120 Inspirational Quotes About Not Seeking Approval and Validation

These wise approval quotes will show you the deeper meaning behind seeking validation.

These inspirational quotes will help you avoid one of the most exhausting things we do in life: constantly seeking the approval of others.

Seeking approval for the things that we do is something that is hardwired into our minds, even from an early age.

Oftentimes, the approval we are seeking is from loved ones and respected adults, like our school teachers.

A kind word of encouragement, or a sign of disapproval, can have a profound impact on us at this time.

We’ve gathered some thought-provoking approval quotes so that you can look at the deeper meaning of this action.

Healthy and well-developed individuals have come to realize that, ultimately, what matters is that they approve of their choices.

Most of us have work to be done to get to that point and to stop seeking the approval of others, especially on social media sites like Facebook.

Toward that goal, here are some wise approval quotes and what it means to seek validation.

Motivational Approval Quotes

1. “A motto of the human race: Let me do as I like, and give me approval as well.”- IDRIES SHAH, Reflections

2. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”- CONFUCIUS, Wisdom of Confucius

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3. “Approval is a lover who will always break your heart.”- SAMMY RHODES, This Is Awkward

4. “Life is too short to waste time waiting for other people’s approval on how you live it.”

5. “Note that acceptance is different from approval. Acceptance is simply saying, “It is so.” ― MARGIE WARRELL

You will also enjoy our article on jealousy quotes.

6. “Do right, and public approval will follow; either the next hour or the next century.”- J. C. LETTSOM, attributed, Day’s Collection

7. “Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.” – SUZY KASSEM

You will also enjoy our article on self esteem quotes on confidence.

8. “He who seeks only for applause from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.”- OLIVER GOLDSMITH, The Good-Natured Man

You will also enjoy our article on quotes about being strong.

9. “The named it Ovation from the Latin ovis, a sheep.”- PLUTARCH, attributed, The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

10. “Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people.” – MARK TWAIN, Corn-Pone Opinions

Approval Quotes that will change your mind

11. “I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”- JOHANNES KEPLER, attributed, The Radical Humanist, 1969

You will also enjoy our article on perception quotes.

12. “The people who receive the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it–so technically, if you want the approval of others, you need to stop caring about it.”- WAYNE W. DYER, Your Ultimate Calling

You will also enjoy our article on compassionate empathy quotes.

13. “Do not trust to the cheering, for those very persons would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.”- OLIVER CROMWELL, attributed, The New Speaker’s Treasury of Wit and Wisdom

You will also enjoy our article on self acceptance quotes.

14. “The conformist is filled with the need for approval. He can never get enough. He runs from one person to another seeking compliments and endorsements for his behavior and actions. As a child, he turned to parents and teachers; when he started to work, to his boss and fellow workers; in marriage, he turned to his mate. He must always have someone around to pat him on the head and tell him he is doing a good job. This bolsters up his poor self-esteem.”- ROBERT ANTHONY, The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence

15. “We’re high on the adrenaline of feeling, even though we know it’s fleeting and evanescence. And we’re getting worse — checking texts and emails and Facebook every five minutes, always searching for that next hit of feeling, that next morsel of approval.”- DEBORAH MEYLER, The Bookstore

16. “Don’t seek approval. This may be the toughest suggestion for you to follow — and the most important. Whether you’re a teenager seeking approval from your peers, a middle-aged parent seeking the approval of your kids, or a man or woman seeking the approval of a partner, it all amounts to the same thing. You’re giving your personal power away every time you seek validation from someone else for who you are.” – TRISH MACGREGOR, Soulmate Astrology

17. “Not all approval is good news and not all disapproval is bad news. Imagine that you meet somebody and you think that he likes you. You wonder why. Then it dawns on you that he is a taker and that he probably likes you because he sees that he can take advantage of you. You realize that he approves of you for a rather unflattering reason. When you think through the meaning of this approval, it feels more like a criticism than a compliment.

