March 21st, 2011
“Why can’t she just let me be me?” Margie said to her friend Sarah. Margie’s hopes kept being dashed each time she mentioned one of her new accomplishments to her mother. It just seemed that Margie’s mother never had a kind word for her. Is there someone in your life from whom you’d like to receive some approval? Are you getting that approval?
Here are three valuable elements of a healthy approach to approval.
W – wonder
I – invest
N – nurture
When you try to gain someone’s approval and you don’t get it, it can be a good time to wonder about what you’re really aiming for. In talking with clients, I often hear that someone is looking for some type of safety. For example, if you seek the approval of your supervisor at work, you may be looking for some form of job security. And that can be a good thing. Early in my work life, I discovered that doing a good job did not guarantee keeping a job — particularly when 29 people and I were laid off after we helped a bank attain the status of first bank with online banking. “Thank you. Good job. Goodbye,” said that bank’s management.
So let’s look at your journey about getting approval at work as strengthening your position. When you strengthen your position, you make sure that you have a strong personal brand and that management sees you as a vital asset to the company. But we cannot guarantee that we’re “safe at that job.”
One powerful idea I heard is: “Job security is when you keep up your skills and your ability to get another job.”
So yes . . . do praiseworthy work. Strengthen your position. Make sure that you carefully let management know that you’re doing a good job.
And, realize that approval does not equal safety. It is something else.
And the truth is: you’ll need to give yourself that approval (know it in your heart) for that good job you’re doing.
The idea is to invest in friendships and relationships in which people “build you up.” Some people (perhaps, because of their own personal life-difficulties) cannot cherish and support you in a kind way. Many of us try again and again to get a family member to give us approval. As some counselors I know say, “What? Did anything change? Doesn’t your (mother, sister, father, brother) tend to say the exact thing to take the wind out of your sails?”
In that case, stop going to the wrong people for support and approval. You’re just bleeding energy that you need to make the most of your life.
Remember to devote time and energy to those relationships that build you up.
The simple truth (not an easy truth) is that we must nurture ourselves. Treat yourself in the way you would care for a close friend. When you take care of yourself (exercise, good nutrition, sleep, quiet time, a hobby, and more), you will develop a reserve of energy. And — this is important — you’ll likely stop radiating neediness. Sometimes, in friendships or in business relationships, people feel uncomfortable when they sense our neediness or desire for approval. This can lead to their expressing subconscious resistance.
In a few words: nurture yourself and then people will feel good in your presence. Approval, like happiness, appears as a by-product. We get ourselves tangled up when we try to make approval into a goal. Live your life expressing your “aliveness” and creativity. When approval happens to arrive, enjoy it. We can make approval into something that we prefer instead of something that we try to “demand” from life. Approval from others really is like an occasional dessert.
So let’s make life about giving and enjoying the moment. Let’s face it. The approval we really want is something to make us feel better — something to give us some peace. Often, the approval that we seek won’t give us that inner peace. Ask any celebrity with a lot of fans: “Now, do you feel better and relaxed?” A number of the celebrities have said that being famous has not given them what they were seeking.
What approval will give you that good feeling inside? — your own healthy approval. An old phrase is: “Happiness is something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.” Make your life about expressing your authentic self and making a contribution to others — and healthy inner approval will blossom.
P.S. Please consider bringing useful methods and skills to family, friends and even yourself with Tom’s 4 books at Amazon.com
New Book: 10 Seconds to Wealth: Master the Moment using Your Divine Gifts now available on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/gDub2e [See a video
about 10 Seconds to Wealth at www.TenSecondstoWealth.com
Nothing Can Stop You This Year: How to Unleash Your Hidden Power to Persuade Well, Get More Done, Gain Sudden Profits, Command Intuition and Feel Great – free chapter at http://bit.ly/8zQywm
Do you really want to connect with someone important? (a friend, a loved one, a job interviewer, a supervisor). See a free chapter:
Be Heard and Be Trusted:
How You Can Use Secrets of the Greatest Communicators to Get What You Want, 3rd edition – free chapter at http://bit.ly/8H0rOO
P.P.S. Get a Free Special Report “9 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid . . . and 9 Surefire Solutions for Your Next Speech”
and learn the secrets Tom Marcoux, America’s Communication Coach, provides for CEOs, Business Owners, and Graduate Students Click for Your Free Report
America’s Communication Coach
Truth No One Will Tell You: How to Feed Your Soul, Save a Business, or Get a Job During an Economic Crisis — free chapter at http://bit.ly/8RTRk5