From Approval to Authenticity
In our big shift from approval to authenticity, we often stumble, learn, and ultimately, evolve.
Picture Ethan, a young boy of eight. He treads cautiously through life, his sole quest being approval and love. Regrettably, his upbringing leads him astray, making popularity seem more important than authenticity. Every day at school morphs into a meticulously planned performance. Amidst this act, every giggle, every snide comment, every accusing finger carves deep impressions into his mind.
Likewise, we’ve all felt the societal pressure to be someone special. Unwittingly, we’ve pursued dreams that eventually harmed us more than helped. Our hearts often misguidedly pulled us into the grip of toxic relationships. Trivial worries turned our minds into battlegrounds, over issues that retrospectively seem minuscule.
Life, with its innate wisdom, throws a curveball at us: the constant desire to be liked isn’t vital. As kids, the world showered us with praise for fitting in, being popular, standing out. Unfortunately, this very culture fostered an environment conducive to bullying and other social ailments.
Transition now to your adult self. Imagine standing amidst a throng at a party. The symphony of idle chatter surrounds you. Yet, you’re no longer in the race for attention or applause. You observe and experience. You question whether you need to fit into this vast social tapestry. You notice adults, still trapped in their childhood longing for special recognition, vying for a nonexistent VIP status.
Interestingly, the world often views things in absolutes: leaders and followers, gurus and audiences. This age-old narrative ensnares many, causing many to live by external expectations instead of taking the reins of life. For many, this realization strikes late— in the 30s, 40s, or even 60s. Then, regret hangs heavily in the atmosphere, an uninvited guest that overstays its welcome.
No Longer Needing Approval
There is a lot of false light in the world right now that appeals to seekers. But the question is: why are we seeking answers outside ourselves? There are a lot of people talking about unity and healing. But a great deal is a trap for approval and a seduction of belonging. When there is still a call for stardom and being special, it is usually not true. In the emerging world, the only stars are lighting up our skies.
In reality, the true ‘stars’ are often unsung and contribute to society without expecting fame or recognition.
Conscious leaders bringing in healthy unity don’t lead with division. They don’t use terms like ‘you, guys’ because when we have unity, there is no we and you guys. There’s just us experimenting and creating together. And alignment between words and actions are foundational when we are fully conscious and aware.
Now, picture this. We stand at the doorstep of opportunity. We brace ourselves to face dislikes and misunderstandings. In that moment, we find a fresh burst of courage. It propels us to tackle tough tasks, the kind most people shy away from. This journey adds meaning to our life. It paves the way to a path that many are too frightened to even imagine.
Yet, the journey from approval to authenticity doesn’t end here. True freedom comes only when we’re okay with not being liked by everyone. We learn to shake off the weight of others’ opinions. And we accept a simple truth: we can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
So, can we choose a path that’s healthy for us, even if others disagree? The key lies in learning to step away from criticism and judgment. Believing in ourselves is an art. When we do that, nothing knocks us down. We stand strong, like a rock in a river, undeterred by the strong currents of societal norms.