THINK about it, there’s nothing nicer than someone saying something really nice to you - or about you. It makes you feel better about yourself. And what that means is you’re giving other people the power to make you happy.
And, if you give others the power to make you happy, by definition, you’ve also given anyone and everyone the power to make you unhappy. And that’s not only unhealthy but it stops you being who you really could be.
We were all raised on the drug of approval - from the early days when we were chuffed at the round of applause we got for performing our party piece to feeling better because we were hanging out with the cool gang - or just not left standing on our own in a corner of the school yard.
And has it ever occurred to you that the approval we seek from so many people is often superficial, transient and of no lasting value? Have you ever stopped to think that you might be addicted to approval - that you need the approval of others to feel better about yourself?
Approval is the most addictive drug going - more addictive than crack, harder to give up and at least as destructive. It’s destroying your life here and now - because your craving for it keeps confirming to you that you need other people to make you feel better because, underneath it all, you don’t feel good about yourself.
You shouldn’t waste your time or valuable energy wondering what other people think of you. They don’t. They’re too busy wasting their time and energy wondering about what you think of them! You need to stop forfeiting your happiness to the whims of people.
If you really do want to make a good impression - it could be to get that all important job or promotion - then you’ll never make a good impression if part of your energy is spend observing “how am I doing?”, worrying about whether or not you’re making that good impression, or trying to not be yourself.
That kind of nonsense is transparent. In other words, if you’re worrying about making a good impression, you’re not! As I said, start approving of yourself. You need to start getting to know the real, perfect, you - beyond the nonsense noise in your head that tells you that you need others’ approval.
Unfortunately, many people never get to know the real them. The noise in their heads - the stuff that tells them that they need to better themselves, the stuff that tells them how much they need their latest fix of that drug called approval - stops them from getting in touch with their inner power.
But anyone can unleash that inner power, anyone can approve of themselves, once they know who they really and truly are and what they’re capable of.
In other words, you need to stop the noise in your head. Five minutes each morning will begin that wonderful journey.
Five minutes “meditation” .Meditation, in its most practical form, enables you stop the noise, turn your attention away from the programming of your personality that has disabled you from being your true self.
Five minutes each morning of calming down, of being present, will enable you to be\ all that you can be. It will enable you to finally approve of yourself.
Emmanuel Nyagapfizi is a Management Information Systems manager