Steps To Stop Seeking Approval From Others


As social creatures, we all seek approval from others at some point in our lives. Seeking validation or permission from others can make us feel good about ourselves, and in some cases, it can also impact our self-esteem. However, constantly seeking approval from others can also have negative consequences, leading to anxiety, stress, and even depression. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to stop seeking approval and start living your life on your own terms.

Step 1 – Understand Why You Seek Approval

The first step to break free from seeking approval from others is to understand the reason behind it. Ask yourself, “Why do I seek approval from others?” It could be because of a deep-seated need to be liked, a fear of rejection, or a lack of confidence. Once you understand why you seek approval, you can begin to work on addressing the underlying problem.

Step 2 – Recognize The Triggers

Triggers are situations or people that make you seek approval from others. Once you recognize these triggers, you can start to prepare yourself in advance. For example, you may find yourself seeking approval from a certain coworker or family member. To avoid falling into the trap, limit your interactions with them, or work on building your own confidence.

Step 3 – Practice Self-Love And Acceptance

One of the primary reasons for seeking approval is a lack of self-love and acceptance. We often seek acceptance and validation from others when we don’t feel good about ourselves. To break free from this cycle, start by practicing self-love and acceptance. Stop judging yourself based on the opinions of others and focus on building a positive self-image.

Step 4 – Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Another common reason for seeking approval is the tendency to compare ourselves to others. Instead of focusing on your own progress and achievements, you may be constantly looking at what others are doing. To stop comparing yourself to others, remind yourself that everyone has their own journey, and it’s not a competition.

Step 5 – Embrace Your Unique Qualities

Embracing your unique qualities is essential to breaking free from seeking approval. Instead of trying to fit in, embrace your individuality, and be proud of it. Recognize that your uniqueness is what sets you apart from others and makes you special.

Step 6 – Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important step in breaking free from seeking approval. It’s important to be clear about your own beliefs, values, and priorities. Instead of trying to please everyone, focus on what’s important to you, and be willing to say no when necessary.

Step 7 – Practice Assertiveness

Assertiveness is the ability to express your opinions, feelings, and needs without being aggressive or passive. Practicing assertiveness can help you feel more in control of your life and less reliant on the approval of others. Remember that it’s okay to speak up for yourself and assert your own needs.

Step 8 – Seek Support

Breaking free from seeking approval can be a challenging process, and it’s important to seek support when needed. Talk to trusted friends or family members, a therapist, or join a support group to help you through the process.


Breaking free from seeking approval can be a difficult process, but it’s essential to live a fulfilling life. By following these steps, you can start to build your confidence, embrace your individuality, and stop relying on the approval of others. Remember that seeking validation from others is a never-ending cycle, but self-acceptance and self-love are the keys to true happiness and fulfillment.


What does it mean to seek approval from others?

Seeking approval from others means trying to gain the validation, recognition, or acceptance of others to feel good about oneself. It involves constantly checking for others’ opinions, feeling anxious about their expectations, and putting their needs above one’s own. Seeking approval may stem from low self-esteem, fear of rejection, or a desire for perfectionism. However, it can lead to sacrificing one’s authenticity, autonomy, and inner peace.

Why is it important to stop seeking approval from others?

Stopping seeking approval from others is crucial because it allows you to develop a healthy sense of self-worth, self-respect, and self-love. It empowers you to define your own values, beliefs, and goals without relying on external validation. When you stop seeking approval, you also free yourself from the anxiety, stress, and pressure of meeting others’ expectations. Instead, you cultivate authenticity, confidence, and resilience to pursue your own path and make your own choices.

What are some practical steps to stop seeking approval from others?

There are several practical steps you can take to stop seeking approval from others, such as:

– Identify your values, strengths, and passions that define your sense of purpose and fulfillment.
– Recognize and challenge your inner critic that fuels your self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-deprecation.
– Set healthy boundaries that protect your time, energy, and resources and prevent others from taking advantage of you.
– Practice self-care activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul, such as meditation, exercise, rest, and hobbies.
– Surround yourself with positive, supportive, and authentic people who respect and appreciate you for who you are.

By taking these steps consistently and mindfully, you can break free from the cycle of seeking approval and start living a more authentic, fulfilling, and meaningful life.


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2. Alden, L. E., & Bieling, P. J. (2020). Interpersonal analysis of validation and invalidation: An overview. Current Opinion in Psychology, 36, 73-77.
3. Hirsch, J. K., Visser, P. L., Chang, E. C., & Jeglic, E. L. (2019). Examining the role of approval seeking and cognitive flexibility in predicting anxiety over time. Journal of anxiety disorders, 65, 6-13.