Approval junkies, by Lisa Larter, group of thumbs up

Approval Junkies

Are you an approval junkie?

She said, “You’ll never make any friends being like this.”

I replied, “I’m not here to make friends – I have friends. I’m here to do a job.”

You should care more about being respected than you do about seeking others’ approval and validation.

I was a brand new manager at Lady Footlocker when this happened to me. She was the manager at the store next door. And, this woman was upset because I no longer allowed her and her other employees to use the restroom in our back room.

Our company loss prevention policies clearly stated that only our employees were allowed in the back room. Bank deposits, purses and inventory were kept there – so it was inappropriate for anyone who didn’t work at Lady Footlocker to be back there.

So, I didn’t waver.

I was 21 years old at the time.

See, when this manager came into the store and asked to speak with me outside, I stood my ground with confidence – even though she was old enough to be my mother.

I was more concerned with being respected than I was being liked. I didn’t care what she thought or if she approved of my leadership.

A Lesson from the Super Bowl Halftime Show

So, what about you?Approval junkies, by Lisa Larter, crowd at a concert

The 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show reminded me of this story, as I watched two women strut their stuff powerfully, athletically and confidently during their performance.

They weren’t worried about your approval, or anyone else’s for that matter. They also didn’t care if you liked the show or if you thought it wasn’t family-friendly enough.

Simply put: they were not looking for your approval. They had the courage to be disliked. 

These two women were comfortable with who they were.

And, they knew who their audience was and they knew how to put on a show for them.

Do you have the #courage to be #disliked? Are you comfortable with exactly who YOU are and to run your business on your terms? Click To Tweet

Are you an Approval Junkie?

Learn the lesson, here. You must give yourself permission to live your life and run your business on your terms.

You have to be willing to let go of the approval you seek from your clients, friends, and family. And, you might even have to risk having some of those people dislike you. Can you do it?

Why? Because, there is only one way to let go of the need for other people’s approval. You have to approve of yourself, and your own behaviour.

Do you approve of who you are as a human being and where your business is going?

Be brave enough to let some people (clients, friends and family) disapprove and maybe even dislike you. Stop being an #Approval Junkie. #Mindset Click To Tweet

Only you can answer these questions. If the answer is no, you might be an approval junkie.

A word of caution: In life and business, always seeking the approval of others will keep you playing small. Trying to be all things to all people – except for yourself and what you truly want is no way to live.

3 Ways Letting Go Of Approval Will Change Your Life

Now, once you’re willing to let your need for approval go, your entire life will change.

You won’t care or obsess about what others think. You’ll strive for excellence in the work you do – for yourself and the right people – and your business will grow because of it.

You’ll see an impact in the following ways:

  1. Freedom – You’ll be free to create and implement decisions on your own terms
  2. Ownership –  You’ll be 100% responsible and accountable for your own results and performance
  3. Confidence – You’ll know you can rely on yourself, to make the right choices for you.

These aren’t traits people are just born with. These are traits you can develop and strengthen every day by choosing not to care too much about what other people think.

Tell me – what’s one thing you decided to do in life – even though someone didn’t approve – that you’re super glad you did?

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8 Comments

    • Thanks Phil for commenting. I agree, it’s relevant to both men and women, women however, talk more openly about it and from my experience working with both men and women, allow it to hold them back more. We all need to treat approval more like water off a duck’s back. As Lisa Nichols once said “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”

  1. You couldn’t have picked a better example. The national wave of opinions and bullying against these women felt horrid to me. Yet, they are the ones who received the invitation to step on stage. Opportunity and freedom is in the hands of the courageous. I let go of the illusion of safety to go back to school. Many thought I was crazy to let go of the position. But I valued growth and possibility over the title. One of the best decisions I have ever made. I need to continue taking steps and making decisions just like this.

    • The wave of opinion and bullying felt horrid to me too. We are all entitled to our opinion but we shouldn’t be so arrogant as to treat our opinion as though it is fact and the only way of thinking. I am glad you went back to school, and I commend you for choosing growth and possibility over title.

  2. The first time I went on a 12 day silent meditation retreat I faced disapproval. My parents wondered “How could I leave my four kids?”. My husband encouraged me to do what I felt drawn to do, but I worried about how things would go without me. My kids were pretty peeved. “Why do you have to go, Mom?” No response about my mental health or your dad is very capable seemed to satisfy them.
    I will admit, I am an approval junkie. I have a very difficult time moving through disapproval, especially when it comes from the people I love.
    But just like attending my first meditation retreat I’m working on myself and my ability to let disapproval roll off rather than stick. It is hard and it takes vigilance on my part to watch out for where I’m curbing my life to gain approval. It takes great courage.
    This article was a great reminder, Lisa! Thank you!
    I’ve been to many silent meditation weeks since and the benefits are huge and the funny thing is when I get irritable or negative now my kids ask me if I’m headed to retreat soon or if I want to go sit for a while. Lol!

    • Going away for the first time on your own can be super challenging, especially when you go to a silent retreat and no one can reach you! I commend you for knowing yourself and for being brave enough to do what was right for you.

    • Recognizing when you’re shrinking back because of the opinions of someone else is a great way to gain awareness, and change your own behaviour. We’ve all done this, and it’s through that awareness that we become more certain of ourselves and the decisions we need to make for us.

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