A Doodle Exercise to Stop Outsourcing Approval
Do you find yourself in an everlasting loop of seeking approval from someone on the outside?
Welcome to the club. The icky yucky truth is we can sometimes never get enough reassurance from anyone on the outside club!
Building an inner committee of support that's always there to remind us that we are:
- doing good enough
- loving and lovable
- imperfectly perfect
It takes time to build our inner committee of support... and I found little creative tricks to help along the way.
The doodle started with a passage in a book... as it often does.
One of my most favorite things to do is read and doodle what I read. I often pick a book at random or based on intuition or my mood. Needless to say the topics vary from day to day, even hour to hour. I love the freedom of doodling what is "coming up" or "relevant" in the moment.
Finding old self-help books at library used book sales or at the local neighborhood mini-library exchanges is like going on a secret treasure hunt for my Inner Child.
The book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay made it's way (again) to my bookshelf in just this way.
In the book, Hay discusses an affirmation she used with people she worked with, "I Approve of Myself." She would ask her clients to recite the affirmation 300-400 times a day.
I know, right?! Yikes!
In doing this each person's inner judge or critic will naturally appear in an attempt to counteract the new message. You can read more about listening to the negative part of us when we use affirmations in my blog: Affirmations Create New Neural Pathways.
As I read the exercise I kept seeing a Thumbs Up to go along with the saying I Approve of Myself.
After all, when we imagine giving (or getting) a Thumbs Up it's generally accompanied with a positive feeling or thought, such as:
- Good job
- Way to go
- Alright then
- You got this
I recorded a Doodle to Connect video featuring my son, Ian teaching me how to draw the Thumbs Up below. You can grab your sketch book and follow along here. (There really is drawing happening despite the laughter.)
So the next time you catch yourself looking for approval from someone else, imagine the image of giving yourself a Thumbs Up and then say:
I approve of myself
Remember, your Inner Critic will try to prove their case on why you shouldn't approve of yourself. They're doing their job of casting doubt so that you'll return to seeking reassurance from anyone who will chime in.
Repeat the affirmation anyway, over and over.
A big part of self-acceptance is releasing other people's opinion.
As we approve of ourselves, whether we totally believe it or not, we begin to challenge the validity of other people's opinion of us.
Here's to building a new neural pathway of self-acceptance!
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