Breaking Free from the Shackles of Approval

Approval is a drug.

Walking on Water, is a profound book written by Anthony De Mello. In this enlightening work, De Mello explores the intricate relationship between human perception, spirituality, and personal growth.

The book invites readers to deepen their awareness of the world around them and the various layers of reality that often remain hidden beneath the surface. De Mello emphasizes the importance of breaking free from preconceived notions, cultural conditioning, and limiting beliefs in order to truly see and experience life in its raw authenticity.

In a world where approval often seems like a desirable currency, Anthony De Mello’s view on “approval” provides a unique and thought-provoking perspective. In his book “Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality,” De Mello unveils the subtle dangers of seeking approval from others. This blog delves into De Mello’s insightful view on approval and the detrimental effects it can have on our lives.

The Illusion of Harmless Approval

At first glance, seeking approval might appear harmless. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the warm feeling that comes from being praised or recognized for our efforts? However, De Mello peels back the layers to reveal that approval, when taken to heart, can become a perilous trap.

Approval’s Hidden Trap

De Mello compares approval to a dangerous drug. Just like a substance can become addictive, so can approval. The more we receive it, the more we crave it. Over time, we become dependent on external validation to feel good about ourselves, causing us to lose sight of our own intrinsic worth.

  1. Taking Wrong Decisions: Seeking approval can lead us astray from our authentic selves. Our actions become driven by others’ needs and desires, overshadowing our own goals. We unwittingly become victims of peer pressure, regardless of our age.
  2. Failure to Take Important Actions: Constantly catering to others’ approval leaves little room for pursuing our own aspirations. Our time gets consumed by trying to meet others’ expectations, causing us to neglect our true passions.
  3. Diminished Confidence and Self-Worth: Relying on approval from others diminishes our confidence and self-worth. We begin to question our own opinions, seeking external affirmation instead of trusting our inner voice.
  4. Worry and Anxiety: The fear of disapproval creates anxiety and worry in our every action. We second-guess ourselves and become afraid of making decisions that might not align with others’ expectations.
  5. Lack of Control: As we become more dependent on approval, we surrender our personal power. Our decisions and actions are dictated by others’ opinions, leaving us feeling helpless and disconnected from our own lives.

Breaking Free from Approval Addiction

De Mello suggests that the key to liberation lies in embracing our own purpose and values. While external opinions hold value, it’s crucial to differentiate them from facts. Treating them as feedback allows us to assess and integrate them thoughtfully. Respecting others’ opinions shouldn’t come at the expense of self-respect.

In his profound insights on approval, Anthony De Mello challenges us to examine the grip it has on our lives. By recognizing its potential to lead us astray from our true selves, we can take steps towards liberation. Striking a balance between valuing external feedback and nurturing our own self-worth empowers us to live a life driven by authenticity, purpose, and inner strength.

When you become entirely dependent on the approval of others, you sacrifice your personal power. You become a passenger in your own life as each decision is shaped by the opinions of others rather than your own opinion. This leads to a sense of helplessness which can lead to deeper psychological issues. One of the greatest tools to overcome your need for approval is to be clear on your own Purpose and Values. When people we value offer their opinion, it is important that you consider that opinion. It may help you to identify changes that you need to make or, behaviours that are working well for you. It is essential that you do not treat these opinions as facts. Treat them as feedback, evaluate them and, where appropriate, make the most of the feedback. Respecting the opinions of others is important but it must not be at the expense of respecting yourself. Avoid becoming an approval addict and you will have a happier, healthier life.

Here is a video where Mr. Anthony De Mello speaks about the same:-

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1 Response

  1. Devang says:

    Great share

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