Constantly Seeking for Approval

I have spent my entire life seeking for approval. Everyone does it when they are young. I know this now because I can watch my nephew go to do something, and he knows it is probably wrong, so he looks at mom or dad to see if they will say no, or smile if it’s okay. As we get older and go through school at various ages, we complete our homework and turn it in to our teachers for approval. Often when we have ideas at a young age, we seek an adult to show their approval for our idea.

As we get older, approval sneaks into every aspect of our lives. Eventually, we as human beings begin to seek approval from many different people, cliques, or organizations. I think the largest place that I have and continue to seek approval from is parents. I have always sought approval from my mom and dad; and still from my dad. This is not all bad, it has kept me in line many times, and out of trouble that otherwise may have occurred.

Recently though, as I become more comfortable with myself and how my thoughts function, I have realized that I am still consistently seeking approval from every being in my life. One can only imagine how much stress this puts on an individual, that is unnecessary. Some of this is me caring for those close to me, but the majority of this is unhealthy.

I have come to find that I seek approval from many individuals because I have an immense fear of disappointment. I did not realize how much I have struggled with this thought in my past, but as I am more honest with myself, I get it.

Suicide is a very tough subject for many. It is a touchy subject for me because of the loss of my mom in 2006. I was twelve years old, and felt very much at fault. This is normal for children of this age in the loss of a parent to suicide. They think they are not good enough, that they should have seen it coming, but even worse, they think “what ifs”. “What if I was there more?” “What if I didn’t upset her that last time”, “What if I would have listened better?” “What if I told her I loved her more”, etc. There are so many thoughts that people struggle with when they lose anyone to suicide. These are just some of my personal struggles throughout this “lifelong” journey that I have encountered.

I think I have problems seeking for approval, too often, from those around me that I care for the most because I am still very fearful of loss. I have encountered so much loss in my life, some particularly painful, that I do not think I can bear another loss. I am constantly concerned about what I say, my actions, my reactions, etc. to those close to me because I do not want to hurt them.

I have upset many people in my lifetime, and apologized many times. Though, I have noticed, that often with me, I take the situation much more negatively than the other party involved. I get so concerned about what other people are thinking, about me, my actions, my words, that I upset myself. This is one of my biggest challenges to overcome because I will always feel like I need to know that things are “okay,” but I can start telling myself this. I am smart enough to know when things actually are okay, and I just need to move on, and when they are not. It is just that habitual constant fear in my mind of losing another somebody that I treasure so dear, whether I lose them physically, or on a social aspect, both are very hard to endure.

As an adult I need to find a way to give my own approval to my ideas, beliefs, and future plans. I do not need anyone to tell me whether I am right or wrong, I have to develop that decision on my own, just with partial guidance. After an apology, I have to leave it up to God to arrange that forgiveness, and trust that it has been worked out, and not rely on being told that everything is okay. I do not think I can truly be happy until I am no longer seeking for approval from people. This is much harder said than done, especially since I have been struggling with this for many years, but I would say it is achievable.

I doubt I am the only one struggling with this concept, which is why I decided to share it. If you have similar feelings, or situations, write about them, and let me know. It is so important in life that we all know we are not alone in any circumstance. Somebody in this world has experienced the same emotional states you have.

Here’s to better days ahead for all.

VP

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How to Practice Effectively, Efficiently and Make It Stick

I like what I have read here, I am going to have to try it! If someone else tries it let me know how it works!

Reed Pros

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Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

by Dr. Noa Kageyama 

Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that you can take a difficult passage, work on it for a bit, get it sounding pretty good, but return to the practice room the next day to discover that you’re back at square 1? That nothing has really changed? And despite how good it sounded yesterday, now it sounds just as bad as it did before you worked on it?

Most of us can live with “two steps forward, one step back.” It’s the “two steps forward, two steps back” that makes us want to tear our hair out.

So what are we to do?

Are we just supposed to keep at it and learn how to be more patient? Or is there a different way to practice that can make these improvements more permanent?

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Blessed and Not Deserving

There are many days that are long, rough, slow and tough. These days make me feel like I am stuck in mud and I wonder how i’ll ever get through it. Though I always make it out, I always seem to return to this stuck position until God comes along to pull me on my feet.

Today, as I am compiling thoughts on the loss of a friend for a speech I am giving on Friday, I hurt deeply. This is not the stuck in the mud feeling I have when I have too much homework or feel like I am not progressing as well as I should be, or weigh too much, or just need to be more on top of things. No, this is a pain that I will experience for the rest of my life with different circumstances.

It’s days like today that I think back on my life and think… How do the days of a lot of homework even compare to these days of loss? They don’t. There are some things in life that are a big deal, and should affect us. There are other smaller things that only seem large at the time, that should barely put any weight on our shoulders.

It’s days like these I think of how blessed I am, that I have my life. No matter what I do with it. When I think school is hard, so what, I am fortunate to be in school, learning and loving what I am doing even though it is challenging stuff! I am blessed to have such a great education, and the people that make that possible. Professors, teachers and my family.

I am truly blessed and deserve none of it. I chose to write this blog, instead of dwelling on the pain of loss, to reflect on how blessed I am to have not lost so much. I am forever grateful for my life that I have right now, that I have had, and what it will be.

I love life and am sad that some did not get to experience the full duration, but am glad to be so blessed that I can look at my life and be over joyed that someone loves me THAT much, that I have all of this before me.

Thank you God ❤

New Found Love

I have a new found love for music recently. For the past 2 years, music has not been something in my life that I couldn’t live without, now, I feel that urge to have it in my life at all times again.

What a great feeling to have. I am loving playing my bassoon again, the sounds I am able to produce, the shaping of lines and phrases that I am learning, the practicing techniques so I can actually make progress.

I thought for the last 2 years, maybe I had hit the point that I wasn’t able to progress musically anymore. Therefore, on average, for the last 2 years (during the school months) I practiced on average 30 minutes a week… Not a day, a week. I hated practicing, I never felt rewarded or musically appreciative when I practiced, so sitting down to do so was very difficult for me to do.

Now that I am learning new techniques on how to progress when I practice, I practically itch to practice! I’ll be working on homework and try to get done as quickly (and efficiently) as I can, just so I can go play and enjoy myself doing so!

This is just in the last week that this has all really set in. I have practiced for 2 or more hours everyday for 6 days in a row. That is a big change, and it is not because I am disciplining myself so, but that I want to go practice because I know that I will leave a better musician!

I am loving music to the point it is the joy of my days again. I feel more complete than ever. I believe that God puts people in your life at certain times for a reason, I have many people along the way that have helped shaped me as you I am for the better, and I keep meeting more. I am proud to say that I am loving my transfer to UNI, I think it was necessary for my musical development, and God knew that and wanted that for me, because music makes me truly the happiest of all.

This is my first blog ever, so it is not very professional, but I have been inspired to start a blog and wanted to start somewhere and I have had this over-bearing excitement over the last week and needed to share it! Go out and live your dream, it’s what I am doing now and it is the biggest accomplishment in my life so far!

-Tori Piper (Bassoonist)