THE BLOG
06/20/2014 01:11 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2014

Approve of Yourself First: Your Weekly Wake-Up Call to Become Your Greatest Fan

If you hate a person, you hate something
in him that is part of yourself.
What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

-- Hermann Hesse

Do you see "For Rent" signs when you walk around your neighborhood? Sure, if you're looking for an apartment. Do you notice the Volkswagens on the road? Yes, if you're in the market to buy one.

I once contracted a roofer who showed me a page of sample shingles and asked me to pick the color I wanted for my roof. The next day, I walked around my neighborhood and was surprised to find the shingles on my neighbor's roofs were all different! I had never even noticed them before.

Do you even know what color the shingles are on your own roof? You only see in the world what's already inside you.

The same is true for every other person you know, and this is why fretting over disapproval is not worth your time. When you don't get the job, or your call isn't returned, or you get stood up on a date, it means the other person has projected their cumulative life baggage onto you and you haven't passed their subjectively-designed test.

You remind them too much of their older brother who stole all the attention, or their ex-girlfriend who was too needy, or not needy enough, or the teacher who never called on them. Approval is not a reflection of you, but of how others project themselves onto you.

This week, write down one strategy you can implement to be less influenced by the good opinions of others and more influenced by your own life priorities.