If you really think about it, most of us are constantly chasing after recognition, acceptance, prestige from someone we deeply care about or respect.
Do you find that you are often seeking the approval your parents, your boss, a good friend or boyfriend/girlfriend?
You will do almost anything you think they would like you to do in the pursuit of this approval won't you?
But what happens when you get it?
What happens when you do something that just isn't you (put someone else down, act in a way that you don't really believe in, behave in a way you really would rather not behave or even put on a "face" that really is not how you truly feel?)
Does that really make you happy longer-term?
Sure, that approval in the short-term is like a drug…you eat it up and for 24-hours you are very happy.
After a while though you are faced with the tough decision, do you continue to head down the path of living a lie to get more approval or do you give in to the instincts, values and feelings you have deep within?
Most people get caught in this trap, then find it hard to escape so they continue to live a lie and in doing so veer further and further from their true values and desires leaving us insecure, frustrated, paranoid and depressed somewhere down the line.
What happens is that you lose self respect, deal a blow to your self confidence because you "know" deep within you that you are sacrificing your true desires and values for external validation…you both devalue your own feelings and instincts but you also place an unnatural level of dependency on external validation from others knowing full-well that this external validation is constantly in jeopardy over which you have no control.
The better question we should ask ourselves each day is "what do you want people to love about you" and are you heading in the right direction?
If your answer is that you want people to love your honesty, your integrity, your passion for what you really want…then seeking the external approval of others for the wrong reasons will not be as enticing.
Sure, you may give up short-term adoration, but you will do it in favor of long-term, deep, meaningful and focused respect and friendships that will develop down the road out of internally driven values and desires you are sure of.
When you ask yourself "What Do You Want People To Love About You", what comes to mind?