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Finding Freedom from Approval Addiction

Life has taken on a slower version of myself. A much slower version. No hidden super woman cape these days. Recently my health took a significant turn for the worse. It snuck up on me. Knocking my knees right out from under me. Leaving me wrestling with a fear I had begun to believe I had conquered.

The Fear of Disapproval

Finding Freedom from Approval Addiction - Fear of Disapproval

I don’t know when it started. Maybe it was at birth. That deep-seated need to make those around me happy. I needed to see a smile to feel okay. The frowns – the looks of disapproval made my heart drop heavily into the pit of my stomach.

Whether it was at home or at school, the guiding force of my life was approval. 

Growing up – sports, activities, friends, relationships and work. It never changed.


hard could I work?

much could I do?

could I hold onto everyone’s approval of me?

Approval addiction lead me down roads I can hardly believe were me. Molding where to buy nolvadex without prescription into what others needed, I didn’t know the value of

“simply me”

Performance was necessary to deserve love. And sadness of the holes within my heart gripped my spirit way too often …

Today I am guest posting at Cord of 6! My friend, Valerie, has been hosting a series all about fear. Fear stops us in our tracks and keeps us stuck. I am so thankful she decided to tackle this crippling tactic of the enemy and I am honored to be joining her today! The fear I’m writing about? Well … it’s the fear of disapproval and my journey toward finding freedom from approval addiction! So click here to follow me over to her resource-filled site where I will share with you what happened to me because I found my value in the approval of others. Maybe, just maybe, it will resonate with you.

I frequently can be found linking up with these encouraging sites.



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  1. Loved your post, Lori. As a recovering people pleaser myself, I can relate and I know that the tips you shared are helpful ones. Praying for you every single day GF!

    1. Thank you so much, Aimee, for the kind words and for the prayers. I treasure them! Us recovering people pleasers need to unite in prayer and battle those lies together!

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Kelly! I pray the words encourage your heart!

        1. I missed you this week, Kelly! A crazy busy weekend! I’ll save both for next week!!! 🙂 Thank you so much for hosting each week!

  2. Lori I used to be a people pleaser. I love now how I only need to please Him. Loved your blog today.

    1. Oh, Debbie, I love comments like these! I am celebrating and praising God for your freedom from the fear of disapproval! Hallelujah, my friend!
      Blessings and smiles,

  3. I’m sure many people can relate to this. I must admit that at one point in my life I had it. I guess it came with being a middle child in my case because you become like the invisible child. I’m glad I’m over it though. Hopping over to the link to finish the article.

    1. Hi Lux,
      I am praising God that you have found freedom from approval addiction! I am celebrating that you are living in freedom, friend!!!

  4. Thank you so much for writing this post. I know that it will minister to many women. Sometimes when you think you are doing well, this fear will stop you in your tracks and make you question where you’re going. So whenever that happens to me, I know I can go back to your encouraging words and start walking again with confidence.

    1. Valerie,
      Thank YOU so much for giving me the opportunity to share these words as a part of your series on Fear! I am believing God is doing great things through your series and building momentum towards freedom for many! I am so thankful God used these words to encourage you, as well! Love you, girl!!!

  5. Great post, Lori, and one so many of us can relate to! Glad you have shed that Superwoman cape and are resting in what GOD wants for you rather than what you perceive everyone else wants from you. Blessings to you 🙂

    1. Hi Laura,
      I am so glad to have put that cape away, too!! Ha! Thanks so much for visiting!
      Blessings and smiles,

  6. Thank you for this post! I didn’t even realise, until a few years ago, that it was not healthy to be a people pleaser. I just thought that was a very loving way to live! lol I have seen such peace in my life since realising this truth, though I still have a long way to go. Thanks again Lori! Praying for your health too xx

    1. Hi Nadine,
      I am so thankful you eventually recognized this trait in yourself. If we grow up that way, it just becomes a part of life and is difficult to notice the difference. I always thought it was Godly to be nice. I didn’t understand the difference between Godly and having a burning need for the approval of man! Thank you so much for visiting and joining in the conversation!
      Blessings and smiles,

  7. I can really identify with this, Lori. I, too, already as a child felt the need to keep everyone around me happy. Jesus’ non-performance-based love has brought me a long way, but I’m still a work-in-progress. I have to keep reminding myself to unplug from the lies and plug into God’s Truth. I, too, feel like I let loved ones down when I can’t do everything I want to because of health limitations. It still tears my heart out sometimes, but I’m trying not to let it make me feel worthless. Thank you for this encouraging post, Lori. May God give you strength and peace for each day, and may He fill us so full of His unconditional love that all those people-pleasing lies will be snuffed out! Hugs!

