Avoid the approval trap for future happiness
Susie Moore did not have an easy upbringing. Dealing with an abusive, alcoholic father, caring for her depressed mother, and growing up in a woman’s shelter, you can understand why she moved halfway across the world to find happiness! However, she also realized that satisfaction isn’t always where you think it’s going to be.
At 19 years old, Moore married the man she thought she would grow old with, but over time, she realized that they were fatally incompatible. That didn’t stop her. She assumed on her wedding day that everything was going to be fine from here on out and that she’d finally reached the point of total happiness. When it didn’t work out, she started to feel bad about herself, assuming that she had let everyone down.
This is something we all tend to do — it’s not the problem that we feel so bad about. It’s not the fallout for us; it’s what we assume others will think of us due to what has happened. Put simply, we have a constant need for approval from those around us.
Becoming concerned with what other people think about you is a fast-track route towards dissatisfaction in life.
“Stop Checking Your Likes” isn’t about social media at all; it’s a metaphor for the fact that we have all become utterly obsessed with external approval, as though that somehow increases our overall sense of self – worth. Most of the time, we don’t even realize we’re doing it, but the cost to our happiness is massive. You can make your own choices, and you simply need to recognize that the only approval you need is your own.
Moore calls this the “approval trap.”
For instance, you might really love someone, but you know that your family will never approve because he doesnit have a high-flying job. As a result, you let the relationship slide. Perhaps you want to pursue a career in music, but the fact that your siblings are all doctors means that you feel duty-bound to follow in their footsteps. As a result, you abandon your dream for the approval of your family. Seeking out approval will never lead to happiness.
Forgive your parents’ mistakes; they’re only human
It’s easy to forget that your mother and father are human beings, too. They’re prone to making mistakes, being selfish at times, or simply making the wrong choices in life. Susie Moore speaks from a place of experience, especially as her father was an alcoholic, and she experienced a lot of upheaval and drama during her childhood.
The problem is our main point of learning as children is from our parents. We don’t know any differently, so we assume that everything they tell us and everything they do is right. It’s only when we’re older, and we’re able to look back and see things as they really are, that we realize they’re human, which means they’re just as flawed as we are. However, the biggest issue is that whatever you were told or saw in your childhood follows you throughout your life. In many ways, this can cause self-limiting thoughts or behaviors. This does nothing but hold you back.
Children learn from their parents, assuming that everything they do is right. However, parents are human beings who make mistakes, too.
The most important lesson to learn is that your parents can make mistakes, and you can still love them despite all of that. While you learn from your parents, you still have the final say in what you choose, what you do, and what you believe in the end. You have free will, and you need to start challenging the things from your childhood that have held you back and updating them in the present day.
Susie Moore realized in her mid—20os that while she loved her parents very much, she didn’t want to have the same kind of life as them. You have to do things differently if you want a different result. You have to change something; otherwise, you’ll simply repeat the same history cycle over and over again.
Start to question some of the strongest beliefs you inherited from your childhood, and don’t simply accept them as truth. Question what you think and replace the negative thoughts with something new. This opens your life up to an entirely new story, one you can become excited about.
Did you know? Any person in authority — teachers, police, and family members — can cause self-limiting beliefs in a child.
You’re not the only one who doesn’t have a clue
If you assume that everyone around you is entirely in control and knows exactly what they’re doing in life, you’re very wrong! It’s possible to learn as you go and pick up the knowledge and skills you need — everything you need to succeed in anything you turn your attention to is already within reach.
It’s easy to assume that the person you see at work who is calm, assured, and has a degree knows what they’re doing and never struggles with anything, but the truth is that they struggle as much as you do. A degree might mean that you know things, but it doesn’t equip you with everything you’re going to encounter in life. Appearances can be misleading, and you never know what they’re dealing with in their lives.
No one else knows what they’re doing, either. – Ricky Gervais, English comedian
People tend to overestimate everyone around us and assume that they have everything sorted out. We do this because we’re deep within our fear cycle; And we believe that everything is easier for other people and that everyone else understands life far more than we do. It’s not the truth, because they’re simply thinking the same thing as you!
