External Realization and Affirmation of the Self
Today in my book "I Am The Word," I read some enlightening information about approval. The book defines approval as an external realization and affirmation of the self as brought through your relationship with others.
It also states that at this moment, 80% of what we are doing in our lives has been motivated by a need for approval from someone else, or a cultural belief that what you need to do is a certain thing, or by a certain time.
So these behaviors are indicative of our beliefs. And although some of the beliefs are not true, we operate with them as if they are true. Do you ever take time to question what beliefs are really YOUR truth?
To get up close and personal with this information, the book suggests an activity:
Take a piece paper and a pen and make a list of all of those things that you currently do in your life that you do out of a requirement for external approval.
For example: I look a certain way. I have a certain job. I have a certain belief that keeps in alignment with my culture. I have to marry a pretty girl/handsome man. I have to go to college to succeed. I have to have a certain income or go to a certain church or have a certain spiritual practice or a certain relationship with my body. You get the idea.
If you’re at all interested in moving closer to your truth, DO THIS EXERCISE!
It was so enlightening for me. I wrote 13 things with ease. Not only did I write what I do in my life out of a requirement for external approval, I also wrote the associated belief. I’m so glad I did because even though I have a considerable amount of discomfort in my body, I’m ready to deeply experience them and find out which ones are resonating with my knowing of my truth and which ones are not. Obviously, for those that aren’t, there is work to be done. AND I LOVE WORKING ON MY SELF! haha!
The book says “ There will be some walls that will be falling down. And as walls fall down, there is much more room for you.” More room for me? YAASSSSSSS! Bring it! I ALSO LOVE SPACE and am currently feeling the need for some in my body as I type this. [Pause. Breathwork.]
The good news for those who aren’t so keen on working on your beautiful Self, the awareness of them alone will actually support you in changing them. We must first understand them for what they are.
WHAT IF? What if we took the idea of approval out of our lives entirely?
I think we’d live more in our knowing of our true, unique selves and we’d be more capable of THRIVING! What a beautiful vision.
I truly believe that part of my journey on this planet is to move beyond living with behaviors and thoughts that are based on a need for approval. The exercise above gave me a greater glimpse into just how much these things have boxed me in. No wonder I am always craving freedom!
I can say I’m proud of myself for taking a few major life risks already at the young age of 31 and I have no regrets!
The biggest walls ahead of me at this time are around emotional safety. And I’m off to find a jackhammer… ;)
Stay Beautiful. Forget About Approval!