Abraham Lincoln once asked one of his secretaries, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?”.
“Five,” replied the secretary.
“No,” said the President, “The answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
Don’t Seek Approval
After reading the story Tail Or Leg, who felt that we are also always in a hurry to answer without thinking. The secretary was in hurry to prove that he can answer Abraham Lincoln’s question. It was so easy. But he never thought that by our thinking Tail is Leg, Tail cannot become Leg.
If we look in our life we are also in a hurry and think that by our thinking that tail cannot become leg, same way by our thinking the present moments circumstances never changes unless we learn to respond to it. We always try to act in a hurry. We never think that before any action we need to learn how to be aware. Learning of awareness cannot be taught by anyone. It’s only our responsibility. To be aware of ourselves we have to watch ourselves all 24×7. Unless we learn how to watch ourselves we cannot become aware of ourselves.
Look back into your life, if we are alone in the room and suddenly you find that from the back someone has come or peeping at you, you become alert for yourself. You try to change your position or try to change your action. Why? As you have become aware of yourself. In this moment two things can be realized, one is that we are becoming aware of ourselves due to others and try to adjust our actions and behaviour accordingly. We stop over here we never think that if someone watch us and we can be aware of ourselves so what is needed is watchfulness. We stop our thinking after changing our actions and behaviours. As we don’t want to take our responsibility of ours. We are happy as we are approved by others. We are always seeking approvals from others. We need approval because then we can strengthen our ego.
What Is Ego?
Ego is also the accumulation of all of the survival mechanisms we’ve learned since birth. For instance, that jerk at the party may have grown up with parents who ignored him until he won a trophy or brought home straight A’s. As a result, he bought into the lie that he is only as worthy as his latest accomplishment or accumulated toy. He’s spent his life trying to earn the respect of everyone he meets, even strangers at parties, perhaps never pausing to become aware of the ‘why’ behind his actions.
We cannot fight with darkness but we can bring the light and darkness will disappear. Same way we cannot fight with ego and till the time ego is there we will seek for approvals. Only thing we can do is become aware of ourselves. Once you become aware of yourselves your ego will disappear and you will not seek others approvals.
Learning from story Tail Or Leg: Don’t Seek Approval
How to Let Go of the Need for Approval:
It usually starts out as a logical tactic. We gain others’ approval, make them happy for a moment, and feel pretty good about ourselves. It seems like the perfect path to take — and it’s one we can continue on for many years, believing it’s reducing our anxiety about disapproval in our daily lives. In actuality, it can work pretty well in getting people to like us. We avoid having them disapprove of our actions, and we get to enjoy that nice pat on the back every once in a while. But there will come a time when the constant seeking of approval — the very solution to our problems — will run its course. And that very behavior that brought us so many feelings of accomplishment will become the problem itself.
When we urgently aim to please other people, we’re seeking approval of self from outside sources. And whenever we reach for something in the outside world to give us what we should be giving ourselves, we set ourselves up for disappointment. We set ourselves up to live a life we don’t particularly want, but will fit with what other people expect of us. We don’t dare take a chance on something that may bring on a disapproving stare or rank low on the social status meter. We do what’s expected of us. We do what others want for us and from us. In return, we get their approval. You might be thinking, “Why not seek approval?” Well, the reason is that we only get it at the expense of knowing what we want and being our true selves. When we seek others’ approval, we miss opportunities to learn how to approve of ourselves — even if others don’t.
Why should you ditch your approval-seeking behavior?
As we’ve established, an approval seeker feels the need to validate their own existence by acting like a chameleon and being all things to all people at all times, rather than being true to himself or herself.
The question to ask yourself now is: Are you the kind of person that you look up to?
Consider the type of people you respect most. One of the strongest traits they’re likely to possess is that they are true to themselves. They stand up for their rights, defend their opinions, and live by their own beliefs.
How ironic is it that your own desperate need for approval results in behavior which prevents you from gaining the respect of others and therefore from being the type of person you admire?
Sure, getting the approval of others is great, but the way to go about it is by having self-respect and actually liking yourself for who you are.Tags: Don’t Seek Approval