How Overcoming Approval Addiction Can Leave You Free To Pursue Your Dream Life
By Rachael Barnes
When Leona Burton, CEO of the amazingly successful Mums in Business Association, invited me to write and present a training video on Approval Addiction for their VIP collection I was quite literally gobsmacked!
Weren’t there more experienced people who could do it?
After my initial panic (and two month procrastination period) I thought why not me?
I’d suffered from approval addiction for as long as I could remember and I’d recently overcome it. Who better qualified than someone who has lived through every excruciating moment.
I’d grown up in a small, welsh mining village where everyone knew your business. There wasn’t a move you could make without someone knowing about it and feeling it was their right to pass judgement.
My mum always told us that we could achieve anything we set our mind on but she didn’t believe this about herself. Children take in more than you think and its true that actions can speak louder than words.
When I was a teenager my dad’s business took off and we suddenly had more money to afford nice things. Yet my mum continued to buy her clothes in the sales and although we moved house we only went from a two bedroomed mid terrace to a larger 3 bedroom end of terrace. It was like she was embarrassed that we were doing well and wanted to hide it. It would drive me mad that she rarely treated herself and it’s a trait I’ve found hard to overcome too. I think nothing of spending money on my boys but struggle to spend money on myself.
I knew that if I didn’t break the cycle that my children would be in danger of following the same route.
As a teenager I longed to be a lawyer. I loved watching LA Law and would fantasize about helping some poor defenceless victim transform their life. I wanted to change the world.
So why didn’t I?
I was scared to death that people would laugh or snigger or tell me that I wasn’t good enough. When really it was me that felt they weren’t good enough.
To be honest even the thought of the interview process brought me out in a cold sweat.
And so I became a teacher. Little children are far less judgemental and it seemed like a safer option.
Years later, when the boss from hell and the increasing demands of raising a child with additional needs took their toll, I found that I had no choice but to leave my teaching career and find work that I could fit around my other commitments. I longed to pursue my dream of helping others but I knew that before I could do that I needed to sort out my own head.
With the help of my therapist I discovered that this constant need for approval came from messages picked up from my childhood. Once these were rewritten I cared less about what others thought of me and focused more on what I thought of myself.
I was so impressed with my transformation that I trained in Inner Child Healing myself. I now work as a Confidence and Self Worth Coach and help ladies to overcome their approval addiction too.
My training course on the MIBA VIP explores in more depth the causes of approval addiction and tips on how to overcome it. There’s also worksheets that you can work through in your own time once you’ve watched the videos.
I hope that you find it useful. If you’d like to learn more about working 1:1 with me (in person or via videolink) please feel free to contact me at
Don’t leave it too late to pursue the life you’ve always dreamt about.