Seeking Approval

By Silver Rose

Seeking Approval

This weekend, I spent some time reviewing notes from courses I’ve taken over the past year. One of them struck me as a wonderful topic for this week’s column. It said:

No one knows better than you what will fulfill and make you happy. The problem is, your mind often gets in the way. That is why every one of us was born with an inner guide to help us sort things out. Some call it “intuition;” others “gut feeling;” many call is “soul;” Whatever the name, we all have this guidance system within us. Unfortunately, we have trained ourselves to ignore it, often looking to others to tell us what to do.

You cannot depend upon your thoughts to guide you well. First of all, there are far too many of them to sort through. Secondly, science hasn’t yet proven that the thoughts you have are even yours. Your brain is a sophisticated radio transmitter/receiver and some of the thoughts that flash through may have come from your next door neighbor! (Haven’t you ever had a bizarre thought and said to yourself, “Where did THAT come from?!?” Well, it could have come from your co-worker one cubicle over!)

Your guidance system uses your emotions to lead you toward your path. Fortunately, it is a much easier system to follow than it would be if you were guided by all those complicated thoughts.

There may be a strong temptation for you to resist the idea that it could actually be this simple. But think of animals and how effectively they use their own simple guidance systems (aka: instincts). They move toward what feels good and away from what feels bad or dangerous.

If you study dogs, for example, you will observe that they always seek out what will make them the most comfortable. They never settle for the first position when they lie down. They move around and get as comfortable as possible. They sniff food before they gulp it down. If it doesn’t smell pleasing, they will walk away.

Human beings, on the other hand, have been systematically taught to ignore their instincts. We read books entitled, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” NO!!!! The fear is there for a reason. It is your inner guidance telling you (VERY STRONGLY) that “If you stay focused on what you are paying attention to, you are not going to like the results.”

If your dog were standing in front of a large bush with his hair standing on end and growling, would you grab him by the nape of the neck, throw him INTO the bush yelling, “Get in there, you coward!”?? Of course not. You understand that his instincts are telling him that something is wrong.

And yet, when we seek approval from others instead of paying attention to our inner guide, it is the same thing. We are setting aside our instincts and relying on others to tell us what to do. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for you?”
Your inner guidance system will ALWAYS steer you toward what’s best for you. That is precisely why negative emotions feel so bad. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be motivated to take a different direction!

So, instead of asking friends and relatives for what you should do, ask your inner guide, “Is this the best way for me to handle this?” You will know the answer is “yes” if you experience a good feeling. If your stomach is sinking, the answer is clearly “no.”

The easiest way to fully leverage your guidance system? Do EVERYTHING in your power to get happy and stay there. When you can do that, you will find life becomes the joy it was meant to be.