Approval Addiction

“I enjoy being comfortable because I can cover up my flaws, and no-one can find out who I really am”. What we declare upon our lives speaks volumes about our character. The majority of women today are struggling with low-self esteem, because people do not appreciate their values and are not complemented enough, so they use anything that will fill their void such as money to purchase what they want, and beg for what they need. The approval of what people say to you will have such a consequence that one has to be aware of. In Galatians 1:10, it says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God”. 

Approval 1

In other words, if we depend on what people think about us, we are not true servants of the Most High. In fact, we have lost our self-worth.  The pressure today in our society is becoming too severe that suicidal rates are going up, smoking weed and selling cocaine are increasing, and living a reckless life is getting out of hand. If you decide to wait on what society tells you how to live, you really need a spiritual check up! God knows you better than you and the society does.

Technology on the other hand is going haywire; so many women competing against each other through social media such as posting pictures every week to “observe” how many likes they can obtain on Instagram, not realizing that some of the pictures that are being taken have been airbrushed and edited. Others are requesting for more followers on Twitter. So once they follow you, what next?

The greatest pressure to date is when society puts young people in positions to get rich fast. In order to prevent these things from happening, we need to develop two powerful traits:

1) Self-Control!

2) Self-Confidence!

SELF-CONTROL is the ability to control one’s emotions, behavior, and desires in the face of external demands in order to function effectively. It is the quality that allows you to stop yourself from doing things you want to do, but might not be in your best interest. For example, without self-control you may use fowl language because you are surrounded with people who speak negatively a lot. 

Another example could be uncontrollable eating habits. Personally, I LOVE CHOCOLATE!! When I tell myself I will only take one, just know that I am lying LOL! It can be very addictive to constantly keep having your favorite chocolate bar that you come to a final point and say “I think I’ve had enough now”. Eating too much chocolate isn’t good for you, although it tastes so good. It affects the functioning of your body as well as your teeth. Now let me say this; ladies, you are all responsible for what you allow to enter your mind.

I always used to think that having more money would make me a happier person, but I did not realise that it would just make me the same person. The only thing I could do was to save up. Try to understand this ladies:

“Unless you spend less than you earn, no amount of income will ever be enough! So if you are wise, when you get a salary increase or an unexpected windfall, you will not adopt a more extravagant lifestyle”.

This relates back to self-control because we desire to be financially stable. So how can we benefit from being financially stable if we keep spending what we earn? If you decide to make conscious decisions to open a savings account, and put half of your earnings into the account each month, you will reap the benefits of financial stability. 

Put it at the back of your mind that mo amount of income is sufficient if your spending is not brought under control. I know the pressure for some of us to look good is very expensive. For example, getting your hair done every month or two, doing your nails, going out to dinners and events etc. All these things can be cut down with a DECISION! You can either decide to spend so much on all these things, or you can cut some of it off. Out of all these three, I would prefer to do my nails by myself. Instead of me spending £30 each month on pedicures and manicures, I would rather purchase good quality nail varnish. 

Now, when the Government gets into debt, they simply tax you. But when you get into debt, you are on your own. That is not how God wants us to live. True contentment does not come from getting all you want, but by discovering the blessings you have already been given and learning to enjoy them.

We can enjoy our lives without feeling the need to allow others to tell us what to do and how to spend our money. Why should we live life according to what rules and regulations people set on us? Are they our God? No one should push you to an extent where you cannot make your own decisions. If that is happening to you, you need to question why you are in that friendship. Some people will drain a lot out of you because they gain pleasure from making you feel small. It is up to you to make the decision to run and put your problems in the Hands of God. 

Approval

 

SELF-CONFIDENCE on the other hand describes an internal state made up of what we think and feel about ourselves. This state is changeable according to the situation we are currently in, and our responses to events going on around us. Sometimes if we are not careful, we can allow our past to rob us of our future. Past events should only be remembered when you come out of a terrible situation, for example; when God took you out of that toxic relationship that you thought was going to last. We may have been discouraged from being boastful in the past, but a healthy amount of self-approval is necessary if we are to have the confidence to meet life’s challenges and participate as fully as we wish to in whatever makes life enjoyable and rewarding for us. 

Early experiences are influential to achieving a healthy level of self-confidence. It is all about balance! There are some women who do not feel confident until someone complements them. In my past, I used to buy so many things to make myself feel and look confident, but it just did not work out for me. God had to separate me for something greater. If we are fortunate and had relatively favorable conditions and experiences whilst we were growing up, we are more likely to develop self-confidence. However, if conditions and experiences were mainly negative in our pasts, we are more likely to experience more difficulties in developing our confidence in the near future. Some of the negative messages we have received will have been internalized and eventually become part of what we think and feel about ourselves.

