I was watching “Iyanla Fix My Life” last month. This particular episode was about five men and their strained relationships with each other, their sister, their father and their mother. One young man said to Iyanla “I just want to be accepted.” You could see it in his eyes that it was his inner child, who never got to experience a close knit family and did not have parents that were present, the child that was “different” and trying to understand why, was speaking in this moment. His inner child was still broken and searching for answers but most importantly searching to feel a part of the family that he should have had.
“I just want to be accepted.” I thought of the many times I’ve presented an altered version of myself that I thought would allow me to fit in. I used to do this a lot when it came to dating. I believed I was too nerdy, too smart, too opinionated, and overall too weird. I started to convince myself that if I were to show the complete me, guys would not remain interested in me. In hindsight I’m thankful for my guy friends that ended up expressing an interest in me because I was completely myself throughout our friendships and that didn’t make them run for the hills.
“I just want to be accepted.” I remember when I graduated college and began questioning if I had to straighten my hair for job interviews. If I did this, would wearing my hair once I got the job change things? Despite working in a creative industry where people would wear pink, purple hair, have the sides shaved, would a kinky curly fro like mine be “too much”? Would it make me too different?
"I just want to be accepted." I don't have these thoughts anymore. Mainly because I've matured, I'm around different people, times have changed enough that these thoughts and feelings are not warranted. I'm my most self more often than not lately. A mild version of, take me as I am or leave me where I'm at. I was never the type to specifically seek validation from people or society, it was all mental for me. I mention this because as a society trying to survive and thrive in a social media, oversharing, instant gratification, "Do It For The Gram" way of living, it is too easy to find yourself trying to be "accepted" into varies parts of this "insta" life we live.
We've all seen people project a version of themselves to fit in and be accepted in spaces and I'm sure we can all think of times we have done this as well. The problem with this is that the facade wears down on you. It gets heavier the longer you have to uphold it. You become unhappy. You're out of sync with true self.
Below is a snippet from Raven Ishak's (Twitter) (Website) "12 Ways To Stop seeking Approval of Others & Feel Super Confident" via Bustle.
13 Ways To Stop Seeking The Approval Of Others & Feel Super Confident
- Become Aware Of Your Actions
- Develop A Greater Sense Of Self-Worth
- Learn To Accept Yourself For Who You Are
- Check The Accuracy Of Your Beliefs
- Practice Self-Love
- Try To Understand Why You're Seeking Approval
- Journal Your Thoughts
- Trust Yourself
- Try To Think Like A Millennial
- Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
- Continue To Practice
- Take A Break From Social Media
- Become Attuned With Your Inner Voice