Don’t assume that everyone around you knows exactly what they’re doing — they don’t!
A lot of the time, this comes down to something called “Imposter syndrome.” Imposter syndrome occurs when you feel that you don’t deserve your successes in life and you convince yourself that you somehow stumbled upon them by accident. As a result, you assume that you’re going to get found out, and someone is going to tap you on the shoulder and unmask you as the fraud you believe you are. Imposter syndrome can be highly limiting because it forces you to focus on the negative.
Imposter syndrome is a self-limiting behavior that causes you to question whether you deserve the success you’ve had in life.
To overcome these problems, you need to start saying “yes” to things that you would usually refuse, and you need to embrace the idea of uncertainty — you never know where it might lead.
Harness the power of “so what?” and understand what truly matters in life
You’re always going to encounter situations that cause you sadness, anger, or hurt throughout life. One time, Susie Moore was looking at comments on her YouTube videos, when she came across some very nasty remarks about her looks. She was hurt at first, but this then turned to anger. She called a friend and vented her frustrations, but her friend told her, “So what?” “So what?” turned into Moore’s new mantra in life.
One negative remark doesnt mean that you should throw in the towel and give up. It’s just one person’s opinion, throwaway comment, or negative thought, and it means nothing. We are not here to judge other people, but most do it anyway; if you encounter this, remember that this reflects them, not you.
When you encounter something which upsets you, say “So what?” and shrug your shoulders. It is probably far less important than you believe it to be in the moment.
Putting “so what?” into action can be easier said than done, but once it’s established in your mind, you’ll never look back. If someone says something hurtful to you, say the words “so what?” in your mind. If you encounter disappointment, say the words. If you don’t receive the credit you feel you deserve, say the words.
“So what?” contains magic. It means we hold life lightly. And we ultimately come back to remembering what matters most. – Susie Moore
Most people are too absorbed with their own lives to be bothered about what you’re doing anyway. We panic that if we fail, other people will look down on us, but what does it matter anyway? It would help if you cared far less about what other people think or believe of you because most of the time, they don’t think or believe anything of any substance.
Susie Moore suggests sitting down and writing a small list of around five things that have gone wrong in your life. What happened? Did you manage to live afterward? Of course, you did! When you think back, you’ll probably remember feeling more worried about what other people would think about the failure than the actual outcome.
Did you know? There is now an acronym for fear of other people’s opinions — FOPO!
Lighten up! Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously
Susie Moore suggests we all throw on a pair of comedy—colored glasses and see the humor in situations rather than the doom and gloom. Life isn’t meant to be a bumpy ride; it’s not meant to be something we grit our teeth and endure. If you choose to allow it to be, life can be a wild and exciting adventure.
In the end, death will come to us all. Susie Moore likes to visit graveyards because it reminds her that everything in life is temporary and that nothing is set to stay. This can be an incredibly grounding and humbling thought, and it’s something you can try for yourself.
We’re all going to die in the end; so, why take life so seriously? Lighten up and laugh at the things that challenge you!
There are far too many things to become stressed about these days, and stress can be extremely harmful to health. Lighten up, laugh a little more, and force yourself to smile rather than frown. Of course, difficult times will still come because that’s life. However, if you try your best to see the brighter side and laugh instead of cry, you’ll notice that you overcome tough times far easier — consider it a form of therapy!
Susie Moore also suggests asking yourself, “Is that a fact?” when you have a thought that causes you concern or upset. For instance, you might think, “I don’t have enough money,” but ask yourself, “Is that a fact?” If you’ve eaten that day and you have a roof over your head, you have enough money. If you think “My body is too big,” Moore suggests saying, “Is that a fact.” Too big for what exactly? Is there a size guide we aren’t aware of?
Asking yourself, “Is that a fact?” when something bothers you will help to break down its seriousness in your head and make you realize that it’s not that important after all.
When you break things down in this way, you start to realize how ridiculous some of the things we obsess about really are. It’s far better to count your blessings and acknowledge that you have precisely what you need at that very moment if you look hard enough.
