When it comes to acceptance, the best place to start is with ourselves. So how do we become more self-accepting?
When we are self-accepting we are able to embrace our whole-selves, not just the positive parts. Because of this, our self-acceptance is unconditional. We are able to recognise our weaknesses and limitations, however, these don’t affect our ability to accept ourselves. In short, the easiest way to accept ourselves is to stop judging yourself…I know that’s easier said than done.
An added bonus is that in the act of cultivating more self-acceptance we create more self-compassion. This is all about admitting you are good enough and that you are enough, just as you are. You can accept that you are a human being – capable of moments and acts of brilliance and moments and experiences you would like to forget. Yes, there are times when you will need to critically review your actions but you choose kindness, not to beat yourself up. You accept yourself without judgement.
3 ways to become more self-accepting
It sounds great doesn’t it…but how do you become more self-accepting? Here are three exercises you can try:
- Name two situations in which you tend to judge your whole self. What could you tell yourself in these two situations to help you unconditionally accept yourself, despite any mistakes you may make or flaws you may possess?
- Practice applying unconditional self-acceptance to others. That is, practice only rating their behaviours and traits as good or bad, but never them as a whole person. This is Unconditional Positive Regard
- Rate yourself out of 10 with regard to the degree to which you live by the principle of unconditional self-acceptance. Are you satisfied with your rating? What rating (if any) would you prefer? If required, what would it take to get to the next rating?
Accepting yourself isn’t selfish
When you start to accept yourself, you become happier in the long term (and sometimes immediately!). It also acknowledging yourself in the moment, saying to yourself “this is who I am right here and right now and I’m fine with that”. Self-acceptance means holding yourself in compassion, knowing that where you are now is just the starting point of more great things coming into your life. It is a journey and it is likely to change as you grow and develop.
You don’t have to beat yourself up anymore. You don’t have to knock yourself down. If there’s something in your life that you’re unhappy with and you can change it, then put an action plan in place. If there’s something you’re not happy with that you cannot change, it’s time to make peace with yourself.
Once you accept the fact you aren’t perfect, then you develop some confidence – Rosalynn Carter