    1. Hi Trudy,

      I am so happy you visited again today!!! I think I have loved you so much from the start because we have so many thoughts soooooo in common! I’ll be praying we both stay firmly planted in truth! We should hold each other accountable! Your visits bring me so much joy, Trudy. Thank you 🙂
      Much love,

  8. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10. Powerful words. Thanks for sharing with us at the #LMMLinkup.

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Thank you so much for visiting! God’s Word is so very powerful!!!
      Blessings and smiles,

  9. Loved what you share here. I recognize a lot of it. I’m on a similar journey and for me the book that was the catalyst was Jennifer’s Love Idol. What I find interesting though in your story is this fear of seeing unhappiness and disappointment in people: I share that too. I was always the peacemaker in our family of six children, being the oldest girl. I yearned for life to be easier for my Mum.

    What also helped me tremendously was (through therapy and a Christian psychology book) to recognize the first signs of it in my body: I tense up, by clenching my fingers or locking my jaw, as the fear sets in. I have this natural urge to control the situations around me to maintain peace, which I know also has to do with being unable to protect someone I love when I was a child.

    In therapy, I saw Jesus embrace and hold me tight, telling me to get angry and kick and scream like a child throwing a tantrum. And He told me He was also angry. I didn’t realize till that moment just how much I’d repressed my emotions in life. Since then Scriptures have been teaching me to feel again, to express the hurt I feel. By learning to be myself, no matter how “wrong” that feels, I’m learning to accept the love and grace God extends to me, which is also helping me to let go of the fear I feel in response to people’s anger or disappointment. I still have a long way to go, but am so thankful for God breaking open what lay beneath.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is so encouraging.

    1. Anna,

      Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story! Friend, please know I will be praying for you as you continue along this journey of healing. I recently bought Jennifer’s book, but have been so swamped, I haven’t been able to get to it yet! I am receiving this as affirmation that I need to dive into it!!! I love the strategies and the awareness your therapist has taught you. Thank you, again, because I believe your sharing here will reach others and touch their hearts and give them hope!

  10. I think it is normal to seek approval, I know I do but I guess there is a fine line between wanting to please and needing to please all the time. #sharewithme

    1. Hi Fiona,
      Thank you so much for visiting and joining the conversation! I agree. The wanting and the needing are critical differences. Also, I think it’s our reason behind the wanting to please that matters. If we are doing it solely to make someone happy even though it hurts us, is against our belief system, or not in alignment with God’s Word, it is then addiction and not just being nice.
      Thanks again for visiting!
      Blessings and smiles,

  11. ((Lori)) Prayers for your health struggles. Love how God’s been able to heal the hunger for approval. I wrote that book on my books-to-read list. Lovely post, thanks for sharing. ((sweet blessings))

    1. Hi Brenda,
      Thank you so much for your sweet words and prayers! I am finding some relief from the pain and am so thankful! If you get the chance to read that book, it will not leave you unchanged! It’s a good one 🙂
      Blessings and smiles,

  12. Lori, Thank you for sharing your story. While I don’t know what this “addiction” is like because it’s not in me, your posts over the last few months have opened my eyes to how people feel who struggle with this. Thank you! I’m praying for your health, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    1. Hi Lori,

      Thank you for your prayers! I am finding relief from a lot of the pain. They have been doing some nerve ablations to help the pain, and they are working! Praise God! I am also thankful that even though you have never personally experienced this, it has opened your eyes to the struggle of others! That is wonderful!!!
      Blessings and smiles,

  13. My mom is visiting from the states (another Lori) and we literally were just sitting here talking about how we always have to achieve more and do better just for that constant approval wow factor from others. It’s not an easy thing to live with I think we are born with that wanting to please in us. Great points and I am trying to take steps back and realize that approval isn’t everything in life as I get older. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. Jenny, I’m so glad you were getting that time to visit with your mom! What a blessing! It is so difficult to step away from desiring that approval. Especially as women. It fits in with growing up a “good girl”. It’s so great that you and your mom were talking about it though, because I think the biggest step is recognizing what we do! I’ve gotcha in my prayers 🙂