Answers to Approval Questions
This is a follow up to my previous post about Questions of Approval, where I inquired why we look to external approval for our self worth. According to Wayne Dyer in "Your Erroneous Zones" although we are conditioned from an early age to seek approval from others, such as our parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, elders, and government, we can take responsibility for our own thinking. He suggests that we eliminate this erroneous thinking and operate from a position of internal approval. While Wayne Dyer does not advocate for antisocial behaviours or anarchy, he is reminding us that there is an alternative to blind acceptance of our conditioning. We can examine and change old patterns of behaviours that do not enhance our lives.
After reading "Your Erroneous Zones" in its entirety here are my answers to my previous questions (inspired by chapter III) about the connection between external approval and self worth:
Why do I think of myself on your terms?
I no longer think of my self worth in terms of what family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, or anyone think of me. As a matter of fact, I will not assume to know what they think. I will consider that as individuals, we can have different perspectives. If others disapprove of me, I will not be offended, I will say as politely as possible, "That is your opinion; you are entitle to it." no matter how unfounded it is.
Why do I allow you to determine my feelings about myself; my actions and my confidence?
I take control of my emotions. I will not allow others' negative perceptions to influence my feelings, actions or self worth. I will become an independent individual who will have worthwhile relationships with people regardless of their approval or disapproval. I believe in myself and my thoughts.
Why do I care about what you think of me?
While I acknowledge that I live in a world where human interaction is important and we are all inter-related, I choose not to be negatively impacted by others' disapproval neither will I seek out external approval to the detriment of my self worth.
Am I conditioned to seek your approval?
I like everyone else is conditioned to seek approval from an early age. I will however break the mould of that conditioning. I no longer seek external approval for my self worth. I confidently think and make decisions about my life.
Do your thought of me change who I am?
Your negative or positive thought of me does not change who I am. I no longer fear others' disapproval or live my life based on the approval of others.
Is my life any better or worse because of my thoughts of your thoughts of me?
My life is not impacted in any way by your disapproval. I will not worry about the future or feel guilty about past failures. I understand that "failure is simply someone else's opinion of how a certain act should have been completed." (Wayne Dyer) I will not be angry or defensive about your opinion of me.
Can your approval/disapproval enhance my being ME?
Since I no longer depend on your approval or disapproval for my self worth, then external approval/disapproval does not impact ME.
Why does your "satisfactory" or "dis-satisfactory" rating of my performance appraisal determine my self worth?
As an aware and responsible individual, I am committed to do what is important to me with passion and goodwill. I no longer rely on your feedback, negative or positive to determine how I perceive my work. I know my worth, therefore I am GREAT regardless if I measure up to someone else's standard or not. I can do anything I choose.
Why do I even care about what you think?
While I care about you as an individual; I do not worry myself about what you think. You are entitled to your opinion, so go ahead.
Am I not more than you can ever conceive?
We are all completely perfect. As we acknowledge our perfection, we will see it in everyone we meet. So hello perfect you!
Am I not perfect in my imperfection?
You bet! I am perfectly complete.
Thank you Wayne Dyer for the inspiration to be reminded of our GREATNESS.