A lot of things can hold us back in our work – something they were exploring at The High Calling last week. But this one seemed especially interesting: “how your need for approval can hold you back in your work.”
You’re 25. And when you’re applying for a promotion as a columnist in the metro newsroom, you give the editors what you think they want, rather than writing from that sweet spot that is uniquely you. You don’t get the job; it goes to the woman who was never afraid to be herself.
You’re 30 years old, and you’re afraid to stand up to the office bully, because you “don’t want to rock the boat.”
If you aren’t careful, you become both master and slave: a master at reinventing yourself in the image of your boss, and a slave chained to your own approval rating. And you can see, on the playback, the places in your own history where your need for someone’s approval held you back in your work—and in your whole life. You see how it made you miserable at times, how it kept you awake at 3 a.m. with worry.