Do you have to choose between freedom and approval?

Are you torn between choosing to have what you want, and needing to have others approve of you?

When you don’t have the freedom to choose to create or have what you truly want, you might be giving up your space to fears that others won’t like you if you do the things you really want to do.

If you’re afraid you’ll anger someone or hurt their feelings if you change, you are allowing your need for their approval to control you. You cannot blame somebody else for this. It’s within your power to change it, not theirs.

If you’ve allowed others to have power over you, that again isn’t their problem to solve. It’s yours. If you need others to approve of you living your life the way you see fit, and if you won’t make a move without their permission, you have nobody else to blame when you don’t get what you want.

You don’t have to make your life a democracy in which everyone else gets a vote on what can happen in your life. You may have been trying to be very nice, and to not create conflicts with others who think they know exactly who you are and what you should do. So, to keep the peace, you hold back, waiting for others to sign on to the idea of you having your own life. Perhaps you spend a lot of your energy helping them out, and they just don’t know what they would do without you! You end up feeling guilty at the thought of not being there for everyone else, and your life becomes all about keeping it together for them.

Meanwhile, what you see is possible for you, and the things you want in your life, don’t go away. You have a conflict in your space between what you think you should do, and what you really want to do.

A good dose of truth within yourself will go far in helping you to change the patterns of not making your life your own. By becoming honest with yourself, you can see yourself and your dreams more clearly. If you have no support for your dreams in your personal world, and are expected to give your energy away so that others can achieve theirs, maybe you want to change that.

If you decide that approving of yourself and being happy with who you are mean more to you than winning any popularity contests, you’re well on the way to creating your life from a place of inner freedom. This is your true job in this lifetime.

©Kris Cahill

Junk Yard Sexy’ ©Tanakawho on Flickr

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8 thoughts on “Do you have to choose between freedom and approval?

  1. This is really relevant for me at the moment – I have just chosen to go part-time at my job, despite a lot of criticism and judgement from the people around me. It has taken a lot of courage to do what I know is right for me at this time and not bow to external pressures of what other people expect of me. I am financially supporting myself, so I figure it is none of their business! But it has taken a while for me to feel this way and trust my own instincts 🙂

    • It takes strength to do what you are doing, Charlie. I’d call it ‘having your space’ with everyone else’s judgments.

      It’s funny how, even in the face of everything falling apart and changing everywhere, people are clinging to what they believe ‘should’ be. That’s what we humans do – try to stay safe. It takes individuals to make real change happen by taking action and living their lives the way they see fit.

      I’d also call it living in your own truth. Good for you – by doing so, you give a great example to others who might want to do the same thing. This is the main reason why you run into so much resistance – you’re a game changer. Enjoy it!

  2. Oh this post and the “Liar” post have really pressed on tender scabs. One of these days I’ll tell you the story of how this post came right on the heals of me thinking about giving something up because it would be so uncomfortable for someone else. I’ll let you know how it all came out. Thanks for being you and living your life Kris. We all benefit.

    • Catherine, I see it as being all about showing up and doing one’s own work, every day. We all help each other with contributions, big and small. Glad I’m helping. 🙂

  3. This is an important post, Kris. The approval issue is a big one for A LOT of people. It’s a snarly one that likes to hide a deep issue around self-worth and not being good enough. So outside support is needed to help gloss over this issue. It becomes a self-fulling prophecy. The more outside approval we need, the more we’re locked into that approval and don’t follow our dreams for fear of losing the approval. And of course, our dreams can be one of the greatest and most powerful forms of self-validation and self-love.

    Always great to read your posts. 🙂

    • Jim, thank you for this great comment on my piece. I’m sorry I missed it when you wrote it. I agree with you – the approval issue is big. It’s about fitting in, being welcome, needing others to “Like” what we do. The concept of Value is on the table in a huge way, right now in our spiritual evolution. A tough one for so many of us, it can still be mastered. Self awareness and self love are keys here, plus following one’s own heart as trustingly as possible.

      Thank you again. 🙂

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