We all want to be loved.
We all want to be liked.
We all want to fit in.
We all want to be understood.
We just do.

We are social beings.
We thrive in groups.
We live in tribes.
We have leaders and followers and pecking orders
and those at the top and those at the bottom.
And because of this innate dynamic, we tend to look to each other for support. We frequently look to each other for approval. This is completely normal and completely okay.

We’re not supposed to go it alone on our journey. It’s good to have your tribe surrounding you and supporting you.

It gets tricky though when you stop being yourself because you’re afraid you won’t be liked.
We have to be careful of changing our actions solely because we are seeking approval.
So instead of living your life by asking:
Do you like me?
How about asking:
Do I like me?

If you can approve of yourself first before seeking approval from others, their love will just be icing on the cake.
If you are constantly looking for others to build you up and like you, you’ll be forever looking outside of yourself for love. You will never be content. It will become an addiction, and you will always be looking for your next “approval fix.”

Frequently we don’t even realize that we are seeking approval – especially if we are living our lives on auto pilot – just going through the motions without really thinking about them at all.

When you get dressed in the morning – do you look in the mirror and strut your stuff knowing that you look great? Or do you wait for your loved ones to tell you how great you look before accepting it as truth?

When you write a post, create a product, lose some weight, dance in your recital, show your paintings at an exhibit, etc… do you approve of yourself before the external approval starts coming in?

External love and approval is wonderful. It feels great, and it boosts us up.
Internal approval and love is even more powerful.
It gives you grounding and a foundation.
It gives you life.

If you are wondering if you are an approval junkie, staying conscious of what your motivation is for doing things is a great place to start. Are you doing something because you truly want to and it makes you happy, or are you doing it because you want to be accepted and liked and approved of?

If we love and approve of ourselves, it will truly matter a whole lot less what others think.
And while I’m not saying that it won’t matter at all or shouldn’t matter at all, knowing that you are living your own life will feel so great that you will start to care less and less whether you are approved of.
And we all know that our true friends will accept us no matter what anyway.

So get out there and live your life!
If you want to write, write!
If you want to paint, paint!
If you want to wear spandex, go for it!
If you want to dye your hair, have at it!

Your love and approval is all that truly matters.

Author's Bio: 

Jodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her amazing husband, Dan Teck. www.jodichapman.com