Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Seeking Approval - Do I need it?

I seem to be in a pretty surreal place today. Like watching the world from the outside.

I did some journaling on my self worth last night. Given that I almost had a panic attack over defending my worth yesterday. I didn't want to write I didn't feel like a voyage to the deep. I did it anyway. It was helpful to identify where the idea that I am not worthy came from and it is just an idea in my head.

I thought I had stopped letting the opinions of others affect me but wanting recognition is really the same thing. If you want the praise and appreciation it isn't given, you are giving the person the same power. See me, look at me, validate me.

If someone says your great then your great if they say you aren't then they are wrong. If they say nothing at all it leaves a longing that makes you want to try harder. I found in my journaling that the important people in my life never or rarely give approval.

Even worse when I did get that long awaited approval and it came with a critique or in some back handed manner.

This brings me to my greatest tool, the mirror. I had to ask myself, do I withhold praise myself? Do I critique along with praise? The answer is yes. I can honestly say I don't do the backhanded compliment but I am an natural critic always looking to improve. You spot it you got it as they say in the program.

Am I suppose to be mature enough to go through life without praise and validation? If I am not going to take criticism seriously I can't take praise seriously either.

I think I have to say yes. I have to do my best and take both praise and criticism with a grain of salt. Everyone is entitled to their own truth but I don't have to see it their way or convince them of mine.

I can listen and decide whether anything they are saying is true without defense. If I don't take it as an attack I can make changes the will make me a better person. If I can't find anything of value I can decide that it is just another view and move on, holding no resentments.

The situation with the customer taught me something. First the lesson of self-worth and second that I need to be clearer about my fees and send invoices in a timely manner. So this was a good thing for me to experience and I am grateful.


  1. Having just gone through the disturbing incident with a player at my job, I totally understand what you are writing about today. Pain always brings a lesson, which is hard for me to look at, but good for me to face. I read I can be grateful for the calamity this person caused. I didn't like it, and I didn't like what I learned about myself, but it's improved me a little toward being the person I would like to be someday. Hang in there, my friend. You are not alone.

  2. Those of us who have lived with alcoholism seem to need approval. I know that has been the situation in my life. I didn't have enough self-esteem so I sought to get the pats on the back from others. Thankfully, I am not looking for approval today. It may sneak back in tomorrow, but I am glad to realize that the program tells me that others cannot fulfill me.