Recently I got a call from my friend Lorna. She sounded quite excited. While reading The Freedom Zone she discovered that her negative self-talk or Imagined Truth belief was, I’m worthless. Seeing this was beginning to help her understand why she felt such a loss of Freedom with her family.

Over the years, conversations with Lorna invariably included her venting about her sisters for one reason or another and would always end with the same complaint, My sisters always ask for my advice but never do what I suggest; then, when things go wrong I have to clean up their mess and they never ever thank me.

In Lorna’s mind, no matter how much she did for her sisters, she didn’t feel they appreciated her. This made her very angry and frustrated, even secretly resentful towards them. These feelings were further fueled by her experience at work which was the polar opposite—colleagues regularly sought her out for her advice and seemed to respect and value her opinion. So, when I got her call, I was looking forward to hearing the details of what she was uncovering.

Here is what she shared.

One of the ideas from The Freedom Zone book that stuck with me is that, Other people don’t make us angry or sad or upset. Something happens and we react to it. We are triggered by our Imagined Truth and we get ourselves angry or sad or upset. So, I decided to apply The Freedom Zone inquiry to what was going on with my sisters. As part of my inquiry, I started looking at other areas of my life to see where else I experienced this need for approval from others. I noticed something I was totally unaware of. The positive feedback I get from my co-workers is something I need. When I don’t get it, I don’t feel confident and question whether I deserve to be in the position I am in. That’s why I feel almost compelled to get additional training, do extra projects so that I get their validation. Imagine how shocked I was to see the similarities between my experience at work and with my sisters.

What Lorna has begun to see by doing The Freedom Zone inquiry (awareness process workbook available in the book) is she is always trying to prove her her worth. While being valued and appreciated is important, it needs to begin within. So long as our worth is linked to how others view us, we will do things to get their approval. If we don’t get it, we end up being upset, angry and resentful. And there is no Freedom.

As we talked through what she was beginning to see, I asked her this question, What might your life be like if you started to value yourself? Lorna admits this is something that she has never thought of before. Interestingly, she has noticed that just being aware of her need to be valued by others has softened her anger towards her sisters. She is continuing her Freedom Zone inquiry with this question and is looking forward to seeing what else she discovers as she begins to live in The Freedom Zone.

Can you relate to Lorna’s need for the approval of others? We invite you comment in the box below.