Think about it, there's nothing nicer than someone saying something really nice to you - or about you. It makes you feel better about yourself. And what that means is you're giving other people the power to make you happy. And, if you give others the power to make you happy, by definition, you've also given anyone and everyone the power to make you unhappy. And that's not only unhealthy, it stops you being who you really could be - stops you living the life you really want.

We were all raised on the drug of approval - from the early days when we were chuffed at the round of applause we got for performing our party piece to feeling better because we were hanging out with the cool gang - or just not left standing on our own in a corner of the school yard. We've been told, from an early age, that God needs to approve of us - we need to make him happy. Has it ever occurred to you that, given that God may well have created you ("in His own likeness" according to the Bible), you may not need to earn his approval? And has it ever occurred to you that the approval we seek from so many people is often superficial, transient and of no lasting value? Have you ever stopped to think that you might be addicted to approval - that you need the approval of others to feel better about yourself?

Approval is the most addictive drug going - more addictive than crack, harder to give up and at least as destructive. It's destroying your life here and now - because your craving for it keeps confirming to you that you need other people to make you feel better because, underneath it all, you mustn't feel 100% good about yourself.

You shouldn't waste your time or valuable energy wondering what other people think of you. They don't they're too busy wasting their time and energy wondering about what you think of them! As a result, nobody is actually investing their energy in what it is there supposed to be doing in the here and now - your energy is slipping away into the weird half-life of approval seeking and, as a trade, approval giving. You need to start approving of yourself. You need to stop forfeiting your happiness to the whim of normal people who seventy years psychological research has proved are stark, raving crazy. Yes - they're crazy because they only invest 1% of their energy in the only place and time that they have - the present moment. Rather, they invest their energy in worrying about their perceived inadequacies, wondering if they've successfully managed to conceal those inadequacies so that others will approve of them, wasting their time papering over the cracks of their perceived inadequacies with other people's approval. It's a sick and destructive waste of your time and energy.

If you really do want to make a good impression - it could be the girl or guy who really turns you on, it could be to get that all important job or promotion (but let's forget about constantly trying to gain the approval of so-called friends - really acquaintances who happen to be in the same mutually approving circle of normal crazies) - then you'll never make that good impression if part of your energy is observing "how am I doing?", worrying about whether or not you're making that good impression, or trying to not be yourself. That kind of nonsense is transparent - often even to the normal crazies. In other words, if you're worrying about making a good impression, you're not! As I said, start approving of yourself. Your perceived inadequacies are just that - perceptions. The God your trying to please created someone perfect - it's just that, during your so-called formative years, other people made an impression on you for better or for worse - mostly for worse because there's loads of research that proves that normal people find it easier to believe the bad stuff. You need to start getting to know the real, perfect, you - beyond the nonsense noise in your head that tells you that you need others' approval.

Unfortunately, the normal person never gets to know the real them. The noise in their heads - the stuff that tells them that they need to better themselves, the stuff that tells them how much they need their latest fix of that drug called approval - stops them from getting in touch with their inner power. But anyone can unleash that inner power, anyone can approve of themselves, once they know who they really and truly are and what they're capable of being.

In other words, you need to stop the noise in your head. Five minutes each morning will begin that wonderful journey. Five minutes "meditation" - I've put the words in inverted commas because many people misunderstand meditation - very often, it is most misunderstood by those who meditate. Meditation, in its most practical form, enables you stop the noise, turn your attention away from the programming of your personality that has disabled you from being your true self. Five minutes each morning of calming down, of being present, will enable you - enable you be all that you can be. It will enable you approve of yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton an ex-accountant and ex-senior banker, has worked in "personal development" since 1996, enabling business leaders, sports people and ordinary people understand how state of mind creates success (or failure). They describe the results as 'unbelievable' and 'life-changing'. Willie and his family moved from Ireland to French Alps in 2002. More information at