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From Approval Seeking to a Life of Joy

By Sacha Crouch, Clinical Psychologist

Do you consistently make choices in your life to avoid disapproval and criticism

rather than based on what is most valuable, effective and important?

Do you hold yourself back from speaking your opinions or hide your true self?

I totally get it. I’ve been there too. I mastered the art of telling people what they

wanted to hear and being some-one others would find impressive-all the while worrying incessantly about what others thought of me, fearing criticism and holding myself back as a result. The need for others approval created immense anxiety about the value I provided for my clients and caused me to spend far too much time on tasks in order to perfect them.

The impacts of approval seeking tendencies are numerous, such as:

  • Avoiding tasks or situations where you may be exposed to criticism or negative judgment.

  • Chasing goals that are not your own to get recognition and approval.

  • Saying yes when you want to say no.

  • Being unable to disagree or hold alternate points of view.

  • Over-compensatory behaviour such as doing too much for others, being “sickly” sweet, apologising all the time,

  • Rumination over your behaviour or conversations once you leave social situations.

  • Disconnection from your own needs, opinions and identity because you have adapted yourself to please others for so long.

This is something you can, and dare I say, must, change if you want to be happy in

your life and successful in your business or chosen work.

How to Let Go of the Need for Approval

1. Build a sound sense of self-acceptance.

The first step is to strengthen your core foundation so that you feel strong enough to go with

what feels right for you. This way, you will no longer feel the need to look to others to feel

good enough about your choices and decisions.

the things you’re most proud of about yourself: choices you’ve made, insights you’ve learned, things you like about yourself, times you’ve stayed true to yourself, or whatever feels right for you.

2. Let go of seeking validation from others.

Secondly, you need to practice letting go of seeking validation for your choices and most

importantly, for whom you choose to be. This means noticing your language, self-talk, and behaviour, and identifying when it is coming from wanting someone else to say you’re ok, that you made the right choice, or that you did the right thing. Instead, when you do make a decision, check in with yourself that it feels right, remind yourself that it is your choice, and give yourself validation for just being you.

3. Evaluate tasks based on approval-seeking efforts.

Lastly, start being honest with yourself when you take on a new task or commitment,

whether you are doing it because it is “right” for you or because you want to get approval

and avoid disapproval. Sit down and evaluate your weekly tasks and ask yourself what is really necessary and important, and what is driven by people pleasing. Then slowly work through the “people pleasing” list and eliminate them.

About Sacha Crouch

Sacha Crouch helps lovers of growth and expansion to free themselves to experience the endless joy, love, richness we all deserve. She draws upon evidence-based experiential processes to help you release your limitations and invite more goodness, challenge and adventure into your life. Sacha isn’t your run of the mill Clinical Psychologist – she takes on a process of embodying change in the cells of your body to feel expanding levels of love, vitality, connection and joy.

We all put limitations on the amount of joy, love, connections and vitality we are able to receive.

Sacha helps you tune into the subtle messages in your body that arise when you attempt to live at a

high level of joy. She supports you with kindness, compassion and accountability to heal unhelpful

patterns, clarify what you want and act with commitment, purpose, courage and integrity.

Visit for more information

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