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Beyond approval addiction

Hi there brothers,

Well, starting a journal has to be a good idea. My name’s Lucas and I’m an approval addict…. kidding… sorta… I’ve been in recovery in 12-step fellowships for quite a while, and done a lot of work on myself over the years,  but I've come to see how my dependence on the approval of others for validation, and concomitantly the fear of disapproval, is still a big limiter on my personal freedom…

I’m in my mid-40s now, but when I was a bit younger in my early 30s I  was involved in the pick-up scene for a while… I’m not especially proud of the latter, as I feel there's a lot of childish reductionism and misogyny in that world, but I can't deny it was hugely empowering…and in truth, most of the guys I actually met were nothing but decent, kind-hearted men who wanted to get their dating life on track… one thing it really taught me was that our mental frame is hugely important in all relationships and interactions, and we have real agency over how relationships and interactions work, if we want to develop it and make use of it..

Having recently become single again, I want to start working on my confidence and overcoming my approval-dependence, but it’s not just about dating… it’s also about professional relationships and friendships… somehow I’ve sunken back into being cravenly approval-dependent…

I’m not quite sure what shape this work will take yet, but I’ll definitely be deploying the good lessons here on both dating and work and getting out of my comfort zone to confront my fears on a daily basis… hmm… so I think I’ll start keeping a record of how it goes right here…

I made a start today in a business meeting with a cantankerous client… just a small step, but I took a piece of paper and wrote ‘I don’t need your approval’ and placed it below the webcam before the meeting… as expected, the client was giving out and being unreasonable… it was amazing what a difference it made to just have that message - 'I don’t need your approval’ in my line of sight throughout, and to keep reminding myself of it… I remained completely calm and at ease, and gently reasserted boundaries whenever he looked like crossing them… by the end of the meeting he had calmed down, things were back on track and I knew I hadn’t fallen into the trap of letting him suck me in… just a small first step, as I said, but it felt good…

Thanks for being here guys… the journey begins!

Lucas

Lucio Buffalmano and Kellvo have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKellvo

Hi there folks,

Well, I just got started on the Power University materials, and already, in lesson one, its ringing loud and clear.... the fact that 'needing approval' and 'letting people get under your skin' are listed as lack of control indicators is very salient for me today... Having just finished a very stressful week, due to conflicts at work, I'm now heading into another week that promises to be similar... I'm fortunate in that my work colleagues - i.e. the people who work in my organisation - are all delightful, positive and respectful, but right now we're involved in a partnership with another organisation that is proving a bit of a nightmare... there's a lot of conflict happening, and as the person leading from our organisation I'm having to deal with a lot of negativity and hostility from people at the external organisation... I know that, if I were more empowered within myself, this wouldn't affect me so much, but there's no point in being anything but honest in this forum, so I have to recognise that it's been eating at me this past week...

I'm still brand new to the PM program, so I'm not quite sure how to navigate this situation that is in front of me this week, but at least I can remember that when negative people get under my skin, it not a fait accomompli... they've managed to get under my skin and unsettle me because I am still relatively easily unsettled... and that's where my focus needs to be; on becoming less perturbable, not on putting myself out of joint to make others happy... I'll do my best to handle things skilfully this week, but my priority will be maintaining my boundaries and reminding myself that any judgments or hostility that may be thrown my way represent an opportunity to learn and to strengthen myself..

Thanks for being here guys... I'm realising I can benefit a whole lot from this course and community..

Best,

Lucas

 

Hello Lucas,

Well done on leading that project man!

If I can give you a feedback on the mindset:

- It's a good approach to reframe and interpret new information not as signs of what one might lack, but as an opportunity for growth (learner's mindset).

Also, keep this in mind: control over oneself is difficult. It's not written anywhere that you must have it. Very few people have it. So don't be too harsh on yourself.
It's a long, never-ending journey, and the most important thing is to be on that journey. And you are :).

Kellvo, Stef and ZenDancer have reacted to this post.
KellvoStefZenDancer
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hey Lucas!

