The Approval Fix: How to Break Free from People Pleasing
Joyce Meyer, communicator extraordinaire, has penned a lovely yet power-packing punch of a gift book, THE APPROVAL FIX: How to Break Free From People Pleasing. This new book is small in size only. Meyer has composed a work that everyone struggles with overcoming --- that of people pleasing. From the outset, she explains why this troublesome (and frequently life-long habit) can destroy lives from the inside out. She discusses how being enslaved to the words of acceptance of others can literally destroy one’s life because some folks will do anything to receive a single word of affirmation and praise.
Meyer, whose style is straightforward straight-talk, consistently words her messages in a way that readers take notice and then take action. This particular book is no exception. She opens this mighty pep talk with the promise that if readers take hold of the truths presented here, they will be set free from insecurity, rejection and fear, and transformed into a person characterized by confidence, acceptance, love, peace, joy and strength.
"Meyer offers her readers practical help, emotional support, and lots of spiritual truth to turn their lives over to God and start living a life of freedom."
Working within the framework of five key parts, Meyer focuses on helping readers change their lives by equipping them to accept who they are; break the approval addiction; put an end to people pleasing; find freedom from comparison, rejection and control; and finally, move into a great future. Each chapter opens with the story of an individual who is struggling with people pleasing, and Meyer depicts how this addiction is compromising their lives. From the outset, she shares that what we might believe is “successful” is quite contrary to what God’s Word tells Christians they should model their lives after. Meyer explains that directly from the Bible, God assures His children that He loves them (as is), that they are valuable (as is), that He is on their side (as is), that they will become what they believe in their minds, that God has the right position for them, that they do have a promising future, and that they can learn to like themselves (love themselves, as is).
One of Meyer’s most telling chapters speaks about the misconception that people are responsible for others’ emotional reactions for the decisions they make. Not so. Meyer tells about her own struggle with taking responsibility for other people’s reactions. If they were unhappy, she felt she must do something to make them happy. The same applies to disappointment, anger and sadness. She relates that she was in bondage to the emotional reactions of everyone around her. Finally, she recognized that it is not anyone’s responsibility to make another person happy, and the longer she made the attempt to change and control circumstances for others, the longer she was prevented from obeying God’s will for her life.
Readers will resonate with this all-too-common ailment that prevents folks from inner freedom and outer fulfillment of what God intends for them to be and achieve. Like Meyer states, no one is immune from the desire to people please, but you don’t have to stay mired in that state either. Meyer offers her readers practical help, emotional support, and lots of spiritual truth to turn their lives over to God and start living a life of freedom.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on June 20, 2014