In a perfect world, you won’t have to struggle with your own approval or emotional capacity by not knowing how to navigate it. You will always be alright because your value and worth come from within you, and no external force can shake that.
The real world works differently. Many of us still find it hard to care for ourselves. We think we have to accomplish something first before we can feel whole. So we do everything in our checklist in the hopes of attaining a sense of fulfillment. But in the end, why do we still feel a deep void inside?
That’s when you know you need to work on your emotional wellness and self-discovery.
Author and artist Amber Rae learned about this through her own mess. She shares pieces of her healing journey through writing and art in her recently published book The Answers are Within You. It’s the perfect companion for those who do not know how to start their own healing journey.
Good Girl Syndrome
As children, many of us were not taught to listen to the wisdom within us. We were conditioned to look for permission, validation, and acceptance outside.
So while you were growing up and developing your own sense of consciousness, you thought you had to follow particular standards to avoid disappointing others. You had a fear of speaking out, thinking you might hurt them. Everything you did was to get their applause and approval.
You became the good girl who always submits.
This often leads you to moments when you feel so anxious, but you don’t really know why.
Doing the SHOULDs starts to feel more like a struggle.
If you don’t really know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you’re merely following what others say you should do, you will eventually struggle.
Ask yourself, “Am I doing this from a place of wanting their love and approval, or, am I doing this from a place of self-love and self-approval?”
Make sure that whenever you say yes to others, you’re not abandoning or betraying yourself.
There must be congruence in your internal world and external world—that is, the way you’re looking through the world and the places where you’re committing your time, energy, and other resources are truly aligned.
It’s time you source your love and approval from within.
Amber’s journey to emotional wellness and self-discovery involves healing the mind, body, and soul. This approach comes with 2 Steps.
Step 1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Influenced by the Good Girl Mentality, you may have been asking the wrong questions.
How do I…
- become successful?
- do what I’m supposed to do to please others and make everyone happy?
- not rock the boat?
Amber realized that her healing started with her inner quest and desire to match her outside and inside. She did this by asking the right questions.
- really makes me come alive?
- is meaningful to me?
- do I value?
- are the communities I want to be a part of?
It may be challenging to actually “search for yourself.” You can try to find a career opportunity that feels more aligned with yourself. Such a career could be a mirror to help you better present yourself. You can also travel to different places to open your eyes and help you see parts of yourself.
While these are helpful, the thing is, you don’t have to go out in search of your purpose.
You can sit down and journal.
Write everything that is in your heart—your frustrations, longings, regrets, desires, strengths, weaknesses, just everything. Write down your big questions. What is it that you want the most? Just communicate with yourself and see what comes through. That way, you’ll understand your truth better.
Step 2. Cultivate a Relationship With Your Emotional Difficulties
Culture and society taught us that emotions are either good or bad—that you should feel the good ones and repress the bad ones.
“Don’t be sad.”
“Don’t entertain your anxiety.”
“It’s not nice to be angry.”
“You can’t be envious.”
These emotions are very misunderstood.
Sadness, anxiety, anger, and envy are not essentially bad. These are useful messengers that help direct us to the path of wholeness. If you are to feel only positive high emotions, you are actually cutting off a very big part of yourself.
So instead of avoiding an emotional situation, sit with it and ask, “What is it that you’re trying to tell me?”
Sometimes, anxiety comes along trying to get your attention because something is not in alignment with who you are. Anger steps in to tell you that “it’s not okay; a boundary needs to be set here.”
Learning to understand and cultivate a relationship with your less joyful emotions can wake you up and lead you to the path of tapping the answers within you.
Approval Comes From Within
The love and approval you’re looking for from others, you can give to yourself.
What does listening to yourself unlock? How does your life change if you permit yourself to sit with those answers?
Amber has gone through a thorough process of self-healing, and she desires for the rest of the world to experience it, too. Visit her website at https://www.amberrae.com/ to learn more about her journey and how her writing and art can help you. Stay updated with our latest podcast and other Coachable episodes!