Stop Seeking Approval

“You don’t need other people to validate you; you are already VALUABLE.”

Often we try to show those we work with that we want to be liked and accepted. We can’t please everyone, and we should stop that mindset in the workplace. The essences of us lie in our vulnerability, our wide variety of emotions, and our authentic imperfections. We need to embrace ourselves and focus on being authentic, instead of who we think others want us to be, we need to open ourselves up to genuine relationships, and real success whatever that may be.

We don’t need to put on a mask. There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. You have nothing to prove to anyone else because the people worth impressing want you to be yourself. It’s better to be loathed for who you are than loved for who you are not. The only relationships that work well, in the long run, are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person, you used to be. This is part of your career development as well as personal growth. No one is perfect!

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Changing your mindset by proving to yourself, not others you work with.

You want to know a secret; we are all going through the same thing regardless of who they are: a manager, a director, a VP, or the colleagues that surround them. Once you stop seeking approval of acceptance, which is hard, especially if you see one or two being leaned on and seem to be the “go-to” well, they too are seeking approval. Once you stop trying support and participate with confidence, it will be appreciated and by your contributions will allow those around you will notice a change, a big difference.

Don’t change so people will like you; be patient, keep being your fabulous self, and pretty soon the RIGHT people will see the REAL you. Can I get a “Right On?”

Napoleon Dynamite GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

No one else knows what’s best for YOU. Don’t lose yourself in your search for acceptance by others. Walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going. They have their ways to take. You have to take the steps that are right for you; no one else walks in your shoes. You could be asking yourself, “how do I know what that looks like.” No one knows the right answer, but we all have “gut feelings” and when you are working in an atmosphere where you feel undervalued, constantly feeling ignore, well only we can make change happen and yes, that could be when you seek another opportunity.

To be accepted and valued, then let others take you as you are, or not at all. Speak your truth, respectfully, we all should speak to each other always, even if your voice shakes. By being true to yourself and yes this can be hard, you put something into the world that was not there before and place in a position of vulnerability. You are AMAZING when your passion and strength shines through as you follow your path – when you aren’t distracted by the opinions of others. You are powerful when you let your mistakes educate you, and your confidence builds from experiences. My parents and I am sure your parents, told us, “when you fall, pick yourself up, and move forward without asking for anyone else’s permission.”

You are the only person who can change your life. In every scenario you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is you.  It is your responsibility, to recognize that regardless of what has happened in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation, or to change the way you think about it. Don’t let the opinions or actions of others interfere with this reality.

What you’re capable of accomplishing is not a function of what other people think is possible for you.  What you’re capable of achieving depends entirely on what you choose to do with your time and energy.  So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Just keep living your truth and strive to make your goals come true. The only people that will fault you for doing so are those who want you to fail for their gain. We all have individuals in our lives who like to damage others, and that is just life is.

We have an industry for most is driven by unhealthy competitiveness, measurements of worth by unrealistic metrics, and in most cases, is worthless to use when assessing the success of the individual. When you find yourself trapped between what moves you and what your workplace tells you is right for you, always travel the route that makes you feel alive, passionate – unless you want everyone to be happy, except you. No matter where life takes you, big companies or start-ups, you will inevitably come across others who think they know what’s best for you – people who believe they are better than you – people who think happiness, success and passion mean the same things to everyone. Trust me; this doesn’t mean it’s your manager; it can be those you work with as colleagues.

Those you surround yourself professionally and personally try to measure your worth based on what you have done, instead of who you are. But you know better than that – metrics matter, but relationships your form is worth more than numbers, don’t chase the number. Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive.  Go for the things of higher value – the things metrics can’t. What matters is having the strength of character, an honest heart, a sense of self-worth, and humor. If you’re lucky enough to have any of these things, never sell yourself short.

Article Continues Below

Your career/life isn’t a race; you have nothing to prove. Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “I did it! I did it! But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing, not while you’re sitting at the top. This may sound sappy, but enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. This is a lesson I am continually learning. Don’t rush through your life and miss the opportunities of connecting with others. Forget where everyone else is about you. This isn’t a race. You get there one step at a time, not all at once.

Let go of the need to prove yourself to everyone, and freeing yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Yep, you’ll have to remind yourself that you don’t always have to be and do what everyone else is being and doing. Make sense?

Our paths lead to all great things passes through failure, come on that is what makes us strong. You are an ever-changing work in progress. You don’t always have to be right; you have not to be too worried about being wrong. Screwing up is part of the process. Looking like a fool sometimes is the only way forward. If you try too hard to impress those you work with your “perfection,” you will stunt your growth. You will spend all your time looking a certain way, instead of growing a certain way.

It’s impossible to achieve without sometimes failing unless you work so cautiously that you aren’t accomplishing a thing – you’re merely existing. If you’re too afraid of failing in front of others, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful in your own eyes, but this is something I think the leaders in the industry need to work on. You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward. In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that reach their dreams.

It’s impossible to please everyone. Some individuals will always tell you what you did wrong, and then hesitate to compliment you for what you did right. PLEASE, if you are a leader in some form, please don’t be one of them. It’s time to change, and we are the ones need to make this a conversation. When you run into someone who discredits you, disrespects you and treats you poorly for no apparent reason at all, don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval, it is tiring and not worth the energy. Be sure not to leave any space in your heart to dis-liking them. Just walk away and let karma deal with the things they say and do, because any bit of time you spend on these people will be wasted, and any bit of frustration and aggravation in your heart will only hurt you in the end.

I encourage you to open up, step up, be the voice of you, stand on principle, and STOP SEEKING APPROVAL.

Kay Kelison is a respected social media strategist and a principal sourcer who has been in the recruiting industry over fourteen years. She currently works as a Principal Researcher / Trainer for Zillow Group where she partners with both business and recruiting functions to build candidate pipelines, develop targeted sourcing plans, build and manage successful sourcing initiatives, and manage customer/partner expectations. Additionally, she is involved in the developing and managing diversity recruiting efforts through social networking platforms on websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Kay is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.

Topics