Is Your Need For Approval Hindering Your Growth?
I don’t trust myself. The realization smacked me in the face as I found myself asking my fiance his opinion once again instead of just trusting my instincts. I was frustrated by my lack of faith in myself.
I second-guess myself, a lot. When I cook, I read the recipe several times and double, triple check the measurements. In meetings at work, I often hold my tongue unless I’m certain that what I have to say is valuable. When it comes to exercise, I like having an instructor tell me what to do because goodness knows I’d be a lost puppy in an open gym. Or, so I’ve told myself.
I’m both envious and impressed by people who are bold, outspoken, unapologetic. I watch them with glittering eyes, silently thanking them for asking the question I didn’t want to ask. The funny thing is, I have plenty of evidence pointing to my own capability. I’ve done bold things in my life. I moved across the country, alone, when I was 22-years-old. I’ve climbed corporate ladders, purchased a home, navigated the DMV.
Yet, I don’t really trust myself. I’m slightly ashamed to admit any of this, by the way. It feels vulnerable, you know? But, I’m a spiritual student on a path of deeper self-discovery. Along that path, I understand the importance of looking in the mirror, recognizing my shadows, and seeing where I’ve been leaning into fear.
SEE ALSO: The Choice Between Panic And Positivity
We look to others for the answers we already have
How often do you ask others for their opinion? Do you often make decisions based on what other people think?
Many of us are guilty of this. We don’t want to start that dream business until we receive confirmation from everyone in our life that it’s a smart idea. We hem and haw over if we should finally do that yoga teacher training. ‘What do you think? Should I just do it?’ we ask our best friend. In some cases, we don’t even want to pick out our own outfits. We shop with our friends and seek their approval instead of trusting our own fashion sense.
While I think there’s something special about being able to lean on others, I encourage you to notice how much value you’re placing on the opinions of others. Do you value their opinion more than your own?
A few years ago, I went shopping for a New Year’s Eve dress with a girlfriend of mine. I found this black, sparkly mini dress that I just knew was “the one”. The moment I slipped it on, I glowed. I was certain she was going to love it, too! When I walked out of the dressing room, my friend didn’t have the reaction I’d expected. “Hmm… I’m not sure about it. I think you can do better,” she said with her head tilted to the side. I was disheartened. I loved this dress while my friend, clearly, didn’t care for it.
I bought the dress anyway. I wore it to the New Year’s Eve party that night, feeling radiant. Looking back at those photos, it’s easy to see how beautiful, comfortable, and confident I felt. This was a small moment, but an important example of a time I’d decided to trust myself. If you feel strongly about something – the new business, the yoga teacher training, the dress – there’s a reason for it. Trust in that.
I trust my creator when I trust myself
If we’re continuously looking outward for answers, we’re closing ourselves off to receiving the divine guidance that comes from within. When we look to others for the answers we seek, we’re sending a message of uncertainty and distrust. As I’ve found myself looking to others for the right answer, I realized that I was not only distrustful of myself; I was distrustful of my Creator. I didn’t believe that I’d been perfectly created. I didn’t believe that I knew what was best for me. I didn’t believe that I was being guided.
When I reflected back on that story about buying the New Year’s Eve dress because I knew it was “the one”, a flood of other similar instances hit me. I’d moved to California without the promise of a job because I knew it was right for me. When I went on a blind date with my now-fiance, I knew within minutes that he’d be the man I marry one day. Intuitively, only we know what’s best for us. When you think about that new business idea and get goosebumps on your skin, the Spirit is telling you, Yes, this is right! Keep going! If your heart feels like exploding when you envision yourself at that yoga teacher training, listen to that feeling. Your inner guidance system is alerting you to the correct answer.
If you find yourself struggling to trust, get still. Breathe in deeply and remember, there’s a power much greater than you who’s always guiding you in the right direction. Remind yourself of the glorious moments you decided to listen to your inner guidance. Do you remember how empowering that felt?
There’s no friend, mother, husband, or spiritual teacher who can tell you exactly what’s right for you. The answers always lie within you. The power is in you learning to trust that you have all of those answers.
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