Lesson 7.3 - Tips for dealing with approval addiction
Hi! It’s time for the third and final lesson of module 7 with some seriously actionable tips for fighting approval addiction.
Focus on what makes you feel extremely capable
What if, instead of waiting for someone else’s approval, you could give yourself approval by focusing on how extremely capable you are?
I’m telling you, it’s just as addictive.
Focusing on what you’re extremely capable of makes you feel on top of things, like you were going places, like you had the talent and skills to make things happen.
This concept first came to me when I was listening to Tara Gentile’s podcast and I heard the question:
What makes you feel extremely capable?
It has stayed with me every since.
When we feel capable we keep working, we stay motivated, and we go for it. Feeling capable lifts us up and propels us forward. It’s one of those emotions that we feel deep down and impacts us in big ways.
Think about that time you finally finished that task that had been giving you anxiety for a while. You felt on top of the world, didn’t you? And then you went on to do three more things because you were riding the high of completion.
Or that time that you hit publish/send/submit on that piece of work. You were walking tall the rest of the day, weren’t you?
You’re capable of a lot, but when you feel capable you’re capable of even more.
So, how do you figure out what makes you feel extremely capable? Try this. As always, use the worksheet.
Take 60 seconds to think of a few times you felt capable and identify why. What were you doing? What had you just finished? Where were you?
Once you pinpoint what makes you feel capable you can move on to the next step. Look at your calendar for the next week and shift some things around to make sure you do at least one thing that makes you feel extremely capable. The earlier in the day or week that you do it the better, because you want to be able to ride that high.
Here’s an example of what makes me feel capable:
Hitting publish or send on something that I’ve been avoiding.
Figuring out this complex technological issue, fixing it, and actually seeing it work.
Taking a peek in the fridge after having gone grocery shopping and seeing I have enough stuff in there and I’m set for at least a week and a half.
So, if I wanted to ensure I felt capable as early and as often as possible I would rearrange my schedule to do these things first. Then I can move on to do even more, because I feel great about myself.
What are you proud of?
The next exercise on the worksheet is to create a list of things you’re most proud of about yourself: choices you’ve made, insights you’ve learned, things you like about yourself, times you’ve stayed true to yourself… whatever comes up for you and feels right for you.
Save this master list of all the things you’re proud of in a place that’s easily accessible. Now, each time you find the need for approval taking over, you can look at that list and see that you don’t need someone else’s approval to go after what you want.
Increase your confidence
Another way to look at approval addiction is that there’s a lack of confidence on your part. When you look to others for approval, you lack the confidence to make your own decisions.
That’s why I have this really cool exercise to increase your confidence in any given moment. I call it chemical confidence building.
It’s simple: stand in a power pose for 2 minutes.
That’s it. That’s all it takes.
A power pose is a pose where you physically take up more space. You have a wide stance, open chest, and upright posture.
The most well-known power pose is where you stand in a wide stance, you have your hands as fists in your side, you roll your shoulders back, push your chest forward, and tilt up your chin.
Scientists have discovered that, after standing like this for 2 minutes, your testosterone increases by 20% and, more importantly, your cortisol levels - that’s the stress hormone in your body - decreases by 25%.
I promise you, it makes you feel like you can take on the world.
Alright, that’s it for module 7. I’ll see you in the next module where we’ll be talking about one of my faaaaaavorite topics: gratitude. Can’t wait to see you there!