As Rick Warren states, "One key to failure is to try to please everyone". Sound familiar? Many of us grew up in a home where we constantly tried to get the approval from our parents or other important people in our lives, only to feel like we constantly fell short of this. As adults, we might try to continue this cycle by trying to make everyone like us or think we are "good".
When we allow the expectations of parents, friends, teachers, peers, or other people to control our lives, we aren't fulfilling our true purpose in life. After all, other's opinions of us don't truly make us "good", even though it's nice to think other people hold us in a favorable light.
When we allow other's opinions of us to run our life and constantly seek the approval of others, we don't follow a path in life that gives us true joy and fulfillment. Other people may expect things from you that are not only unrealistic, but may not even be on your radar for what makes you happy. As Rick Warren also states, "Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it".
Does approval seeking drive your life? If so, stop and ask yourself what YOU need from your life to feel fulfilled and to feel truly connected to your purpose. If you are listening to the opinions of others over your own, you will miss your purpose and cause yourself unnecessary stress!
Source: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFT, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.