18. Well, what if we turn this scenario around: you meet somebody and you think he doesn’t like you. You wonder why. Then it dawns on you: this person is threatened by your intelligence. You realize that his dislike of you is actually an indirect compliment. This disapproval confirms to you something that you do value about yourself.

19. My point? Evaluating yourself solely on the basis of others’ approval or disapproval can be misleading. The mere fact of others’ approval or disapproval of you is meaningless unless you understand and agree with the reasons behind others’ evaluations of you.”- PAVEL SOMOV, Present Perfect

20. “Once we realize that the wish for love and approval is a universal motivator, we can begin to dance with the flow of love by helping others to meet that need through their connections with us. And as we help others to meet those needs by being with us, the positive flow of giving Love comes back to us.”- PERRY WOOD, Secrets of the People Whisperer

You will also enjoy our article on John Proctor quotes.

Approval Quotes to inspire and teach

21. “Acceptance is approval, a word with a bad name in some psychologies. Yet it is perfectly normal to seek approval in childhood and throughout life. We require approval from those we respect. The kinship it creates lifts us to their level, a process referred to in self-psychology as transmuting internalization.

Approval is a necessary component of self-esteem. It becomes a problem only when we give up our true self to find it. Then approval-seeking works against us.”- DAVID RICHO, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving

“Seeking approval of others is typically a good indication that we’ve been shortchanging our potential for greatness.”   

22 “Why, as women, are we constantly seeking approval of others for everything we say and do?”

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23. “Seeking approval of others is not living.”

24. “Some of y’all only act and aspire to do things because you’re seeking approval of others. That’s what makes you and I different.”

25. “Seeking approval of others and listening to the opinions that don’t resonate with you is detrimental to your happiness.”

26. “The older you get, the more you realize that seeking approval of others is a total waste of time. Being at peace with God is the key!”

27. “Seeking approval of others is away to avoid how deeply we disapprove of ourselves.”

28. “Courage requires that you follow your heart, do what is right and not be distracted by seeking approval of others.”

29. “Funny how my world improved immediately when I stopped seeking approval of others and began approving of myself.

30. “Fill all the emptiness in your day with God instead of seeking approval of others. Then receiving love from others becomes the overflow.

31. “Stop bartering away your body, heart, energy and time, seeking approval of others.

“Seeking approval of others…Have you no mind of your own?!”

Approval Quotes to elevate your mind

“How much does it cost,

To win your approval?

Will it be money well spent?”

CLARA MARIE MITCHELL, ‘Friendship’, Poems of Reflection: Faith, Life, and Travel

32. “When you are your own best friend, you don’t endlessly seek out relationships, friendships, and validation from the wrong sources because you realize that the only approval and validation you need is your own.”- MANDY HALE, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

33. “Once you get rid of the idea that you must please other people before you please yourself, and you begin to follow your own instincts — only then can you be successful. You become more satisfied, and when you are, other people tend to be satisfied by what you do.”- RAQUEL WELCH, attributed, Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing

34. “We are forever looking outside ourselves, seeking approval and striving to impress others. But living to please others is a poor substitute for self-love, for no matter how family and friends may adore us, they can never satisfy our visceral need to love and honor ourselves.”- SUSAN L. TAYLOR, Lessons in Living

35. “Somewhere in the middle of being driven by “what other people think”, the tension between the desire for approval and the fear of disapproval, are we missing what we really want?”- RACHNA SINGH, Love Yourself First, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016

36. “He’s not a ‘pat on the back’ type of guy and I am driven by the need for approval. He’s a stingy dealer, and I’m a needy addict.”- KERRI K. MORRIS, ‘Resolution Chronicles: the best of 2015’, Chicago Now, January 1, 2016

37. “The truth is, many of us are looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level or another. And often this is disguised by the desire to have someone understand what we are talking about or going through, anything important to us about ourselves. I always thought I just wanted them to ‘get it.’ In reality, I wanted them to get it so that they would be okay with me.”- JADE MAZARIN, ‘Seeking to be Understood: The Need for Approval’, Psych Central, December 19, 2011

