Their Approval Isn't Needed
Start writing a post

Their Approval Isn't Needed

If you can't love yourself, no one else can.

Their Approval Isn't Needed

to all my fellow worriers, approval seekers, and crowd pleasers:

i know growing up in a pressure-filled society is hard. i’ve done it for 17 years and i’m nowhere near done being engulfed in society’s WAY too blunt opinions and pressure on how i should live. i spent my middle school years and most of high school, caring excessively too much about what people thought of me. from the clothes i wore, the color of my hair, to the way i walked down the hallway, i needed everyone to approve of how i was carrying myself and accept how i chose to portray every detail of my life. i watched my mom’s heart break over and over when i would come home with yet another story of how someone made fun of the way my foot hit the ground or how i braided my hair that day. i felt as if i was a target for criticism, as i’m sure many of you do as well.

it’s time for a little backstory. this may seem pointless to the message of this post, but i promise it ties in. stick with me. i was born with a cyst on the left ventricle of my brain. when i was 18 months old and still not walking, my doctor and parents started getting concerned. they went through many possible diagnoses, cerebral palsy being what they were almost certain i had. they then discovered the cyst. with the help of many amazing doctors and outstanding technology, it was said that the cyst was causing the right side of my body to not function as normal. as i grew up, my doctor started to realize my right foot/leg was what was being hit with the pressure of the cyst the most. i walked with a major limp, my foot turned in to an (almost) 180-degree angle when i walked, and it would drag with every step. you can only IMAGINE what kind of attention this drew from children and adults alike. after multiple surgeries and many years, my foot and walk is (somewhat) normal.

with that being said, my foot was obviously the root of my problems. not only did that alter how i thought about myself, it caused anxiety and made me come up with ways to compensate for my “disability” by wanting the newest and nicest things. i thought that maybe people would accept me a little bit more. one year, i gave my grandma a list of items i wanted for christmas that equaled well over $1,000. all of the items were brand name clothing that people wore who (most of the time) didn’t even want to be my friend. i thought that a new patagonia vest and a pair of hunter boots would make them forget about my external flaws. this is how far i was into feeling that other people’s approval was what made me who i was.

you’ll be surprised to know that when i stopped seeking people’s approval and wanting their opinions, is the point when my life did an absolute 360. there are instances when wanting someone to be proud of you or commend you is healthy. for example, when you got through a rush at work by yourself or wanting your parents to congratulate you on your report card, but doing the upmost extremes to get a few people to call you “cool” is only going to take you that much farther away from the self-love you deserve. learn from me. don’t sit at your desk at school and look around the room and wonder why you can’t have what lauren does, why you can’t look like katie, or what you could do to make that group of girls like you. learn to stop chasing approval. learn to stop living for other people and live for yourself. not everyone sticks around, but one thing that you’ll always have is you. learn to love you, learn to embrace you in every season of life.

i know the pressure is heavy, trust me. don’t go sweating the small stuff, because in all honesty, these people you’re trying to impress now, will be at a totally different point in life than you in five years. love yourself for yourself! i promise it’s so much more worth it in the end.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments