The Only Approval You Need is Your Own

I’ve had to make big decisions involving school, work, my passions and future lately and as expected, it’s consumed me to the core. Even if I’m having fun, watching TV, listening to music, writing, eating, whatever, it’s there. They linger over me until I make final decisions.

I’m also indecisive. I make my friends choose where we’ll go or my mom pick which Netflix show to watch. So you can only imagine how it is for major decisions when I’m like that for the little stuff.

I value the opinions of those closest to me too. I know they’re always looking out for my best interest when I talk to them. They’ve talked me out of bad relationships, bad choices and discover the best path for me as well as vice versa. But what happens if you don’t agree? If you just do something because they said it’s best for you? Obviously, they’re objective and come as another point of view, but you know yourself in every which way better than anyone as you’re you. So what happens?

I consistently see people (usually beginning in teenage girls) succumb to the approval of others, no matter who it is. This isn’t just the typical peer pressure of sex and drugs, but real life decisions. It can be as simple as participating in a hobby they don’t like just because everyone else is doing it. It’s not following a dream of theirs because of the opinion of others. It’s not going into a certain field of work because of societal expectations. It’s not doing anything for you because of others.

It feels as though it’s been ingrained in some to put others first. This can range from doing what they want to sacrificing something for them and dealing with their emotions before yours. It’s a nice thing, it is. But at what point do you notice you’ve been neglecting yourself? You’re just as important. You’re just as needed. Your feelings, needs, passions, emotions, everything are at the same level. It’s not an easy path to get to your own self-approval though. It may take losing people, feeling sad and weak and having a feeling of even more indecisiveness. Sometimes it’s also being labeled as bitchy because you know what you want and you're not just playing a subservient role. But just you wait. Once you completely let go of the negativity and unnecessary approval, after all that time, is the best feeling ever. The feeling of self love and confidence surges back like you’ve never known. It’s empowering and inspiring. You know that you did the right thing even if no one is in your corner cheering you on.

I’ve had to deal with major changes and make major decisions this year. At the beginning of the year, I was terrified. I was almost 20 and felt as though my life was sort of over, dramatic as that is. Once I stopped seeking the approval of others and did what I wanted, I realized just what I can do and how successful I can be. I sacrificed a lot of people and things, but I know it happened for a reason. Not everything is perfect always, but you can live so much better. Don’t ever be scared, live as authentically as you can. You don’t need anyone’s approval.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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