38. “The fallacy of approval is irrational because it implies that others will respect and like you more if you go out of your way to please them. Often this simply isn’t true. Would you respect people who have compromised important values just to gain acceptance? Are you likely to think highly of people who repeatedly deny their own needs as a means of buying approval?”- RONALD B. ADLER and RUSSELL F. PROCTOR II, Looking Out, Looking In

39. “Excessive need for approval is typically the result of an overly negative self-image.”- CAROLYN GREGOIRE, ‘This Is The Only Personality Type That Enjoys Being With Narcissists’, Huffington Post, March 14, 2016

40. “Our need for social approval sticks more terribly and irreversibly to us than does a on a damaged Teflon-coated pan.”- RACHNA SINGH, ‘Love Yourself First’, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016

41. “In terms of approval, the Internet is a seductive place. Part of this is because the Internet makes approval feel more tangible. No one in real life can like or star or retweet something you say. The best they can do is laugh a little harder, smile a little bigger.

Not so with the Internet. The approval you feel is instantly measured by how much a post is shared, liked, “favorited,” or reposted. The danger of posting something online for me lies in the way I track its reception like a new iPhone about to be delivered to my doorstep: obsessively and compulsively. I want to feel the rush of approval.”- SAMMY RHODES, This Is Awkward

Insightful Approval Quotes

42. “Most children were taught from a young age to seek approval from their parents for the things they said or did. Since the need for approval, love and acceptance from our parents is strong, we become conditioned over time to seek approval from others as well. Whenever we don’t receive approval from someone who is not our parent, there is an automatic trigger and desire to win it back.”- LAUREN SUVAL, ‘What Drives Our Need For Approval?’, Psych Central, September 20, 2012

43. “Letting the need for approval determine your life has hugely stressful ramifications — look at the rate of celebrity-suicide. Did you know that there is a website called Kevo that tracks the approval rating of celebrities? Imagine the stress of perpetually living in fear that the ratings will go down!”- RACHNA SINGH, ‘Love Yourself First’, Deccan Herald, February 21, 2016

44. “Humans share an innate drive to connect with others. We’re evolutionarily wired to crave inclusion. Eons ago, this was linked with our survival; in prehistoric times, rejection triggered fear. If someone became isolated or was ousted from the group, his or her life would be at risk.

Because the consequences of being rejected were so extreme, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others. In fact, research has shown that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain, which helps explains why disapproval stings.”- MELODY WILDING, ‘4 Steps to Stop Seeking Approval from Others’, Psych Central, October 3, 2015

45. “The affects were subtle at first, a warm feeling when someone liked or shared a column I wrote or commented on a status. The support from friends near and far when we are dealing with a crisis is also a positive way I have experienced affirmation and approval on social media.

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But gradually, I discovered this need for approval that I just didn’t ‘like’ about myself. I started to recognize a nudging inside me. It’s kind of like the way my dogs tap my hand, with their wet noses, when they want food or attention. This nudging was coming from a need for approval of my work and a validation of my opinions.”- EILEEN BENTHAL, ‘The Human Craving for Approval, Played Out In Social Media’, Riverhead Local, November 16, 2014

46. “Tacit approval is real approval; hypothetical approval is not.”- LEIF WENAR, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

47. “Trying to get other people’s approval is not going to boost up one’s self worth. One thing is that you will never get the approval from everyone. While you may get approval from some, others will be turned away. Most of the time trying too hard to get approval from others backfires.”- ED RUSSO, The Pleiadian Papers

48. “The fallacy of approval is based on the idea that it’s not just desirable but vital to get the approval of virtually every person. People who accept this idea seek approval from others, even when they have to sacrifice their own principles and happiness to do so.”- RONALD B. ADLER and RUSSELL F. PROCTOR II, Looking Out, Looking In

