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Questions of Approval

Updated on August 25, 2011


I am in the process of reading Wayne Dyer's book, " Your Erroneous Zones" and chapter III deals with external approval. I am realizing how much as a society we rely on external approval for our self worth. Wayne argues that from our early socialization, we seek the approval of our parents and those closest to us. We learned to adjust our natural ways of being to what our mummy and daddy tell us. This socialization is further enforced by institutions in the larger society, such as schools and church. We adapt to the expectations of our teachers, spiritual leaders and elders. Is it any wonder that we continue to seek external approval to the detriment of our self-worth. Now I believe that there is value in learning acceptable norms and behaviours, to coexist in a civilized and socially inter-related world, but how do we balance that to thinking for ourselves?.

Here are some questions about external and approval and the connection with self worth;

Why do I think of myself on your terms?

Why do I allow you to determine my feelings

About myself; my actions and my confidence?

Why do I care about what you think of me?

Am I conditioned to seek your approval?

Do your thought of me change who I am?

Is my life any better or worse because of my thoughts of your thoughts?

Can your approval/disapproval enhance my being ME?

Why does your "satisfactory" or "dis-satisfactory" rating of

My performance appraisal determine my self worth?

Why do I even care about what you think?

Am I not more than you can ever conceive?

Am I not perfect in my imperfection?


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    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks Melissa G, I appreciate your suggestion. Have a blessed day.

    • Melissa G profile image

      Melissa G 5 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Well said. :) Journey of Souls is by Michael Newton, great book, and I finished Real Magic the other day - highly recommend it! It may provide the encouragement you need to start a daily meditation practice.

      Namaste. :)

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hi Melissa, there are no coincidence; just divine guidance when we least expect it. It's the universe directing us to find what we seek. I believe that we touch each other's lives in ways that validate that we are all connected!

      I will definitely be reading more of Wayne's books over the summer. The Journey of Souls sounds fascinating. I've made note to look them up later-this is no coincidence, but divine leading.

      You are absolutely right about meditation; if only I could remember to do it more often.

      Thank you so much for your visit and for your kindness.


    • Melissa G profile image

      Melissa G 5 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Interestingly enough, after nearly three years of inactivity, I signed onto Hub pages recently and saw a nice comment you posted on one of my blogs (I hope you did end up reading Journey of Souls by the way, and if so, please let me know what you thought), so I decided to check out your writing, stumbled upon this, and *coincidentally* I'm also reading an older Wayne Dyer book at the moment! Real Magic.. so far so good. As for approval seeking, that's also quite timely considering my current situation (I won't bore you with the details) and the thing that helps me overcome that tendency the most is meditation. Since the practice helps us love and accept ourselves unconditionally, I believe it also reduces the desire to seek validation elsewhere.

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      vidihimayur, thanks for your visit and for leaving a comment. Indeed, we are socialized to seek approval externally. From very early in our lives we seek the approval of our parents, grandparents, siblings, neighbours, people in authority. This approval seeking is most pronounced during adolescence and it continues for most of our lives unless we stop and check ourselves. While we should be considerate of others, we should not live our lives totally outside ourselves.

      I agree with you; we are our best judge. I will admit that this is not easy when we rely on others, such as our supervisors/boss to ensure that we continue to earn a living. However, at some point we have to determine how much is approval seeking controlling our lives. we have to find a balance.

    • vidhimayur profile image

      vidhimayur 6 years ago

      very interesting article. And questions you have posed about approval are those questions we all ask ourselves at some point in life and these questions go unanswered because somewhere from beginning of our lives we are taught to seek approval of atleast those who matter to us. I think instead of waiting for approval from others we should seek it from our own self as we are the best judge of our life.