If you saw the movie “Beaches” that starred Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, you may recall the scene where Bette Middler says after she has performed on stage and rattled on about herself, “ Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?”
Many of us have heard that performers such as actors and singers crave attention and approval. But, aren’t we all approval seekers to some degree? Really, it feels good to have others’ approval, especially from those people we greatly love, admire or respect.
I however, have worked with a number of clients whose need for approval has seriously impeded their freedom, joy and growth. I think this is something a lot of you can relate to. Their inner dialogue goes something like this:
These thoughts lead us to neglect our priorities or what we think is important for us to do and our wants; those things that we like doing that bring us joy. Instead, we end up putting other people’s demands and wants first. Then we become angry, resentful, sometimes we start avoiding that person and our self-respect goes down.
It is important to find the balance between tending to our priorities and wants and tending to others’ priorities and wants, so that there is reciprocity in the relationship. Factors like our energy level, what’s on our plate, the amount of support and help available to us and our emotional state largely influences our decision to ask for help or say no to a request.
I love this quote by Terry Cole-Whittaker, spiritual author and teacher "What You Think of Me is None of my Business. "
Approval seeking is looking for our own value in the opinions of others. It is believing that their opinion is more important than our own about ourselves. When others' opinions matter more than our own, we are allowing others to define us. Approval seeking is attachment to an external event for our happiness and it is counter to the Universal Law of Detachment.
Spiritual teacher, Abraham Hicks tells us that our our soul’s opinions are the one’s we were born to agree with. That our goal is not to be liked by others, although beneficial, our primary goal is to be in harmony and flow with our spirit. When you align with the essence of who you truly are and you stand solidly in this space, the opinions of others’ bounce off of you.
And, when you tend to your vibration first, a natural byproduct of that is the power of influence and attraction you have on others. Other people who share like energy will be drawn to you for the enhancement of you, them and all. This is Law of Attraction at work and the Universal Law of Reflection .
We are often struggling so much to be understood, validated and approved of to our detriment. Abraham tells us to chill out! Love yourself by living more selfishly!