Working with… Letting go of “External Approval”

Hullo! This is one of those posts where I show you precisely what I do to process my “stuff”. This is what I wrote to work through this thing that happened to me. I forgot what it was, but I believe somebody didn’t like me and I plunged into self doubt.

So I processed it and work through it. Like this.

“What would help right now?”

First: acknowledging. Yup, this is what I’m feeling. This is what happened. I felt a pang of anxiety, brought about by feeling “unwanted”. Fearing rejection, again.

Second: permission. I have permission to feel like this. It’s my stuff, my anxiety. If I have issues around “fearing rejection”, that’s ok. It’s human. And I’m allowed.

Third: body. Hello body. I totally felt my stomach clench. Or something… I definitely felt bad around the stomach area.

Where do we go from here?

I don’t know.

What do I want? Well… I want to let go of my need for outside legitimacy. I don’t want to be “thrown for a loop” whenever someone “doesn’t like me right this second”.

I don’t want to be so… dependent on others approval. Wait, there’s more…

I don’t want to feel so… vulnerable to however other people happen to perceive me at the time.

I don’t want for their feelings, their ideas, their impressions…. or rather, my impressions of their impressions to affect me so much.

I want to feel resilient. And strong. In my core, I want to be confident and sovereign.

And I want to get better at separating between “their stuff” and “my stuff”.

Let’s practice

“OK, I felt I was being unwanted. I felt “rejected”. That’s my stuff. My feeling “rejected”, (which isn’t in fact a feeling), is my stuff. And my perception of being rejected, that’s all mine.
My stuff is my reaction to an attitude, a facial expression, a thought. Whatever I’m reacting to, that’s my stuff.
I can work on my stuff only. I’m allowed to feel upset and frustrated.”

What else am I noticing?

Well… not a couple of hours ago I was writing on my diary that I’ve been feeling pretty happy, calm and not-anxious-at-all lately. Now the anxiety is back, even if it was just momentary, and I feel like I’ve failed at something…

Am I ready for a couple of wisdom things?

(Usually I outsource the “reminding me of wisdom” thing to Imo. Which sometimes works, and sometimes goes terribly, terribly wrong)

Let’s see… whatcha got?

“You can’t expect to feel good all the time”

“You are right, the goal is to have a strong “core” where you don’t much care what other people think or even what happens with the “outside world”. Because you wanna stay confident and feel worthy, no matter what”

This confidence thing… it’s so hard…

“I know. Which is why it keeps popping up. So this is your chance to practice. Notice how one “less than ideal” interaction with one person immediately has you doubting whether you are worthy, whether you will ever amount to anything, whether you will ever find love. Etc.”

It sucks that other people have this much power over me…

“I know. I’m sorry. It is kinda horrible.”

It’s like… something like this happens, and all of a sudden all my weaknesses and flaws, all the stuff I’m insecure about gets magnified. Like the fact that I’m not a famous, paid journalist. Like the fact that I’m not respected and invited to speak. Like the fact that I don’t have that many followers on Twitter.

Before you know it I am full of self doubt and wondering whether I should bother at all ever.

That’s where I left it.

I’m showing you this because I think it’s important for you to know that the whole “working on your stuff” process is messy, confusing and experimental. It’s a lot of “trial and error” and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

And you need… courage, because you may know where you start but not where you’re going or how to get there.
We still practice, though. Because the answers come to us while we are practicing, while we are processing, not after we reach a definite conclusion.

Hope you find this useful.

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