First, it sounds like you're already leading a happy and overall high-quality life. Cheers!

Second, it's totally okay to be imperfect, as long as you look to grow and become better in some way. I noticed that people often come into my life either reflecting good things about myself I have developed, or they challenge areas of myself that I'm still weak in. Learning to be more decisive, focused, and standing my ground in a healthy way have been themes repeated several times. These people are here and now for a reason - grow, face them the best you can, and in win or loss alike learn from them!

Third, the community is better with you in it, and we all have what it takes to lift each other up, face the reality of the world as it is, and strive to make it a better place.

You've gotten this far. Keep going. You got this.

ZenDancer has reacted to this post.
ZenDancer

Hi there both,

Thanks so much for the input and feedback. Much appreciated! Yes indeed, a think a key principle for me is consistent gradual change. Real transformation, in whatever its form, rarely comes quickly - it requires ongoing effort, but over time the cumulative impact can be enormous... good reminder about it being ok to be imperfect - that's one I have to be conscious of if and when I slip..

Thanks guys 🙂

Lucas

Hi there brothers,

It's been a weird day for me, albeit not as challenging as most of last week. I feel fortunate to have coworkers who are decent and respectful. that said, I'm heading towards some more challenging meetings with external partners this week.

I've just started reading Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins. I'm just into the second chapter, so can't really comment on the content just yet, but I'll report back once I have.

With France now in complete lockdown, I'm wondering how I can start actually applying and practicing some of the stuff I'm learning in PU. over the coming weeks a lot of my energy is going to have to focused on working through the PU cours and initiating social interactions online. In truth it will be a good practice for me anyway, as my tendency in the past couple of years has been to follow rather than to lead in my social life, and it's not a very satisfying way to do things. I suspect for a lot of men, long video calls for purely social motives feel a little alien - they certainly do for me - but that's something I'm ready to get over...

All the best,

Lucas

aaaand... on that note, I just got of a call with a friend in Germany... not someone I know especially well, but she wanted to check in about a couple of things... it was interesting for me to note, and implement, gently taking the lead in the conversation and steering things in a positive direction when needed... hmmm... lots more practice like that, methinks...

 

best,

Lucas

Hi there folks,

So now that we're in full-on lockdown again, I've been looking around for ways to initiate contacts with people and put some social leadership and power principles into practice. One channel for me to work on my disapproval fears is obvious - speaking French more. I'm a fluent Spanish speaker already, but after a year living in France my French is still a lot less than fluent. I've discovered it's a far more complex language to learn than Spanish... anyhooo, as I'm in 12 Step fellowships, it's easy for me to access online meetings in French to start putting myself out there... Another avenue is in developing new friendships; today I reached out to two people who I know, but don't know that well - people who I might not normally contact of my own volition. I can see the ingrained insecurity in myself thrown into relief by these contacts as they're both attractive women, and while I'm not interested in either, my cultural programming still 'gives them power' by virtue of that fact... so long as lockdown continues, options like these may be the best I have for challenging myself a bit, but it feels like a good start..

Today's actions taken:
* 2 calls to people that got me out of my comfort zone...

Thanks folks,

Lucas

selffriend has reacted to this post.
selffriend

Rock on, Lucas!

Great self-awareness in recognizing in yourself the tendency to defer to the ladies because they're attractive. That's a crucial step for self-development. And you seem to have an admirable openness in analyzing yourself -that might be called "vulnerability" these days-, and it's also a great tool, maybe even a precondition, for self-development.

What's your native language, by the way?
I have been told that French is one of those languages that if you're not born with, your accent will always show it -and it does seem to be true-.

ZenDancer has reacted to this post.
ZenDancer
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks Lucio!

English is my first language, and Spanish my second...yes indeed, the French accent is a tough one to master... like the language itself... by comparison Spanish was child's play... the new theme on the forum is a big improvement by the way - good job!

All the best,

Lucas

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selffriend