What you say about yourself will affect the next five years of your life. If we constantly live a life where we feel the need to be accepted by the world, we are most likely to be miserable. You will feel so insecure that your social life will decrease, so you hide yourself in your room and cry. Others suffer with severe acne; it can be very painful because no amount of make-up can cover it. We tend to know those who are just staring and not doing anything about the situation. That is a contributor of self-destruction. 

My challenge for you today is “What makes you confident?” You may be lacking in self-confidence who receives a low mark for a university assignment and may think:

“What else could I expect? I am stupid, this proves it, and I might as well quit the degree.”

Someone else who received the same low mark with a healthy self-esteem may think:

“I wonder where I went wrong? I will find out so that I can do better next time.”

Although this person may feel disappointed, she or he will not feel diminished by the low mark! 

Everything that contributes to confidence starts from your mind. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICES YOU MAKE FOR YOURSELF! Someone may tell you that your beautiful, others may say you are average, some may say you are ugly. What do you choose? Now that summer is here, most of us force ourselves to look slim, not realizing that autumn and winter is just around the corner. If you do not have the financial means of going to the gym, use your initiative and cut down on fatty/oily foods, drink lots of water and jog around your local area. Why stress about having a flat stomach when you can do sit ups and home? Are we trying to look good because of society? 

Now when I was 14/15 years of age, I did not have the opportunity to show certain body parts outside, but now, the majority of school children are wearing tank tops to look cute. Cute for who? I don’t understand. Society is messing up our future generation, and it is time to take a stand and use our weapon which is PRAYER! Casting down all lustful desires to fit into this TEMPORARY WORLD has got to stop. Just because a man complements you based on what you are wearing does not mean he is for you. Men lust a lot because of a woman’s body, so be wise when you choose your outfits ladies! 

We can improve our self-confidence in a number of ways. One of the most important ways is to accept ourselves for who we are. Look at your strengths and achievements and compare them to your weaknesses. See what you can do to eliminate your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. We can start by noticing situations which increase our self-confidence such as positive thinking and those which diminish it i.e. negative thinking. By consistently taking notice of our fluctuating levels of self-confidence, we may discover important information about ourselves that we did not realise was already in us. 

We also need to practice self-acceptance; feeling good about ourselves as well as others regardless of our conditions. At the same time, we also need to stop focusing too much on ourselves and try to help others. If we make mistakes, hurt or offend people, it may be appropriate to make amends, but it should not lead to low self-confidence and condemnation. In this way, we may sometimes think it is reasonable to be critical of our behavior and try to change it but without being over-critical of ourselves. This attitude helps maintain a healthy level of self-confidence.

True Beauty

Our true beauty comes from within. It does not come from what someone defines us as. Why would you want to be of the world? Why are you waiting for people to approve of you? Don’t you know that being friends with the world makes you an enemy to God? (James 4:4). We need to be very careful with the things we allow our ears to listen to, and our voices to speak. Being addicted to what society tells us to do will not complete you. It will only make you bitter, more fearful and more competitive. You are more likely to hurt those who love you for who you are, and entertain those who do not have your best interests at heart. #SelfControlChallenge!

Bare in mind that not everyone who smiles with you is your friend. Once you can get that, you will enjoy life much more better, and the Peace of God shall be with you wherever you go. Not only that, you will learn how to gradually develop self-confidence. Sometimes a lot of us struggle to say “NO” for fear of being rejected by a loved one. If that person is drawing you away from God, you have every right to say no. Some friends will only contact you when they are in need. Once they have got what they need, they will leave you in a minute. But do not feel bad because you have declined their desperate needs. Instead, learn to cast all your burdens to God, because He cares for you. Stop being so addicted to the world, and start being addicted to His Word.

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When you are real with God, God will be real to you. No matter how many insecurities you have, or what you are facing in the dark, know that you don’t need to hear the world to determine your next decision. God cares so much about every detail. He wants us to be so transparent and selfless that we can help those around us who are struggling. Even the greatest bully you can ever think of has insecurities. They still want to feel accepted, and that is why they are so harsh towards others just to cover up their weaknesses and downfalls. But there is nothing new in God’s eyes, for He sees everything! He is all-knowing, so do yourself a favour, and stop being addicted to people’s opinions of you. They are only temporary. You are already approved in Christ. 

Lots of love,

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