Each one of us was born with something unique and powerful to contribute to the world. And it’s living this deepest essence of our self that leads us to the outrageous levels of spiritual and material success so many seek. This electric sense of purpose is something we can all access and live out in the world.
But sometimes it feels as if the cards are stacked against us. Whether you become anxious the closer you reach these little nuggets of success, or hesitant to cultivate and manifest your dreams into reality, the fear and desire of approval can be a stifling force on your creative existence.
It’s not only liberating but also euphoric to live life without the stresses of wondering what other people think. A life where you are free to act, do, experiment, and execute in just the way that is unique to you, is a life that is not only worth living, but worth crushing all self-doubt for.
Here are the 4 steps to live your life beyond the need for approval:
1. Collapse All Hierarchies
It’s a default reflex. We constantly create hierarchies. Put some people above us and others below us, out of fear and self-preservation. These hierarchies are not real, they exist only in our minds. Yet most people never question them and subordinate their existence, their sense of self and level of freedom to those they place above themselves.
And this not only gives other people’s opinion power over you, it makes you diminish yourself in order not to upset anyone who has that power.
Become aware of the unconscious hierarchies you create and collapse them in your mind. This will free you from the fear and desire of approval by stripping those you’ve unwittingly given that power over you and claim back for yourself.
“So rather than be frustrated with what you can’t control, try to fix the things you can.” – Kevin Garnett
2. Collapse Your Equations
Most of our reality is a reality created by language. And language has a binary structure. This leads to usual black and white thinking. The biggest fear we have is not the lack of success, but the opposite of it.
As you go through life, you are in a constant negotiation with your objects of desires and your objects of avoidance. Because of the distortions in our thinking, we mistakenly believe that that our objects of avoidance and our objects of desire are mutually exclusive.
Put differently, sometimes we are so attached to success and afraid of failure that we put more energy into preventing failure than pursuing success. When you realize that your equations are just assumptions, you break out of the box and learn to act with a wider scope of effortlessness and possibilities.
3. Forget Yourself
Most people in the personal development world like to speak of our limiting beliefs and presumed obstacles. But we tend to forget the biggest obstacle of all. The idea we have of ourselves.
The more rigid our self-concept the more restricted our world. Things can only affect you if you cannot suspend your idea of yourself and adapt it to the situation. When your identity is rigid it becomes brittle, when it is flexible it is fluid, and things that used to unsettle you cease to do so. Why? Because if you have no fixed idea of yourself, nothing can break you.
Challenges just become a learning experience. Everything turns into feedback to integrate. And this flexibility dissolves the anxieties that you may not be good enough, because you are on the fast lane to growth.
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton
4. Focus On Your Values, Embody Your Vision
When we are disconnected from our deepest values we are easily swayed to follow the hive mind. Your existential value is what you would readily sacrifice and give up anything for. Knowing this value, and remembering it in any moment gives you tremendous power.
And if you have a vision that resonates with it, the daily discomforts will barely register on your radar. Because when you play the biggest game possible by knowing exactly what you want on the highest level, the desire for approval disappears completely.
You become what you focus on. And focusing on your deepest values and vision, eventually turns you and your life into them. The freedom you will experience from the powerful clarity of not only knowing exactly what you want, but embodying it, leads to a profound sense of purposeful freedom.
This is the freedom from fear; the ability to be beyond approval that lends an effortlessness to all your actions to make your unique impact on the world.