I’ve come to realize that as much as I’ve grown and gained, I still seek approval from others, albeit to a much smaller extent than before. This approval is how I define my self worth.
It’s an old, bad habit.
I can trace this habit back to my parents. I would always do things to try to win their approval, only to be met with a comment about not being good enough, or unsupportive silence. Their constant criticism led to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Yet another example of how they mindfucked me.
At this point, it’s just a knee-jerk reaction. Remnants of my old, insecure self creeping up. I know that one day, I’ll be able to break the habit completely.
Until then, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you.