My Two Fathers

Overcoming Approval Seeking Anxiety

By Steve Bains, October 23, 2022

Steve mentioned that approval seeking is a major cause of anxiety today. The approval seeking person seeks approval and cares what others think of them because they do not think much of themselves. This is because approval seekers are relying completely on other’s approval for their self-worth.

Statistics indicate that approval seeking or external validation is on the rise. How might the rise in lone-parent families, instability in the world, and social media effect approval seeking? What might be other factors?

Was there a parent whose approval you longed for but did not get?

Steve mentioned the Characteristics of Approval Seeking Behaviour:

  • Craving Compliments
  • Fixated on Others’ Opinions
  • Personalizing Disagreement
  • Afraid to say ‘no’ for fear of disapproval
  • Adjusting Behaviour to Feel Accepted

Are there any behaviours above that are characteristics of you now or in the past?

Read Romans 5:6-11

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

God approves of us out of his unconditional love and mercy. We cannot earn his approval. How is that evident in these verses?

What are the differences between getting approval from others or our performance, and God?

How might someone who is an approval seeker, shift from seeking the approval of God, rather from unreliable others?

Steve mentioned that the antidote to approval seeking is accepting God’s approval of us. He encouraged us to do the work of transforming by mediating on God’s truths instead of the lies we believe about our worth.

Let’s take a moment to read the seven verses on our own, before we discuss how they reveal God’s validation of us.

  • God made you in his image and delights in you- Genesis 1:27; Zephaniah 3:17
  • He stubbornly loves you even when you are unlovable- John 3:16
  • God is for you not against you- Romans 8:31
  • His plans for you are good- Jeremiah 29:11
  • He has given you unique gifts, talents, and strengths- Romans 12:6
  • You are the apple of His eye- Psalms 17:8

How is God’s validation of us more powerful than that of another person?

If you are still struggling with anxiety regarding feelings of worthlessness, and God’s validation of you, please feel free to follow up with Pastors Rick or Steve.