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For those who have spent so many years striving to be recognised as good, likeable, or acceptable, I invite you to pause for a moment and look at the consequences. It may have gotten you admiration, yet how long have you felt good for before wanting more? It may have gotten you achievements, yet how long to you feel successful for before thinking about your next outcome and feeling stressed again?

If you think about it, the reward is that temporary ‘high’ we get when we receive the external validation we have so desperately been craving. It may last a few days if we are lucky. Most of our time is spent in stress and anticipation, trying to look perfect, get things done impeccably, and wonder whether we’ve hit the mark. This is the rat race of so many successful people who look amazing on paper, yet spend so much time behind closed doors feeling anxious or depressed. The bottom line is a need for approval and validation, which happens to be something we can very much give ourselves. So as we step into August, take a moment to approve of yourself and feel proud of who you are (without needing to justify it). Know that you will not match the standards of ‘good’ all the time, that’s a part of life, and you can approve of yourself anyway. In fact, during the times you are not matching the standards, or proving something is when the mask is off and receiving self-acceptance would be most valuable!

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