“Care about people’s approval and you become their prisoner.”

-Lao Tzu


This quote really spoke to me last year. It dawned on me that I spent 30-something years of my life trying to get approval from everyone else. I didn’t once think or even know what it felt like to get approval from myself. So many of us are brought up seeking approval outside of ourselves. We dress a certain way to get compliments, we act a certain way to be ladies and proper, we do certain things to be rewarded and so forth. The interesting thing is that you can literally spend you entire life trying to get approval from people and you’ll be completely EMPTY inside.

That was me.

Outside I was this bouncing ball of energy, loving life and bending over backwards for everyone else. I lived my life tip toeing on egg shells around certain people and ALWAYS apologizing for everything. My Aunt Val and my Nannie were the two people in my life that always said, “Amie Jo, stop apologizing for everything.” But I couldn’t. It was so ingrained in my subconscious mind that I didn’t know how to get it out of my head. I know where this came from: my childhood. It’s obvious to me now but it wasn’t so easy to change. Some people go their whole lives seeking approval from others and never realize what they’re doing until they’re in their 80’s and they realize they wasted their entire life trying to please others. Other people see their ‘issues’ but they are too scared to change. I have many people like this close to me in my life. They live in fear without even knowing it. They’re scared of change. They’re scared to look at their ‘shit’ and they don’t know how to sit with themselves in silence for more than 2 minutes becuase they’re too fearful for what might come up. Look, I’ll be the first to tell you that doing the inner work on yourself and trying to change your patterns to heal your inner wounds and reactions and ‘shit’ from your childhood or other traumas isn’t easy. It’s hard. It takes a lot of time and it’s painful because you have to look at your emotions and let yourself cry and release them. Something that most people are too scared to do.

For me, well. I swear to you. If you asked me to ‘sit with myself’ 5 years ago I would have laughed at you and walked away. Why? What a waste of time! That was my mentality. Until I fell FLAT on my freaking face for the 3rd time with my health so badly that I couldn’t get out of bed for 4 months. Yep, when you’re stuck in bed alone and you’re in chronic pain, you’ve got nothing better to do than to start looking at your ‘shit’ or you can just lay there and feel sorry for yourself and play the ‘victim’ role of “Why is this happening to me.?” Once I moved out of that stage, I entered a stage where I started reading mind/body books and understanding how to heal the body through the mind because as we know- the mind controls the body. So, what was it in my past that was triggering my body to be in this fight/flight mode of high cortisol and off the wall adrenals and hormones? Once I sat with myself and figured it out, I sat with those feelings. I cried. A LOT. A whole lot. I think I cried all last winter actually. Yep, I did. I had amazing friends who have all done similar work on themselves and have dove into themselves to figure out WHY they have knee jerk reactions to everything that happens to them or why they have a temper or why they are so angry or why they have anxiety or why they are so nervous or why they feel unworthy of everything in life and so on. Do any of these ring a bell for you? Thought so. We’ve all got ‘shit’ (excuse my French) but we do. We’ve all got stuff lodged in our brains from our past that makes us react the way we do. It’s in our subconscious mind, which rules 95% of our day. Get this: your conscious mind only rules 5% of your day, which is why you will burn yourself the HECK OUT if you try to think your way through everything or push push push. You have got to stop and be still and rest- which is why so many ideas come to people in the shower or when they’re in nature. Let your body go and relax and you’ll see your whole world start to open up. You’ll soon start to see your ‘shit’ and you’ll be free to work on that junk such as ‘anxiety’ and find the root of where it’s coming from instead of freaking out and screaming and yelling at your family when you have anxiety, because that only upsets and traumatizes them. No need to take your ‘shit’ out on other people- even though that’s what we ALL do. That’s life and that’s why we’re all so traumatized from our parents and situations that have done certain things to us. What we need to realize is that we are whole and perfect just the way we are but we can start doing things today to look inside of ourselves to free ourselves and let us go deeper so that our life starts to flow without any drama.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to break my unconscious pattern of saying sorry to everyone for everything or for being Miss Nice Lady all the time (which I later realized through mediation was my HUGE hidden fear of confrontation!!!! Sound familiar? ) but I was determined to do it. And I did. It took time, patience and a lot of inner healing, meditation, getting quiet with myself and learning how to trust myself. A KEY step for any type of healing.

No matter how things look right now in your life, know that you can learn how to trust yourself. I wish I knew how to trust myself 10 years ago when my health journey started but I was too scared. Fear ruled my mind and I was too nervous to listen to my intuition and my body so I just gave my power away to doctors and other people who told me what to do, even though most of the things I was doing, didn’t feel right to me and ended up backfiring.

Also, a little bit of criticism can be an awfully good sign sometimes because that means you’re being yourself and doing YOU.

Lots of love,


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  1. Agree with all you said. Everyone should learn this early in life. I think chronic illness is a calling to find that inner voice. I hope you post more on this topic. I’ve been trying to see my “sh–” but nothing comes to me. Even when I sit in complete silence. I guess it must take some time. Thank you for confirming that this is an important component to healing.

  2. I keep reading this post over again. I am there right now. Just struggling to know how to move forward! But inspired.. 🙂

  3. Spoke straight to my soul. It’s as if you were in my head and putting those thoughts on paper. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Stephanie. So nice to hear from you. It’s all about feeling your emotions from your soul- that’s exactly how I’ve started healing myself. Step by step. Keep going; you’ve got this! oxx

  4. Such a great read. I am on a similar journey and in the discovery stage right now. Was there a book or books that you found particularly helpful in learning how to uncover the underlying inner struggles? I have the awareness, I’m at the stage of dealing with it and moving on. Thanks for your open and honest post. It helps to know I’m not alone!

    1. Thank you Danielle; so lovely to hear from you! I’ll be writing about my favorite books soon. xoxx Keep going; you are so strong!