Tag Archives: personal development

How to feel better with yourself? Stop striving for approval!

We all feel great when we are praised and petted. There’s nothing wrong with it. Approval in itself is not unhealthy. The requirement for acceptance becomes toxic when desire becomes the need – it’s just neurotic behaviour.

Photo by Amir Geshani on Unsplash
Photo by Amir Geshani on Unsplash

In a fantastic book by Wayne Dyer ‘Your erroneous zones’ he writes about self-destructive forces involved in the process of seeking approval. As when we are mentally overpowered when we do not receive approval or when we expect it always and from everyone. 

Such an attitude risks losing oneself completely – often, people who are dependent on the acceptance of others cannot live in their way. Because to please everyone, you have to bend your arguments and beliefs. That is why people who want to flatter everyone are perceived as devoid of character and clear views. And the truth is simple – you can’t please everyone. Deal with it.

You cannot allow the opinions of others about you to take precedence over your view of yourself.

If your value depends on the opinions of others, you have a serious problem. If you want to free yourself from it, it will be helpful to figure out why you are seeking approval. To do this, you have to go back to childhood, because that’s where programming begins. *

Our relations with parents and teachers often rely on the need to be appreciated. If we are perfect pupils and behave as expected, the prize we get is acceptance, appreciation and even love. Our culture support this mechanism; this is why we pay too much attention to what others think.ย 

By focusing on pleasing others, you lose touch with yourself. You lose self-respect because you treat yourself as the least important person. You put on masks to please others and therefore you don’t know what you really are. You do everything to make others fun and pleasant with you – that’s why you often suppress your emotions. This leads to a depressed mood and a lack of self-confidence. It also extinguishes your life energy and makes you even more dependent on the opinions of others about yourself.

Fortunately, we can work on changing our habit of seeking approval. 

Start with the thought that you can’t make everyone happy and prepare yourself for any disapproval that can touch you. Be aware of it when it comes – name it and name emotions which will then appear. Realize that someone’s disapproval of you is someone else’s problem – not yours. It sounds simple but takes practise to make it a habit. 

Analyze all situations in which you put someone else’s opinion above yours. Do you succumb to your partner regarding the appearance or design of the apartment? Do you still obey your parents’ instructions so as not to offend them? Do you hold back on opinion on a topic just so that someone who thinks differently doesn’t stop liking you? Do you often think about how others see you? What is your reaction to rejection?

You can learn to react in a completely different way to disapproval. Begin by addressing to someone who is holding that approval and say (even if only in your head): your lack of acceptance does not change what I think and feel – even if you don’t something in me I’m still ok.

You can also keep a diary and record all situations related to this problem. Practice ignoring disapproval. This will help you ensure that even a lack of recognition will not upset you.ย 

And always remember: what others think has no bearing on your worth.

*W.Dyer, ‘Your erroneous zones’ (1976)

Prioritizing sleep is the best self care

I’m sure many of us get trapped in vicious circle of ‘pursuit of success’ (whatever success mean to you). I notice that recently productivity is so trendy that there is no better answer than “busy”, if someone ask how are you? There would be nothing wrong with it, if not for the fact that by imposing too many things we are really moving away from what we want to achieve. When we can’t keep up with everything, we try to save time somewhere. Usually by cutting sleep. Same, we pay a high price, because lack of sleep is a grave sin.

According to National Institue of Neurological Disorders and Stroke quality sleep is as essential to survival as food and water. Therefore it’s really frightening that so many of us underestimate its salutary influence on the quality of life.

Are you in sleep debt?

Do you happen to not sleep enough few nights in a row, and sleep off over the weekend? Do you sometimes get an hour or two out of your sleep pool to finish something or watch something late at night? If so, I have bad news for you. Lost sleep cannot be simply made up. This debt – accumulation of lack of sleep from sleepless nights – is difficult to pay back. And it’s something more than a fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Why is it so?

First of all, we can’t just get the body accustomed to sleeping less. Even if you think that you are totally fine with your 5-hours sleep night, you may not be aware that you have a debt of sleep. It manifests itself in disordered metabolism of sugars and glucose and the beginning of any negative changes in the body.

The impact of sleep on our lives is multifaceted. Sleep is primarily a time to regenerate brain function. It also affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

With insufficient sleep, our body cannot function normally.

Lack of sleep disturbs certain biological mechanisms. I am talking about functioning of the immune and nervous systems and the operation of long-term memory.

You must sleep to work efficiently

According to Jerome Siegel, from University of California, evolutionary roots of sleep go much deeper. In his research he points out that sleep is primarily to increase the body’s energy efficiency, as well as to optimize time and strength. Due to the fact that we sleep, we are able to use the active phases of life more effectively.

Skimping on sleep can make more damage than we can imagine. Studies shows that the group of effects related to lack of sleep include: increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, loosing brain tissue, decrease in concentration and creativity, anxiety and depression.

Do you see how huge this is?

You can’t miss the connection from poor sleep with anxiety disorders especially in the Western world.

What happens when your brain does not sleep?

Quoting Mark Rosekind โ€œEvery aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired, when you lose sleep. What does that mean? Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication, and those things go down by 20% to 50%.โ€

But wait, there’s more. On the top of that we can add distraction, brain spasm and brain damage, memory loss, creation of false memories, anger, neurosis, impaired wit, hallucinations.

By now you have realized that proper amount of sleep is vital to lead a healthy and fulfilled life. We cannot live up to our full potential if this area is somehow disturbed.

The importance of sleep in motivation and productivity is undeniable. Sleep is a very important thing on the road to success. But that’s not all, because in addition to sleeping, dreams are also significant.

Bare with me now, so I can lift the veil for you.

What's happening in our dreams can give us tips on important issues in life
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Sleep and dreaming improves the ability to accurately analyze the situation and solve problems. It’s boosting creativity. This is illustrated by research done by prof. Robert Stickgold from Harvard Medical School. He woke up during the REM phase of sleep and asked them to provide associations connecting two words. He asked the same thing students who remained fully aware. It turned out that the first group gave less obvious and original associations. And according to him this is creativity in its pure form.

It is worth watching what we dream of because dreams are closely linked to what is happening in our lives.

According to Professor Mark Blagrove, the function of dreams is to alleviate the strong emotions we experience while awake and to train before events that may occur.

You can see more in dreams

Dreams draw our attention to what we may not see. Hidden fears, needs we are ashamed of – it can be anything.

Jung discovered that dreams reveal the cause of our disharmony and emotional anxiety, reveal hidden potential and brings a creative solution to everyday problems.

Dreams are the way to subconscious

Dreams often show what we do not allow into consciousness and satisfy the desires we suppress. By looking at our dreams we can understand ourselves on a deeper level.

It’s a good idea to keep a dream diary that you can analyze. If you are struggling with any problems this way will definitely prove helpful in solving them. Moreover, knowing that the subconscious is really ruling us, it is worth following what is going on in it.

The messages that dreams bring are needed for our development. We often dream about what we lack and what we need, and realizing this makes our path to fulfillment much easier.

Prioritizing sleep is the best you can give yourself

All this shows us how dangerous it is to neglect the sphere of sleep. Isn’t it great that such a simple and pleasant thing can have a significant impact on our lives? So sleep tight and hope your dreams come true! (only the good ones )