Addicted To Approval & Acceptance

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 | by Brenda Stanton

“Endearment is a choice; people pleasing is based on need” ~Thomas Leonard

A few months back I was very excited to be able to carve out some time in the afternoon and sit down and watch the final episodes of the Oprah show.

And it was no surprise that the last episodes did not disappoint – especially, when Sarah Ferguson was on discussing her recent snub from not being invited to the royal wedding – as well as the boatload of mistakes she’s made in recent years.

The show’s real focus however, was demonstrating Sarah’s recovery through her leveraging the team of Oprah’s experts to help her recover and re-claim her life. Here is a
Short Video – where Dr. Phil points out how Sarah’s mistakes and her self-sabotage are steeped in a strong addiction to approval and acceptance.

Most of us don’t realize how a strong need for acceptance and approval is driving our lives – and where this strong, unmet need was initially born from.

One of my most vivid memories of craving acceptance was when I was about ten or eleven years old and my family and I were on vacation. While visiting an amusement park, my mom and I were waiting in line for the rollercoaster and in front of us was a young couple – about nineteen or twenty – who were kissing and loving each other up with major PDA.

I noticed my mother looking at the couple in front of us with disgust. I could tell she was appalled by their behavior and it was something she didn’t like or approve of. Right then, I remember looking up at my mother and making her a promise: “Mom, I promise you, I will never, ever do that.” She looked down at me and said: “I know you won’t sweetie.”

I can’t begin to tell you how that promise to my mother sabotaged me for years in the love department. Also, this is one example of how we aim to please and gain approval from the folks we see who are in a position of authority.

Think of your own life and times when you’ve craved approval and acceptance from others.

Maybe you’re in a job and have found yourself feeling resentful and stuck because no matter how hard you try, how hard and long you work, no matter what you do, it’s never enough for your boss.

Or, maybe you dream of sharing your voice with others and sharing your knowledge and expertise – but every time you go to put pen to paper, or think about booking a workshop to teach what you know – you freeze and worry about “What will they think of me?”

This is where the key to having a strong relationship with yourSELF comes in play – where you give yourSELF permission to do what you want to do from a soul-directed place vs. being motivated to please and gain approval from others – and to prove your worth, vs. claim it.

One road keeps you stuck. The other road sets you free.

This unmet need for acceptance and approval from others robs you of precious life-energy because it forces you to give-out – before you’ve given to yourself. It forces you to give-out before you’ve even considered if it’s an authentic want to give – or an obligation to give.

The thing to know here is: this natural tendency to want to please before pleasing yourSELF, give even when you don’t want to or feel empty, is natural for those whom are natural givers, caretakers and whom truly want to help people.

The KEY is: if you truly do want to be of authentic service and to give unconditionally and to truly give your best – and what your True Self has intended – you must get your unmet need for approval and acceptance met from within first.

Check-out the Worthy Work below where I give you some tips on how to learn to claim your worth from the inside/out!



Consider this: Who and what is the judge/jury who has control and authority over your life and the work that you choose to do? Who do you have a tendency to give your power (a.k.a. life-force energy) away to? And why? Then, consider who you may be giving the role of a false idol to –and consider giving that authority and power back to its rightful owner – yourSELF.

The goal is for you to understand that if you struggle with an addiction to approval and acceptance, that you most likely are chasing a unmet need to be liked and to prove that you’re a good, worthy, deserving person from the outside/in.

My challenge to you is: turn that approach around – and give from the inside/out. Consider that the greatest gift you can give to yourSELF and to humanity is to own who you really are, to know how worthy you already are, and how innocent and pure you already are.

The only way to be of true service, and do your greatest work in the world, and to live a beautiful, creative, meaningful life is to master this art of giving to yourSELF first. When you do, you’re not just in a better position to authentically give to others, but you’re in personal alignment and integrity with yourSELF.

As a result, you can’t help but give – it just pours through you – as if it’s something you must give away and share! But before that can happen, you need to own it for yourSELF first.

Always remember, you can’t authentically give something you don’t see yourself possessing first.


To Your Worth!

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