I’m no stranger to disapproval. And it seems like I’m not the only one.
Last week, I published an article on Shine.com about how I deal with disapproval from my parents and the response really touched me. Several people reached out and thanked me for writing it because they said they’ve also had to deal with it their whole life and they didn’t know what to do about it.
If you’re on the same boat–and it doesn’t have to be your parents, maybe it’s a spouse, a significant other who doesn’t agree with your dreams, I’ll say this, again and again:
It’s not your job to get them to agree with you.
It’s not your job to convince them. To justify, to beg, to glorify. It’s not their job to give you permission to do something you love.
Whose is it?
You guessed it– yours. No one can give you permission to do what you love other than yourself.
Yet my whole entire life before this, I believed otherwise. I thought it was my parent’s responsibilities to tell me what to do. And if they said no, that was it.
But the training wheels are off. The hand holding stops here.
If you’re a full grown adult, then act like one. Stop blaming your parents, your spouse, your loved ones for not being able to do what you want.
Saying, “Because they won’t let me,” or “He/she won’t let me” is what children say when they’re out of excuses.
If you really want something, then go at it with gusto. You might fail, you might realize it’s a horrible mistake, but that’s what being an adult is about. Learning to take responsibility for our own mistakes and growing from them.
So let’s stop holding onto other people’s hands and pretending they’re the reason why we can’t do something.
That’s not fair to the other person or yourself.
If you ask the people you love if you can leave them, of course, they’ll say no! They love you. They’ll always want to keep us by their side. They want to keep you safe. That’s their true job.
But if you have someone by your side who is willing to say “Go, do what you love” despite wanting nothing more but for you to stay, then treasure them no matter far you go, they are the rare ones.
And that’s all I really have to say about needing other people’s approval. It’s not our job to get anyone to understand us, to empathize with us, or believe in us. It’s our own.