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Major Must #1: APPROVAL

I must be approved of by others to be worthy.


Need: acceptance, belonging
Fear: judgment, rejection
Demands: I expect myrself to perform well and win approval from all significant others at all times, and if not I
am a failure, unworthy, and deserve to suffer.

Symptoms:
• Places unrealistic expectations on oneself
• Over-concern with what other people think
• Achievement and popularity determine self-worth
• Self-critical, lack of self-acceptance
Emotional Consequences
• Depression, feeling not good enough, unable to express or embrace true self
• Anxiety, worry about what others think, being judged
• Low confidence, feeling bad about yourself, others disapproval means we are bad, can’t
be yourself
Behavioral Consequences
• Risk-avoidance, for fear of being judged for failing or being different
• Shyness, for fear of being embarrassed
• Procrastination, for fear of failure, judgment, risk
• Unassertiveness, for fear of rejection or criticism
• Workaholism, in order to gain approval

REPLACE WITH THIS RATIONAL BELIEF:


I have value as a human being simply by being my authentic self, and I desire love only from
those who appreciate me and recognize the good in me.

False Sub-Belief: I need love and approval from EVERYBODY.


Consequence: Stifling of true self, lack of self-love and self-respect.

Truth:
• What matters most is self-acceptance, authenticity, and unconditional love from only the
most significant others.
• Everyone has different tastes and preferences and it is impossible to be loved by
everybody.
• By doing what others want or expect in order to gain approval, you are giving away your
power to choose how you want to live your life.
• Trying too hard to be approved of has the opposite effect and others will not respect you.
• It may not be pleasant when other people do not like you, but the truth is that it isn’t fatal
and it doesn’t really make a real difference in your life.
False Sub-Belief: I must be successful, intelligent and competent in all areas.
Consequence: Preoccupation with proving adequacy, even it if means looking competent when
you’re not.

Truth:
• It is totally natural to be better at some things than others. It is okay to not be good at
something.
• You can improve any ability (including intelligence) if you put effort into improving.
• Being afraid of being bad at something you hold you back from trying new things that
you’re not already good at.
• Failure is a necessary part of growth and improvement.
• Focusing too much on being successful in order to impress others means you are taking
time and energy away from things you may care more about.

False Sub-Belief: I must be dependent on other people because they are stronger than I
am, and I can’t depend on myself.
Consequence: Leads to unhealthy relationships that burden others and creates attachment based
on need rather than genuine love. Doing only what you need help to do actually limits your
potential because in most cases your need to depend on others actually holds you back from
doing more.

Truth:
• It is true that we all need others to help us learn and to support us during challenging
situations, however support from others is meant to be temporary and only as needed,
with the goal of helping us get to a place where we are caring for ourselves.
• Many people are perfectly capable of doing things on their own but they continue to tell
themselves they need others to help them because they are afraid to let go of control of
the other person.
• The more you continue to allow others to do things for you the less skill you will
develop and the lower your confidence will be.
• If you depend on others to feel safe and confident, there will inevitably be a time they
cannot be there for you, which actually makes you less safe and confident than you
would be if you relied on yourself.

False Belief: My past has made me who I am and will continue to define my future.
Consequence: Continuing to live patterns that do not serve you and failure to reach your
potential due to unwillingness to take responsibility for your life.

Truth:
• When you were younger, you did not understand what was happening, and therefore it
impacted your behavior automatically. However, now you have the ability to think
about your past and present differently and choose to act differently.
• When you were a child, you had no control over what happened in your life, however as
an adult you do have control over the decisions you make.
• The past is simply a memory in your mind and has absolutely no way of literally
influencing your future. If you are continuing to experience situations that existed in
your past that you do not want, you have the option to change them.
• It is true that your past experiences influenced your belief systems, behaviors, and
situations you experience in your life today, but now that you know you have a choice
all of those things can be changed going forward.