49. “Both money and approval are general means of exchange in social interaction, one in economic exchange and the other in social exchange.”- PETER A. BARONE, ‘Plausible Solutions to School Violence and Disturbance in America’, Critical Examinations of School Violence and Disturbance in K-12 Education

50. “If we’re in constant need for approval from other people, it could be a sign that the approval we receive internally simply isn’t enough.”- ERICA FLORENTINE, ‘8 Weird Signs of Low Self-Esteem & How To Change It’, Bustle, December 30, 2015

Insightful Approval Quotes 

51. “You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” – Mandy Hale

52. “Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay

53. A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” – Vernon Howard

54. “You do not need any approval to believe in yourself.”― Lailah Gifty Akita

55. “Once we begin chasing approval, we never stop running. It’s servitude to a thousand masters instead of one to please.” – David Jeremiah

56. “When will you love yourself: that other people’s approval no longer matters?”― Gillian Duce

57. Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.” – Andrew Carnegie

58. “Never trade your uniqueness for approval.”― Joy Marino

59. Needing approval is like saying ‘your view of me is more important than my own opinion of myself’.” – Wayne Dyer

60. “I do not write for your approval and appreciation. I only write for the food of your wisdom, knowledge, and insight.”― Ehsan Sehgal

Don’t forget to also check out these inspirational know your worth quotes.

More validation and approval quotes and sayings

61. “Never forget to value yourself; never seek validation outside of yourself.” – Debasish Mridha

62. “Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.” – Shannon L. Alder

63. “Never seek to please anyone. Seek to evolve thyself.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

64. “You strive to please others, to fit in, and feel accepted. In spite of that, you still don’t feel accepted, and not because others don’t accept you, but because you haven’t accepted yourself as you are.” – Dragos Bratasanu

65. “Dare to ask questions. There are answers to any question.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

66. “True acceptance doesn’t require you to fit in or change who you are. It doesn’t have to be sought; it’s given to you.” – Yong Kang Chan

67. “We all have weakness and strength. I have to fight against the weakness in my personality. Everyone of should fight against the weakness of the soul. Seek to build on your strengths.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

68. “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

69. “Most people think everybody feels about them much more violently than they actually do; they think other people’s opinions of them swing through great arcs of approval or disapproval.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

70. “If you are an approval addict, your behavior is as easy to control as that of any other junkie. All a manipulator need do is a simple two-step process: Give you what you crave, and then threaten to take it away. Every drug dealer in the world plays this game.”- HARRIET B. BRAIKER, Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life

Quotes to remind you not to seek approval from others

71. “A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”  – Mandy Hale

72. “Dignity will only happen when you realize that having someone in your life doesn’t validate your worth.”  – Shannon L. Alder 

73. “The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”  – Mohadesa Najumi 

74. “All bad behavior is really a request for love, attention, or validation.” – Kimberly Giles

75. “Belief in yourself is more important than endless worries of what others think of you. Value yourself and others will value you. Validation is best that comes from within.”  – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

76. “It’s a tragic that we recognized our self worth from external validation.”  – Aditya Ajmera 

77. “Nobody applauds nature, yet she still glows.”  – Michael Bassey Johnson

78. “We do not need the validation from anyone.”  – Purvi Raniga 

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79. “A stark sense of isolation encloses anyone who looks outward for validation.”  – Gina Barreca 

80. “Ready for a harsh truth? Women don’t need your validation. We already have our own.”  – Amanda Lovelace

Inspiring approval and validation quotes

81. “Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free.” ― Lama Surya Das

82. “Approval isn’t necessary. It’s nice when you get it, but it’s not going to stop us from being who we are.” ― Jared Leto

83. “Eventually you just have to realize that you’re living for an audience of one. I’m not here for anyone else’s approval.” – PAMELA ANDERSON, Esquire, Jan. 2005

84. “Man’s desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy (conscience) within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.”- W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Moon and Sixpence

85. “Don’t always seek the approval of others concerning your goals or dreams. Not everyone wants to see you succeed, just because they are not successful.” ― Amaka Imani Nkosazana

