You cannot gain God’s approval by trying to gain His approval. You can only gain God’s approval by accepting he has approved you by Christ’s death and resurrection.
You cannot be acceptable to God by trying to be acceptable to God. You can only be acceptable to God by accepting his acceptance of you in Jesus.
You can only gain his approval by accepting (believing) that he has already approved you. (As he has done in Christ crucified and resurrected.)
CONVERSELY You will earn God’s disapproval if you try to earn his approval in any way at all. We are the ones out on a limb. His acceptance of us is a free gift through the cross. This is how he wants it to be, it is all purely and simply a gift. If you treat your position before him in any other way after he gave his son for this very purpose, to set you completely free, then you may earn his displeasure. [speaking from an earthly point of view].
To quote from Star Wars Yoda, “Do, or do not – There is no try”. God’s favour is not found in “trying”. It is found in “believing”. And believing he has dealt with and removed your sin completely and utterly. [believe or believe not].