Striving for the approval of others, living up to other people’s idea of what you should be is a waste of time if you must change who you truly are. You can not be someone you are not, you should focus on being yourself and growing as a person. Relying on being approved of by others only puts you in a position of being disappointed or frustrated. Sure when you comply and achieve what they see as acceptable you may get a short-lived burst of gratification but then you get right back to trying to earn approval again.
In the end, you just become what everyone else wants you to be instead of becoming who you want to be and who you were meant to be. Do not get me wrong, I do realize you have to accept the fact you must meet standards somewhat in order to exist in society and to make it in the workforce, but it does not mean you have to just hand over your life to either. Be yourself and find your own path to evolve upon, let others learn to accept you as you are, for if they don’t it’s not really acceptance.
Keep your integrity intact, follow your own philosophies but always be open-minded. Never allow yourself to become so rigid you can not see things from other peoples point of view. Accept yourself as is and do the same for others around you, for we all are but human and therefore we all have emotions and are prone to make some mistakes along the way.
The desire to be accepted by others is only natural, but when you have to change the core of who you are or if you have to lose integrity in order to be accepted it is unacceptable. Live with conviction, honor and always be true to yourself.