Are you in a prison of your own making?


‎"Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner" Tao Te Ching. Whose prisoner are you?


In business we need to seek approval- in terms of what we do, we need our customers to like it enough that they want to pay us for it. This is a good, positive thing.

However, there will always be times, especially when creating innovative projects that many people will tell you that what you're doing is wrong.  If it's not been done before, plenty of people will tell you it can't be done. 

Or you may receive negative feedback on things that you already have done. Roll with it- the most successful people in the world attract the most amount of criticism. 



But whatever you do, don’t allow the seeking of others’ approval, or receiving the disapproval of others to imprison you in mediocrity.  Go out and do it, whatever it is, and you’ll learn from the experience.  Implement your learning and you will be able to achieve greatness much more than if you were to stay trapped, waiting for that pat on the back, which may never come! 

Pre-approve yourself, give yourself permission to break boundaries, tread new ground, create new business.  It's only you that can ultimately make the difference to your business, no amount of approval from others is going to get the things done that you need to do to create success in your business.  


Which areas of your business are you going to break out of your self imposed prison? 


What things are you seeking approval for, that it's time you gave yourself approval for? 




Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Jon (Friday, 25 November 2011 23:10)

    Nice post Claire. Immediately reminded me of the famous Henry Ford quote: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

    I think it is worth acknowledging that people who work for themselves can afford to push more boundaries, follow their instincts and ignore established wisdom/convention as much as they wish.

    People working in a tight corporate environment won't last long if they don't allow themselves to be constrained by established and necessary checks and balances, which of course often means imposed approval processes.

  • #2

    Claire Boyles (Saturday, 26 November 2011 10:45)

    yes, that's a great quote, definitely one of my favourites!

    You're right of course, working within corporations, despite them "promoting" innovation, actually, for the most part stifles creativity and out of the box thinking. By nature we seek to be approved by others, and this is a good thing, it helps us develop bonds and builds relationships. When we have good healthy relationships we are much more likely to succeed in life, having the network of support makes us "better".

    However, when this network of support becomes constricting, not allowing us to be "different" from the group, lest we attract criticism, that's when it becomes a prison.

    Organisational culture is THE thing, more than anything else that will determine performance, of individuals and of the organisation as a whole.

    Those who have chosen to step outside the corporate environment are the new entrepreneurs. The crazy ones, the misfits, the innovators. It's these people that Success Matters are working with, changing the way the world does business; creating the support for individuals that is flexible enough to encourage genuine creativity and innovation, at the same time as providing the support that is vital for ultimate performance. We cannot perform at our best in a vacuum.

    I for one, am very excited about what we're creating here :)