Authenticity versus Approval

Reading and listening to Gabor Maté recently he spoke about the tension we all try to navigate between authenticity (being true to ourselves) versus approval (changing ourselves so others like us).

Today I had the opportunity to fit in and go with the opinion I thought I needed to have or be true to myself and speak the truth.

I chose the authentic route and felt the benefit straight away as the conversation developed to a deeper level that earlier in the conversation.

I think we have to remind ourselves of this tension and remind ourselves of who we are.

We often lose this sense of self and bend to others and what we think others want us to be.

I often hear in coaching conversations how we struggle with needing this approval because we do not approve of ourselves and what is important to us.

What helps is spending time on your own.


Reading and expanding the perspectives we come in contact with.

Listening to our bodies and the feelings we experience when we notice discomfort or tension – that’s usually a sign we’re not listening to ourselves.

Does this sound right to you? What do you think?

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