anything about it.

Business as Usual

One can then come across this quote and agree with it, and even end up sharing online, yet that will be about as far as it will go. They will then continue to behave as they did before, with this causing them to live a life that is not very fulfilling.

Instead of being able to listen to their own needs and then to go about fulfilling them, they will need to get the all-clear from others. To say that one will have to water themselves down might be an understatement.


It could be even worse, though, as one could be in a position where they are rarely aware of what their own needs are. Through being so concerned about what others think, they will have a very weak connection with their own inner world.

Doing what other people want or what they think they want, will allow them to gain approval, but this won’t allow their heart to really sing. Still, if they are so caught up in what other people think and are living on the surface of themselves, they might not even be aware of how miserable they feel deep down.

A Slave

So, while they will have the ability to make their own decisions and to do what they want, they may as well be stuck in a cell. The longer this goes on for, the harder it may be for them to behave in the same way.

If they are at the beginning of their life, for instance, they might not find this to be too much of a problem. On the other hand, if they are at a later stage of their life, they may be fed up with living life in this way.

The Power of Pain

The key, then, will be for them to make sure that they don’t do anything to remove this pain as this pain will be what allows them to change their life. This pain will give them the fuel that they need to move forward.

If they were to remove this pain by taking something or drinking something, it would be harder for them to change their circumstances. The next step will be for them to look into what they can do to change their life.

One Approach

One could end up coming into contact with information that tells them that they need to change their thoughts and their behaviour. Altering what they believe can be another thing that is put forward.

Ergo, changing what is going on up top is going to be fundamental if they no longer want to act like an extension of others. Though applying what they learn, it might only be a matter of time before their life is transformed.

A Different Angle

Conversely, one could across information that says that this shows that their child self is out of control and desperately needs the guidance of their adult self. Changing believes is then going to be important, but what won’t be as important is changing their thoughts or their behaviour.

Another way of looking at their child self would be to say that this is their inner child; the part of them that will carry all of the pain that they experienced as a child. To say that they only have one inner child would be inaccurate, though, as they will most likely have many child parts within them.

A Big Difference

The adult part of them won’t need other people’s approval to survive, whilst the child part of them will. When someone’s adult self is online, this part of them will be able to give the child part of them what it needs.

This is not going to be possible if ones adult self is offline or not very developed. The outcome of this is that without the ability to give the child part of them what it needs, this part of them will take over and look towards other people to do this.

A Change of Focus

From the outside they will look like an adult, but on the inside, they will feel like a needy child. The sooner their adult self is developed or becomes stronger, the easier it will be for them to live a fulfilling life.

One will then be able to mother and father the child (children) within them and no longer look towards other people to fulfil these roles. This won’t happen overnight, of course, but it will happen.


If one feels like a child and is unable to provide the child part of them wants it needs, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Someone like this will provide them with the support that they need to work through their inner wounds and, as this takes place, the adult part of them will gradually come online or become stronger. With less baggage within them, it will be easier for them to be there for their child self.

Author's Bio: 

Teacher, prolific writer, author, and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, one hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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