Do you ever find yourself envying the women you see on Instagram? You know, the ones with the amazing houses and the gorgeous tans? Do you ever find yourself wishing your life was as perfect as theirs? Shaking off the need for approval is something we all struggle with.
In today’s episode, I am chatting with Susie Moore about how we can give up our incessant need for approval and begin to look within for our deepest satisfaction.
Susie is a Miami-based life coach and author. She’s been featured on the Today show, Refinery29, Forbes, Oprah.com and more.
Order her new book, Stop Checking Your Likes: Shake Off the Need for Approval and Live an Incredible Life, at stopcheckingyourlikes.com.
What Keeps Us Small
Susie has discovered, in working with others through her life coaching business, that what holds us back as people isn’t actually failure.
The thing that holds us back is worrying what everyone is going to think if we do something wrong. Worrying about the judgment of others trips us up and keeps us small.
Susie set out to write her newest book in order to debunk some myths surrounding this mindset; the first one being that we think others are actually paying attention to what we’re doing.
Susie calls this one “silly.”
Conditions Are Always Impossible
Is there some dream you’ve had for a long time? A book you want to write or a podcast you want to start? Maybe you want to adopt kids or start a biological family.
So, what’s holding you back?
Most likely, you’re waiting for the perfect time to start. Everything needs to fall into place before you’ll feel comfortable stepping out.
But Susie reminded us that there will never be a perfect time. Conditions will never be better than they are right now.
In fact, conditions will always seem impossible.
Whether you’re waiting to start your journey to better health or to start writing a book, you have to just take that first step.
Are You a Perfectionist?
A lot of times, we say things like, “Well, I’m just a perfectionist. I can’t be happy if everything isn’t just right before I release it.”
But Susie says that there’s a difference between having high standards and allowing performance anxiety. That’s really all perfectionism is: performance anxiety.
You can certainly have high standards. You should have high standards, in fact, for the work you do.
Focus on excellence and let that be enough.
Are You Operating at Your Best?
In Susie’s work with women, she has dealt with a ton of self-diagnosed perfectionists.
And she has come to realize that if you claim to be a perfectionist, you are most likely operating at about your middle.
On a scale of 1-10, you are probably achieving at around a 6. Why is that?
- Perfectionists don’t take risks because of their fears.
- Perfectionists never ask for help because they consider it a sign of weakness.
While we think calling ourselves a perfectionist makes us look good, it really shows our weaknesses.
It’s a sign of worrying too much about what other people think, avoiding risks because we might do it wrong, and ultimately, it’s about possibly missing our life calling, simply because we are too afraid to step out and try.
What Is Confidence, Really?
Playing small and missing opportunities causes us to live a small life. And living a small life doesn’t give us self-confidence.
We tend to look at people we think are successful as confident. You know, the famous speaker, the prolific author, the blogger who earns 7 figures from her blog.
But really, confidence comes from the willingness to be uncomfortable.
Confidence is the willingness to take a risk, knowing that you might fail, knowing that others might not appreciate what you’ve done or created.
When you can step out and do the thing you’ve been called to do, without worrying about the outcome, that is confidence.
The other side of that coin is building self-esteem.
When you constantly ignore your calling in life, it’s like a friend who never shows up for your coffee dates. After enough times of not showing up, you lose trust in that person.
And when you keep not showing up for yourself, you begin to lose trust in yourself. That’s a self-esteem killer.
Why We Feel the Need to Compare
When I started my coaching business 5 years ago, I went into a dark hole of comparison. I thought I had to do everything exactly like everyone else was doing it to be successful.
I was scared of success, scared of failure, scared to start, and scared not to.
I had to learn that my mindset was the key to everything. As long as I let my mind keep me small, I would play small.
So why do we feel that need to compare ourselves to others?
Some Comparison Is Healthy
Part of us looking to others is a good thing. We’re looking for others to show us the way, to be our role models. That’s not a bad thing.
The problem comes when we decide that we can never be as good as they are. Or that if somebody else is in the business we want to get into, they’re already doing such a great job that there’s no room for us.
And that becomes the story we tell ourselves. That we aren’t good enough.
Comparison is healthy when, instead of comparing ourselves to others, we compare ourselves to our ideal selves. That can bring about tremendous growth instead of adding to an already present inferiority complex.
Craving the Approval of Others
Craving the approval of others starts young. We want to please our parents and other family members. We want to please our teachers and coaches.
And then, when we get older, we want to please our bosses. We want to please our friends and our colleagues. We want to please our spouse and most of us still want to please our parents.
The approval of others makes us feel safe. And for good reason.
In days long gone, if the tribe didn’t like you, you were in real trouble. You literally needed others for safety, for food, etc.
Unfortunately, we’ve carried this mindset forward even though we no longer live in caves or tribes.
Susie strongly believes that each of us has a right to live our own lives the way we see fit, to seek the level of fulfillment that we desire.
You Can Control Your Thoughts
Just because you have spent your entire life seeking the approval of others doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life doing the same.
If you have listened to any other episodes of this podcast, you know I am a broken record on mindset and training your brain.
If you live every day thinking that some people just have all the luck, that for the majority of people life is just hard, then you, my friend, have got some stinking thinking going on.
And Susie can identify with all those things.
She grew up being taught that life isn’t fair and people can’t be trusted. Her family life was unstable at best. So, living in that negative mindset is what she knew.
But she chose to not stay there.
When we abdicate our thoughts, we can blame others for our circumstances. But who wants to give their happiness over to the whims of the world?
Don’t you want to take responsibility for your own life and your own happiness?
Stop Checking Your Likes
Susie has a new book coming out in April that I mentioned earlier. I asked her to share a couple of things we could expect from reading it.
Susie has been very transparent about the fact that she has read over 500 self-help books. In her new book, she distills some of the lessons she has learned from those books and how she has applied them to her own life.
She shares some difficult personal stories as well, including divorcing at a young age and living with her father who was a heavy drug user.
A few takeaways from the book, according to Susie, are:
- It’s okay if people don’t like you.
- Have the courage to do the right thing based on your own intuition.
- Do what you feel called to do regardless of the judgment of others or the outcome.
“Life will never be perfect, easy, happy.
“There will always be pain, uncertainty, and effort on our parts. But the foundation of our life is our worthiness, accepting it, understanding that our worthiness is permanent and undeletable.
“You’re allowed to have everything that you want. You’re allowed to be who you want to be.
“It’s easy not to claim responsibility for that. It’s easier to blame somebody or to claim that something is impossible. If something is holding you back, question the cause.”
Susie shared so much more good stuff in this episode. Especially listen to the last 8 minutes if you need a good kick in the rear to let go of your excuses and get on with your life!
This doesn’t mean life won’t be hard. It will!
I want you to dive into why you’re holding back and discover what false beliefs you have hung onto for years.
There may be many layers of this onion that you have to peel back before you get to all the root causes. If you don’t know where to start, I am here to help.
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