86. “When you release yourself from the need for approval and control you can stop punishing yourself and others.” ― Bryant McGill

87. “When your own approval means more than the approval of others, that is self-love.”
― Vironika Tugaleva

88. “If self-validation were our most significant societal measure – we would give trophies to ourselves.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

89. “Before you look for validation in others, try and find it in yourself.” ― Greg Behrendt

90. “The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.” ― Denis Waitley

Seeking Approval Quotes Validation To Make You Accept Things As They Are

91.  “Don’t wait for approval; don’t forget to appreciate the beauties of your life.” — Debasish Mridha

92. “When you do not seek or need approval, you are at your most powerful.” — Caroline Myss

93. “You have real success when you don’t try to impress.” — Maxime Lagacé

94. “Never give anyone approval to upset or belittle you. It is crucial to be self-conscious at all times, because with so much going on, you cannot afford to have others in charge of your own life.” — Gift Gugu Mona.

95. “When you see validation for a life’s work and dedication, it’s a beautiful day.” — Mary Gauthier

96. “When you’re appeasing too much, you might be egotistically over-estimating everyone’s need for your approval.” — Criss Jami

97. “If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” — Lecrae Moore

98. “Validation comes to us in two ways: through trials we overcome, and through the words of older men.” — John Eldredge

99. To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” — Sandra Bierig

100. How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!” — Jane Austen

Seeking Approval Quotes Validation To Help You Be Content

101. “Look inside, without anyone else’s validation understand that you are valuable, talented, unique, and worthy.” — Joe Sacco

102. “Family is the place where acceptance and validation are most needed, but often the hardest to find.” — Bill Crawford

103. “When you lose need and take away the demand for validation you remain free of approval from the outside world.” — Tammy Wooster

104. “Nothing is as empowering as real-world validation, even if it’s for failure.” — Steven Pressfield

105. “You’re learning to be nourished by the love you give, not by the validation offered in response to your giving.” — Matthew Kahn

106. “What makes people weak? Their need for validation and recognition, their need to feel important. Don’t get caught in this trap.” — Paulo Coelho

107. “If you get validation from outside, then suddenly everything you do at home is justified.” — Anurag Kashyap

108. “The only permission, the only validation, and the only opinion that matters in our quest for greatness is our own.” — Steve Maraboli

109. “The logic of validation allows us to move between the two limits of dogmatism and skepticism.” — Paul Ricoeur

110. “When we are looking for validation, that will never satisfy us. When we are looking for affection, for love, a little bit of that will be enough to be complete.” — Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Seeking Approval Quotes And Validation To Minimize Your Worries

111. “If I cared for human approval, I would have been dead long ago.” — Paolo Bacigalupi

112. “People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most.” — Wayne Dyer

113. “Until we accept and approve of ourselves, no amount of approval from others will keep us permanently secure.” ― Joyce Meyer

114. “The only approval you need in life, is that of your positive inner-self.” — Edmond Mbiaka

115. “What do you mean I have to wait for someone’s approval? I’m someone. I approve. So I give myself permission to move forward with my full support!” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

116. “Lean too much upon the approval of people, and it becomes a bed of thorns.” — Tehyi Hsieh

117. “Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” — Laozi

118. “Don’t wait on approval, validation and likes from others – always give yourself the highest of approval ratings and work from there. Hold your head up and be fabulous no matter what!” — Jody Watley

119. “If we are addicted to people’s approval, we will always experience pain when that approval is withdrawn–as it always is.” — Joyce Meyer

120. “Those whose approval you seek most give you the least.” — Maurice Chevalier

However, as we become adults, there is a difference between needing approval for all we do, wanting approval, and knowing that the most important approval has now become the appreciation we give ourselves.

Did these validation and approval quotes help you decide if you need it?

Seeking approval is something that does NOT change throughout our lives.

We still want people to be proud and supportive of us.

We want the pat on the back of a job well done.

Which of these approval quotes resonated with you?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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