In my work as well as my personal growth, I often examine how our fears entrap us in a false sense of imprisonment. We fear expressing ourselves, making courageous decisions, saying no to those who’re abusive to us, standing up for ourselves.… because we might leave ourselves exposed to judgements and rejection. The cost of asserting ourselves and exercising our freedom is the shame and embarassment of being shown that what we do is not acceptable to others.
What is it about being accepted by others that make it such a powerful drive that stop us from living a happy life? Reading this, it may sound ridiculous that we short-change ourselves so readily to gain the approval of others, yet it happens more often than we’re comfortable admitting to. This feared unacceptability can come in various forms – e.g. being told we’re not good enough, being persecuted, leaving someone unhappy.