Wow. This post just woke me up.
Its called Silent Approval and its written by Steve Pavlina.
“Suppose your child misbehaves right in front of you, but you say nothing. Or suppose you manage people at work, and you notice one of your underlings making a serious mistake, but you don’t bother to bring it to his/her attention. That’s silent approval.”
At this point, most can agree that this silent approval thing isn’t good. But then Pavlina blew my mind by asking this:
“What problems in your life do you witness often, but instead of consciously dealing with them, you turn away from them?”
To which I answered, “Wow. Everything.”
Oh my goodness. I am suddenly so aware of what a total joke my life is. How many times do I sit around doing the same things, and then complain about them later?
As some like to say, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It was Einstein who coined it, so I guess we can trust him.
The areas of my life which are bringing me dissatisfaction are piling up more and more as time goes by, and very few of them have I actually consciously tried to remedy. What’s wrong with me? Why have I been silently approving these things all this time?
I think I somehow thought that they would change on their own.
“If you want to change the results you’re getting, you cannot use silent approval. You have to begin dictating a new standard for yourself. Whenever you notice your new standards being violated, you must bring it to conscious awareness. Interrupt your old pattern of silent approval with noisy disapproval.”
This is like what T. Harv Eker suggests in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (one of my all-time favorite books). He says that whenever you find yourself thinking a negative thought, think “CANCEL” and cut off the thought then and there.
So often we let ourselves carry on with negative thoughts or negative behaviors that aren’t getting us anywhere – or worse, are moving us backward – without so much as taking notice. They’ve become routine. “It is the way it is” and so on.
But I’m going to actively stay more alert to what I am doing (and thinking) and whether or not it is helping me or making me unhappy. Afterall, as Pavlina says, “Silent approval makes your problems impossible to solve. You cannot solve what you refuse to identify.”
“Silent approval is one of fear’s best friends” – and Fear has outstayed his welcome as it is. He’s years late on his rent and he’s an unfriendly roommate to begin with. I’ve had enough.
Now that you’ve read this post, are you more aware of some things you’ve been silently approving that have outstayed their welcome?