I hear you. I used to seek out approval from family, friends, romantic interests. And in the end, this caused me to NEVER be confident.
If you’re not currently confident, it’s not the end of the world. But you have to realize the state that you are in is ‘neediness.’ What I mean by that is that you care more about what other people think than for yourself.
It’s not a fun ride to be on. So to get over this, you have to start focusing on yourself. Invest in yourself. Learn more about yourself.
Easier said than done right?
So to become more confident, you have to be active in your life. Read books, take part in social hobbies, work out, travel.
When you focus and invest in yourself, you start communicating subconsciously that you are worthy. The fact that you are out living life and developing a passion for life, you will naturally become confident.
And when people meet you, they will think you are different. They will see you as well-read (even if you only read 10 books in total haha), traveled, fun to be around with.
If you are out seeking approval, you are trying to play life safe and you probably don’t do much. I’m not trying to be mean, but a lot of people who suffer from the same problem you have are pretty quiet and boring individuals.
But you can change, this isn’t going to be an overnight fix.
Read: Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This should be a good start.
Gym: Start working out, go check out Home - Alexander Cortes he has workouts for beginners.
Social hobby: find one social hobby to take part in once a week, like dance, combat sports, rec sports, etc.
Travel: And if you can afford it, find one place to go to by yourself.
Develop a passion for living and you will not seek out other’s approval, because you will come to realize that in your life, you decide what YOU like and don’t like.