Need For Acceptance: The Force Behind Decisions

It is apparent, that from the moment I was born into this world, to this moment right here right now, the single most powerful force behind any decision I have ever made has risen from my need for acceptance.

As I was growing up, I have always been a quiet young boy, never getting into any trouble, just being polite to anyone I met. My parents have been very liberal, not pushing me to follow any particular path in life, just giving me my roots to grow, and wings to fly.

Love has never been lacking in my life. Within my immediate and extended family, love has flowed abundantly.

I guess I’ve never been confident that my parents, relatives, friends and colleagues can accept me as I am.

So is it a surprise that whenever I’m asked to do something, I’m rarely ever able to say no? “What if they don’t accept me if I refuse? What if I’m not accepted if I say what I really think and what I really feel?”

Now I recognise why I’ve always been the quiet polite type – because I find it so challenging to accept myself as I am, that I seek other sources for validation. This usually involves me committing to something that I end up struggling to fulfil.

My need for acceptance has dictated the university course I’ve chosen, the committee posts I’ve taken on within the community, the opportunities I’ve taken on for my career, and all those moments I’ve stayed quiet, just to make sure I don’t rock the boat.

It’s ok, there’s no need for a set resolution right now. All that’s needed it just that awareness to recognise what’s guiding my decisions.

A wonderful resource that has shaped my understanding of the need for love and acceptance is Satyam and Freedom Malhotra’s “Born on the Mountaintop”. See to order your copy – I highly recommend it.

Born on the Mountaintop

Also check out for a terrific film about decision making.

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