Steps to Happiness Series: #4 Relinquish the Need for External Approval

'Dreaming of Freedom' Flickr photo by Dry IconsContinuing the Steps to Happiness Series...We're now at step #4...

Growing up I used to be one of those people-pleaser kids. I wanted everyone to like me and I was always concerned about what other people thought about me - as is most kids. I finally grew out of that need for external approval from my peers during college when I realized that I was unhappy because I was too busy wanting other people to accept me. To an extent I still seek approval - mainly from my parents - but I realize that I really need to just live my own life to be truly, truly happy.

So, how did I free myself from other people's opinions? I simply made the decision to not let their thoughts and gossip affect me. I also started to surround myself with positive people who supported me and loved me unconditionally.

One of the most liberating feelings in life is knowing that as long as you're happy, other people's opinions don't matter. The greatest love of all is learning to love yourself. That's not to say that you shouldn't be mindful of other people's feelings if you're in a situation that concerns them, but when it comes to your life and how you live it, that's up to you.

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Photo Credit: Dry Icons


rockandrollguru said...

Abraham Maslow said one of the keys to enlightenment is to be independent of the good opinion of others. Bill Joel said, "I don't care what you say anymore this is my life."

I say what others think of me is none of my business and has no effect on the way I live my life or the decisions I make. Life is so much more fun that way.

Maria Palma said...

Hi Joe,

I remember that Billy Joel song! I was talking to a friend today and I was telling her my thoughts on her "situation", but in the end I said, "But it's your life...Do what makes YOU happy and what you feel is right." Life is so much more fun when you don't have to worry about what other people are thinking...

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