Learn to trust your intuition
Most people focus on logic to guide them towards final decisions, but overlooking that quiet voice within you could be a huge mistake. How many times do you listen to and trust your intuition? This is the wisest part of you; it’s a guiding voice that gives you the information you need to overcome problems and to make the right choices in life. Far too many times, we ask other people’s opinions to help us make choices, but everything you need is already within you; you simply need to tap into that power and trust what it is telling you.
Tune into your inner voice and trust it. Your intuition is the only guide you need.
Intuition is often called your “gut feeling.” Can you think of a time when you trusted this gut feeling completely? Perhaps what you felt it was telling you was utterly nonsensical, but you went with it anyway. How did it turn out? You probably found the answer to a question you needed, or maybe it led you towards an opportunity that turned out to be positive for you.
The problem is that intuition can’t be seen, and we tend to distrust anything that we can’t see with our eyes or feel with our hands. It would help if you started second guessing everything you think and feel, and you need to stop looking towards other people for the guidance you already have within you. When you consistently ask other people what you should be doing, you’ll end up doing what they want you to do and not what you want to do deep down.
Asking other people what they think you should do means that you’re living your life for them and not for yourself.
When you go with what you want and what you feel, you’ll have far fewer regrets when you’re old and grey, and you wont look back and wish you’d just listened to that nagging voice telling you to go for it, or not to go for it, as the case may be.
Rejection isn’t a full stop
Many people assume that rejection means that whatever you’re working toward has to stop. That isn’t the case. Rejection is just a road bump; it’s not a complete stop. In many cases, rejection can simply be a case of tough love, something to help you learn and reassess how to do something a different way. Changing your perception of so-called failure is key to helping you keep going towards the things you want in life.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Susie Moore suggests that you fall in love with rejection and understand that it’s nothing more than an illusion. Even though she is a very successful writer and entrepreneur, Moore often receives rejections from editors. Rather than becoming upset and throwing in the towel, she’s learned to laugh, shrug it off and carry on. Rejection shouldn’t stop you; it should spur you on to improve.
Learn to see rejection as a learning curve — ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and change for next time.
A lot of the time, when you receive a rejection, it’s not even about you at all. You can’t know what is going on in someone’s life at any one time. So how do you know why they have chosen to reject you or your work? Perhaps they’re stressed out with work, maybe someone in their family is sick, or maybe they’re just tired, and rejecting your work is just the easiest option for them. It’s not always a reflection on you.
Rejection isn’t personal; you have no idea what is going on in someone’s life that caused them to reject your work.
Make a list of a few times in the past when you were rejected and reflect on what happened afterward. Did you learn something from the rejection? Did you manage to find another approach that turned out to be more successful? Learn that rejection is rarely meant as a personal attack and can often be a route towards a more successful outcome.
Looking for external appreciation and guidance will cause you to start living someone else’s life. You’re never going to be happy or fulfilled if youre always doing what other people want you to do! While it’s normal to want people to be proud of you, you should work towards making yourself proud first and foremost. At the end of the day, you’re born with yourself, and you die with yourself. You owe it to yourself to be the very best you can be, for you and you alone.
Approval will not make you rich, it won’t make you famous. It won’t make you successful, and it certainly won’t make you happy. Ultimately, you simply need to live your life in the way you want to and work on the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. By doing that, you’ll be happier and more fun to be around for others!
We all make mistakes, we all suffer occasionally, and we all endure rejection from time to time. But it’s how you view these events in life and how you respond to them which will set you apart. You have to believe in yourself, and the rest will simply fall into place.
- Make a list of five goals you want to achieve in the next ten years and start putting a plan into place to achieve them.
- Look back on the rejections you’ve endured in life — what was the eventual outcome? Was it the end of everything? Of course not!
- Challenge any self-limiting beliefs in your life; why do you believe them? Who told you these things? Have you ever tried it for yourself? By doing this, you’ll see that you’re probably stuck on a belief that has zero reality within it!