Honoring Others and Approval Addictions

 
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I used to be an Approval-Addict. It was paralyzing.

So many times I’ve thought I was honoring people by doing what they wanted me to do.

I thought it was being respectful,

Considerate,

Well-mannered,

Polite,

Even obedient.

But when my action was taken from guilt,

Duty,

Obligation,

Feeling trapped,

Frustration,

Or overwhelm…

I was actually dishonoring myself.

Doing the “right thing” for the wrong reasons may seem like a noble feat, but it’s actually not.

It is possible to be considerate and say “no” to someone else.

It is also possible to be well-mannered and politely decline their offer, request, or even their demand.

It’s not people’s expectations that are the problem. “They expect too much!” we might complain. But so what? Big deal? It’s our addiction to having their approval that’s the real issue.

So many times I behaved in a way that I believed was considerate, well-mannered, polite, obedient and submissive - just to gain or keep the approval and affection of others.

And I knew I should be saying “no” to them, to say “yes” to myself, but I didn’t have the courage to face their disapproval. And while I was supposedly being the “good girl” I was being inconsiderate to myself - not treating myself kindly. I was creating so much resentment, blaming them for my own struggle, feeling guilty for having a bad attitude to do the “good thing.” I was all mixed up.

Other people are never the problem - if we are complete on our own, we don’t need any approval of theirs to be whole.

For me, growing into a person that knows my own worth, knows my own values, my own priorities, and saying YES to myself by sometimes saying No to other people, has enabled me to create more joy and freedom in my life than I ever thought possible.

Being genuine - not hiding my thoughts, sharing of myself vulnerably, and living courageously has made me realize, I’ll never go back to thinking other people’s opinions of me are reality. I’m seeing myself more clearly every day, the way my Creator and Savior sees me. My value is separate from people’s opinions of my value. Always.

When I separate those, I feel so abundantly loved. So special. Complete in my worth. My humanity, and mistakes don’t mean anything about me. Suddenly I feel a lot less guilt in my life. Less stress. Less drama.

And when I feel complete and abundantly loved, regardless of people’s opinions of me, I can courageously LIVE the life that I was put on this planet to live. Enjoy the things I was meant to enjoy. Exercise the talents I was meant to build and grow. Serve the people who are desperate for what I have to offer. It’s a beautiful thing.

When we seek other’s approval, we settle for “good” (making others happy) while sacrificing “GREAT” (which is what we were put on this earth for - to give and serve with our gifts and talents.)

If you could actually see yourself living independently of others - confident, secure, loved - you would do it without hesitation.

Live your life to the fullest. Start today my friends. ❤️

And if you’re wondering how to start dismantling an approval-addiction, click here for your guide to 5 Things Every Recovering Approval Addict Needs To Know.

 
Meagan BunnerComment