From a young age, we constantly ask for permission. We ask our parents if we can go on playdates, or if we are allowed to get a second piercing. We even ask our teachers for permission to use something as common as the bathroom. Over time we build this need for validation within ourselves on bigger issues - a need to ask for advice from our friends, parents, and professors.
You ask your girlfriends if your outfit looks good enough, or if you should date or break up with that guy, or if you should create the business you've been dreaming of - some questions that are trivial, while others are more important.
Often times you've already made a decision on your own, but the approval from others seems obligatory. People naturally want reassurance especially after years and years asking for it. But when there's an answer you don't want, a seed is planted in your thought garden, questioning your own decision. This is the root of the problem, literally. And this lack of approval leads us to doubt ourselves.
The key to overcoming this is self-trust and confidence. They go hand-in-hand. Once you trust yourself and your desires, you can confidently make the right choice. You don’t need to know exactly what you want in every situation, but know yourself well enough in order to make the right choices when the time comes. The only “approval” you should seek is your own.
Of course, there are still many times when another person's opinion is relevant. If you're asking experts like doctors or lawyers for advice, go for it. The issue is that we often get stuck in the hazy border between seeking approval and seeking actual necessary advice. Those with high emotional intelligence know what they want and need, and do not need to ask for the opinions of others in order to move forward.
Set a list of goals for yourself. What is it that you want right now? What do you want in the long run? And an even scarier but important question: What do you want out of life? What do you believe to be your purpose? Spend some time answering these questions on your own. You don't need specifics or certainty, but have a general idea. Then, when you are faced with a difficult decision, you can think by yourself again and confidently reveal your thoughts.