The only approval you need is from yourself
How we think, feel and act based on our psychological, emotional and social well-being. Mental well-being plays a very vital role in how we relate to others and our surroundings, how we fit in and ultimately what role we want to play in the society we are living in.
The long history of cultural practices in the society such as rewarding the winner and neglect the loser, power goes to the rich and the poor obey seem to have set standards of what is success and what is failure. The expectations of modern consumer based society further influenced by messages and information from the media. Some unrealistic standards of beauty, career standard, financial standards keep people feeling insecure. To thrive or even just to survive in a fast-paced, highly competitive material world today, many just trying to be what the society expects them to be. Besides, most people love the feeling of being accepted, validated, approved and being seen in a good light. It is energy draining to be a people pleaser all the time. Slaving ourselves to be who we are not will create a very negative mental well-being where deep down we do not think well of ourselves, losing self-respect, feeling worthless, low self-confident and even feeling depressed.
Of course some of these expectations can serve as motivations to improve ourselves and be a better person. Understand that there are no one in the world without flaws. If we do not accept who we are in the first place, we will not enjoy the process of self-improving. No amount of self-improvement can make up for lack of self-acceptance. We definitely cannot improve ourselves if we continuously seeking approval from others because the only approval we need is from ourselves.