Are You An Approval Addict? Inspiration Sauce With Amy Pearson

your heaven is a dangerous place to play inHere’s the next installment of Inspiration Sauce – my new interview series where I delve into fun conversation with some of the most interesting and inspirational midlife women I know.
Women who have touched my life and healed my spirit in some way, women that might do the same for you.
Although I’ll be interviewing herbalists and health coaches for this series, I thought, why stop there?
After all Holistic Hot Sauce is about much more than wellness for our external bodies. Here, I explore my own journey (and YOURS) to healing and wellness from the inside out, and how to turn up our inner pilot lights so we can shine that beacon out to the world.
Inspiration Sauce will highlight women that are blasting their own light out into our (sometimes) bleak world. They are making a real difference – not just in the lives of countless women but to our planet as a whole.
Today I offer you another video interview – and I apologize in advance for the poor quality sound. This is still a learning curve for me!

Busting Out Of The Approval Trap With Amy Pearson

If you had the misfortune to be like me – and found yourself among those picked very last when the kids were picking teams in gym class – well you’ll understand that burning need to be liked, to be approved of, to be picked.

I’m betting that even if you spent your childhood excelling at athletics – you may still find yourself making adjustments to your style so that you can be accepted. And of course this is totally normal. After all as human beings we’re hardwired for belonging.

But for some of us this need to belong gets twisted up along the way. We begin to compromise our true selves in order to achieve a false sense of belonging, one that ultimately will never fulfill that need.

Amy Pearson, a Master Life Coach, has made a study of this phenomenon and she’s even given it a name: The Approval Trap.

As we travel into the midlife years, the Approval Trap can get a lot more constrictive. It starts to feel less like a cocoon of belonging and more like – well – a trap!

I know it has for me, and that’s why I called Amy up for an interview

Although she’s not quite at that stage of life we’d call ‘mid’, she’s closer than she looks. (Really, despite that youthful beauty, she’s not 25! I think that glow has more to do with self-knowledge and understanding than age.)

Although Amy lives right here in Portland I didn’t meet her here. I serendipitously came across her work last fall, when she was spreading the word about her free Approval Trap teleclass.

I had a sneaking feeling that I’d lived my life thus far in an ‘approval trap.’ I had to find out more.

Well, Amy delivered more in that hour and a half teleclass than I could have imagined.

A self-described ‘recovering approval addict,’ Amy shows a pathway out of that constant need to be liked and approved of – and she leads the way by telling her own story of approval addiction.

Check out Amy and I talking about all this in the video below. (Or if you’d rather listen on the go, download the Mp3 here, and put it on your phone or mp3 player.)

You’ll find out:

  • What exactly IS The Approval Trap’.
  • How can you know if you’re stuck in it.
  • Some of the 8 approval-seeking personalities.
  • How moving through her own approval issues changed Amy’s life.
  • Beating the Bitchy Inner Critic (who Amy calls “The Voice”).
  • What does it mean to be ‘radically authentic?’
  • Why perfectionism is not the same as striving for excellence and what is its sneaky agenda.
  • Most importantly…. what are some steps for climbing out of this trap.

(Once again, apologies for the sound quality on this interview. This is my own experiment in overcoming perfectionism! And yeah, we won’t even talk about what that crappy lighting does to my face!)

If this interview and the concept of the Approval Trap intrigues you as much as it did me, you’ll want to take this a step further and listen to the full recording of The Approval Trap teleclass. As I say, it’s pretty awesome.

Click here for access to that free training.

And note: although in the teleclass Amy talks about the approval trap specifically as it manifests for women involved in solo businesses (particularly coaches and healers), this information benefits everyone. “Magnetizing your ideal client” easily translates into magnetizing the people, creativity and success you crave in life.

Amy’s work is geared to women on a mission’– and aren’t we all on a mission in some way or another?

Her free training is an introduction to her 5-week class (called Be Brazen) which goes way deeper into how to drop the approval addiction and become radically authentic.

If this interview has got you charged up to get brazen NOW, skip on over to get the scoop on her class.

And full disclosure – these are affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to sign up for Amy’s full class through these links you’ll be supporting Holistic Hot Sauce and helping to keep the blog posts coming!

Over to you! What’s your take on ‘The Approval Trap?’  Does it sound familiar? Have you ever been in it? Found ways to climb out?
Let’s get a conversation going in the comments so we can all help each other get true to our own selves!


6 Responses to Are You An Approval Addict? Inspiration Sauce With Amy Pearson

  1. Full disclosure: I haven’t listened to the interview yet. I’ve saved the MP3 and will listen in the car later this afternoon. 😀

    I still wanted to comment, though, because it’s such synchronicity that you and Amy are talking about the Approval Trap today. I work with memoir writers, and one of the biggest challenges they need to overcome is the conflict between wanting to please everyone and wanting to tell their story honestly. You’re right, Sarah, that this topic applies to all areas, not just entrepreneurship. I can’t wait to hear what Amy has to say on the subject!

    • Ah, yes – I think recognizing and understanding the Approval Trap would be an amazing breakthrough for would-be memoir writers! It IS a huge conflict and difficult to manage that worry of upsetting people with your writing. I feel it too – even in blogging.

      I hope you’ve had a chance to listen to the interview Sue. One of the questions I asked Amy had to do with how to handle that attachment to the approval of the people I love and respect in my life. So she does give some insight on this – both in the interview and in her longer free teleclass training.

      • Okay, I’ve listened now. Brilliant! I’ve always maintained that perfectionism is the “mother of all inner demons,” but I see now that it’s actually the need for approval. It is definitely wired into us and protects us in many ways. We just get into trouble when we place this need above all others. Great food for thought. I love how Amy has identified the different types of approval-seeking. I see myself in many of them!

  2. In mid life I began to develop a feeling of being trapped or stuck.
    Also of no longer belonging.
    Was this my inner self telling me that it was time to move on from the approval trap?
    Thank you for introducing me to Amy. I’ll investigate further.
    The need to belong is very strong, but doing it for the right people, in the right way, for the right reasons is harder than it appears.

    • I think you’re onto something there Priska! I know that midlife was when my inner self began signaling that I needed to move on out of the approval trap already – and consider what was really important to ME!
      Some might call that selfish – but what I’ve realized is that it’s actually way easier to give fully to others when you are in true alignment with you own inner values. And that takes relinquishing the need for approval from anyone else but your own conscience and inner compass.

      I believe we can still ‘belong’ to a tribe without trapping ourselves in a paralyzing need to be liked and approved of at all times. And you’re right, changing these patterns is much easier talked about than actually accomplished! But you and I are on the path!

  3. The Approval Trap is a strong one! While we may think we want “everyone” to like us, when we test that assumption, it’s not true. The more authentic we are, the more we can connect with the people we want in our lives. We can get to a place where the acceptance we gain is a select group of people accepting us for who we are, not who we think we’re supposed to be.

    One area where I’ve learned this is on my blog. It’s those posts that I’ve written then wonder if I should hit the Publish button. The ones that make me hesitate the most because I think I’m revealing too much of myself or I think I’m being controversial – these are the ones that end up being the most popular with my audience. They would never appeal to “everyone” but I’m not going for that. I’m trying to help my readers.

    Can’t wait to listen to Amy’s teleclass! Thanks for introducing her to us Sarah!

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