How To Free Yourself And Stop Worrying About Others

We all have that voice in our heads whose sole purpose is to convince us that we are under a social microscope. That everything we do can and will be scrutinized and criticized.

I’m sure you know what I mean. That inner voice tells you to change your outfit because people might think it is out of fashion. Or that inexplicable force that stops you from voicing your valid opinions because you are scared of the reception.

This may lead you to do things way out of your comfort zone, hoping that people will approve. And though we do not like to admit it, most, if not all of us, are heavily influenced by the constant and crippling fear of what people will think.

But guess what? You have absolutely no reason to be worried. And to help put things into perspective, we will look into what exactly approval addiction is and how you stop worrying about others.

That way, nothing will stop you from living your best life. Least of all other people’s potential disapproval.

The plague of approval addiction

The definition is pretty straightforward. Approval addiction is the strong desire to receive validation for our actions, behavior, and even our very existence. And who is giving this approval? Everyone plays a supporting role in the movie That Is Your Life. This could be anyone from random coffee shop baristas to your friends and family.

What many people do not know is that approval addiction is not just a problem but also a symptom. Studies have shown evidence of this compulsion being nothing more than a subconscious reaction to some form of psychological trauma in the past.

Maybe you, unfortunately, grew up in a home where you were constantly cut down. Or it could be that you got gaslit up and down your past relationships, which took a permanent toll. The reaction could also stem from self-esteem issues, whether or not there is any discernible trigger. 

Whatever the case, there is more than what meets the eye when dealing with approval addiction.

As a result, to start your journey to figuring out how to stop worrying about others, you must unpack and address all your baggage. Only then will you truly understand your worth and successfully apply the tips we will share.

It’s mostly all in your head…

The key to getting out of this toxic mindset is understanding that it is all in your head. Ironically, those people you want so desperately to please also crave your approval. We are all so worried about other people’s thoughts that we often do not think about them.

Take a moment and let that sink in.

If everyone is thinking about whether others will approve, then very few people, if any, have any time and mental space to think of what you are doing. Could this be? Is the social microscope nothing more than a myth?

The answer is yes. So stop worrying about others because, as harsh as it may be, they are often not paying that much attention.

What does the Bible have to say about this?

Unfortunately, it is not always in your head. Sometimes, you will be exposed to scrutiny and need to be adequately prepared. In this case, the wisdom of the Apostle Paul could definitely come in handy.

”For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

”Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

In these two passages—and many others like it in the good book—one message rings loud and clear: In the grand scheme of things, it really does not matter. It doesn’t matter if people notice your weight change or do not approve of your parenting style.

What matters is what God thinks and whether He approves. And if you are living by His will and commandments, then you, my friend, can finally stop worrying about what others think. The only one whose opinion matters already approves.

5 tips to help you stop worrying about others

While it does feel good to know that only one opinion matters, we understand that it doesn’t necessarily make it easier for you to overcome your approval addiction. That is why we have compiled an additional five nuggets of wisdom to help you on your journey.

Without further ado, here is how you stop worrying about what others think:

  1. Deal with the past

It is very important that you identify the trauma that triggered the approval addiction- and whatever it is, do not stop until you have started steady healing. This may include confronting harsh critics or even seeking professional help. Do what you have to do.

  1. Identify and accept your self-esteem weaknesses

Accepting that you have self-esteem issues will go a long way toward helping you deal with the desire for approval. Unfortunately, these insecurities do not disappear overnight simply because you had an epiphany. However, once you accept them, you can begin your journey towards rebuilding your esteem.

  1. Be kind to yourself

Love is patient and kind…”

1 Corinthians 13:4

You need to learn how to love yourself, and that involves being patient and kind to yourself as you grow. Unfortunately, you are one of the people whose approval you are seeking. And if you are your harshest critic, the desire for validation will never end because you will be that voice in your head holding yourself back.

  1. Learn to take positive criticism

Criticism is not always a bad thing. While on your growth journey, you should definitely take time to understand the difference between positive and toxic scrutiny. The former will add much to your life, so be willing to accept it.

  1. Focus your efforts on pleasing God

Finally, focus on getting God’s approval that matters the most. With this, everything else will fall into place. Dealing with the constant fear of what others think will no longer be your problem. So cast this and any other worry to Him and let Him take care of you.

Bottom line

You can now see why you should stop worrying about others’ thoughts- and boy, are you in for a mental and emotional treat with that weight off your shoulders. Above all else, remember to be kind to yourself and keep walking the walk of faith for no one else but God.

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