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Why Most People Will Never get rid of Their Approval Addiction

Subhajit Banerjee

March 21, 2023


It’s not your fault.

You know you’re struggling with approval addiction.

You know how it’s keeping you anxious, helpless, and alone.

You want to get rid of it once and for all.

But there’s a catch.

Now maybe you have been reading a lot on the interwebz on this topic. Maybe you have also read a book or two.

You now have a pretty clear idea of what you need to do.

Yet you keep falling back into your old patterns.

You still attempt to fit in where you don’t belong. You’re still avoiding conflicts.

And you still have trouble enforcing your boundaries.

“Is this how my life is going to be forever?” – you ask, frustrated.

“Am I never going to climb out of this hole?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

Nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

It’s not your fault.

But before you get too cozy, let me pour a cold, harsh bucket of truth over you.

Are you ready for that?

Here it comes…

Most people will never get rid of their approval addiction.

Here’s why…

They lack self-compassion

Most approval addicts are used to beating themselves up.

For not standing up for themselves.

For not speaking out.

For not holding themselves up to higher standards.

They feel this is the only way to keep going.

But this is exactly the reason why they remain stuck.

They’re not aware of their emotions

Most people are afraid of their emotions.

They would go to any lengths to avoid flat-out saying that they are angry or sad.

They will intellectualize the simple emotion.

They’ll say they are “weirded out”, “peeved”, “stressed out” or “depressed”.

This robs them of clarity and understanding.

And they end up feeling more unhappy and alone.

They don’t understand how thoughts and emotions work

Most people have no idea how thoughts and emotions work.

And it’s not their fault.

These things are not taught in school (they should be).

They believe they “shouldn’t” feel anger or sadness. As if they have any control.

They judge themselves for having human thoughts.

And all of this pushes them deeper into the rabbit hole.

They’re not aware of their broken thought patterns

Thoughts dictate what you feel.

And thoughts dictate what you do.

But what if the thought patterns themselves are broken?

Then you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.

These broken thought patterns, also called cognitive distortions are one of the hardest to uncover.

You have to find which of them affects you the most.

And then replace them with better mental models.

Nothing changes unless you do that.

They lack the ability to handle their stress response

Guess what happens when you combine a lack of awareness of emotions and harsh judgments about them?

Not a pretty sight.

The human psyche can only hold so much.

When the pressure from all those negative emotions and judgments about them builds up – it explodes.

Most people stay stuck in this cycle of building up, blowing up, and then picking up the pieces.

Do you start to get the picture of why breaking out of this cycle is so hard?

They lack boundaries

Approval addicts have no concept of boundaries.

They allow others to dictate their life.

And in turn, they trample on others’ boundaries.

I know that from lessons that still leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

Without taking the time to build better boundaries, approval addicts are going nowhere.

They have disowned their own shadow

Approval addicts are driven by guilt.

Guilt about their needs and wants, thoughts and feeling, dreams, and desires.

They have disowned everything about them that society doesn’t approve of.

But guess what?

That disowned part, that shadow, is the essence of who they are.

What happens when they reject that part of themselves?

They get disconnected from life.

Life becomes devoid of joy and meaning.

Nothing changes until they reconnect with that neglected part of themselves.

They don’t expect the cycles of guilt and shame

Do you know the hardest part of breaking out of approval addiction?

It’s not learning to say no. It’s not setting boundaries. It’s not even facing your fears.

Most people get there eventually.

The hardest part is dealing with the guilt and shame.

When you have been conditioned to always put yourself last, standing up for yourself feels weird.

It feels unnatural and uncomfortable. You feel you are going against the entire fiber of your being.

Your brain floods you with guilt and shame.

And at this point, most people regress.

They choose to go back to the familiar, comfortable yet destructive patterns.

They stay approval addicts.

They have unreal expectations from others

Now here’s another hurdle that trips most people.

They start saying no. They start enforcing boundaries. They start putting themselves first.

And they expect unequivocal support from their friends and family.

After all, this is a good thing that they’re trying to do, right?

And then, they are surprised by the amount of resistance they face from those people.

They fail to take into account the insecurities and worries of others.

They think they are doing something wrong.

And then go back to their old habits.

They focus on tips and tricks without learning the underlying framework

And finally, most people just focus on learning tips and tricks.

They want to become assertive. They want to master their emotions. They want to stop being anxious.

So they just google a bunch of articles and start implementing on their own.

Without understanding the underlying framework of how they work.

They use shortcuts like these. Shortcuts, which don’t exist.

And in the process, they get even more lost.

They say the first step to change is awareness.

And now you have it.

You know the barriers that you need to overcome.

It’s up to you what you do with this knowledge.

You can go the lone-wolf route and try to do everything on your own.

It’s possible. I took that route.

And let me tell you – that road is hard. It cost me 4 years of my life.

4 years of trial and error. 4 more years of fear and anxiety. 4 more years of trying to fit in and feeling inadequate.

But you don’t have to take the same long-winded route.

Looking back, if I had the opportunity of working with a coach when I started, I would do that in a heartbeat.

And today I’m extending you the same opportunity – to work with me 1-on-1.

Leverage my experience and get rid of your approval addiction once and for all.

Is it something that you’re interested in?

If yes, just click here and book a call.

Let’s start this journey together.