Let Go of the Need for Approval and Embrace Your Authentic Self

In a world where social validation often feels like the ultimate currency, the courage to be disliked can be a powerful liberator. The book “The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga explores the philosophy of Alfred Adler, a well-known psychologist and founder of Adlerian psychology. The book challenges readers to let go of their need for approval from others and to embrace their true selves unapologetically.

Understanding the Importance of Individuality

Adlerian psychology emphasizes the importance of individuality and subjective experiences in shaping one’s perception of the world. According to Adler, each individual has a unique perspective that influences how they navigate life’s challenges and relationships. By acknowledging and accepting this individuality, one can cultivate self-acceptance and inner strength.

The Tyranny of Social Comparison

Social comparison is a common phenomenon in today’s digital age, where individuals constantly measure their worth and success against others. This perpetual cycle of comparison often leads to feelings of inadequacy and the desire for external validation. The book challenges readers to break free from this tyranny of social comparison and instead focus on their inner values and beliefs.

Embracing Imperfection and Growth

Perfectionism is another common trap that impedes personal growth and self-acceptance. The fear of making mistakes or not meeting societal standards can paralyze individuals from pursuing their true desires and passions. Embracing imperfection is a key theme in “The Courage to Be Disliked,” as it encourages readers to embrace their flaws and failures as catalysts for growth and self-discovery.

Overcoming the Fear of Disapproval

The fear of disapproval often stems from a deep-seated desire to be liked by others. This fear can inhibit individual authenticity and lead to a life driven by external validation rather than internal fulfillment. By confronting this fear head-on and embracing the possibility of being disliked, individuals can reclaim their power and autonomy in shaping their own narrative.

Finding Freedom in Self-Validation

True freedom lies in the ability to validate oneself without seeking approval from others. This journey towards self-validation requires introspection, self-awareness, and a willingness to challenge societal norms and expectations. By cultivating a sense of inner worth and acceptance, individuals can break free from the shackles of external validation and live authentically.


Q: How can I overcome the fear of being disliked by others?
A: Recognize that not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Focus on being true to yourself and surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are.

Q: Is it important to seek approval from others?
A: While validation from others can be affirming, true fulfillment comes from self-acceptance and self-validation. Strive to prioritize your own values and beliefs above seeking approval from others.

Q: How can I cultivate self-acceptance and authenticity?
A: Practice self-reflection, engage in activities that bring you joy, and embrace your imperfections as part of what makes you unique. Surround yourself with supportive and understanding individuals who encourage your true self.

Q: What role does social media play in the need for approval and validation?
A: Social media can amplify feelings of inadequacy and the constant need for approval due to the curated nature of content shared. Limit your time on social media, curate your feed to include positive influences, and remember that what is portrayed online is not always an accurate representation of reality.

Q: How can I shift my focus from external validation to internal fulfillment?
A: Practice mindfulness, journaling, and self-care activities that nurture your sense of self-worth. Surround yourself with positive influences and engage in activities that align with your values and passions, rather than seeking validation from external sources.


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