Do you accept who you are unconditionally? Or are you always trying to mold yourself to fit other people's version of who they think you should be? It's not uncommon to feel like you have to put on a different persona that fits who society says you should be. But this shouldn't be a reason to belittle yourself because it doesn't quite fit in with who others think you should be.
Several positive things can occur when you've learned self-acceptance. The primary one being that you begin to gain self-esteem and confidence. If this is an area in your life that you're struggling with the most, then I highly recommend you listen to this workshop by Louise Hay titled, "How to Love Yourself." This is the foundation for getting to know yourself and learning how to let go of your inner critics.
Another great thing you can try is to look for positive things about yourself. When you practice intentionally look for good traits that you have, your self-confidence will increase. A couple of question you may ask to help get started are:
1. What are the things that I'm most proud of?
2. Who relies on me each day?
3. What have I been continuously praised or acknowledge for doing really well?
Celebrate those traits and those parts, and you'll begin to see a shift in your personality. The moment that change occurs, you'll start to realize how little your thoughts had to do with what other people thought and more to do with what you feel about yourself.
Next, when we learn to forgive ourselves, we begin to move into self-acceptance. We can start with little things like forgiving ourselves for not neglecting ourselves. I love Louise Hay's visualization of envisioning yourself talking to yourself when you were little. She talks a lot about loving our inner child and talking to her lovingly, and I genuinely love that. Try it out when you are ready to move forward with self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance is an ongoing process. What many have come to realize along the process is resistance from other people. The majority of the time, resistance occurs from others because you are no longer inflating their egos. This may happen with minor things like rejecting an invitation to an event. There is nothing wrong with helping people exercise their disappointment muscles. Whether it may seem untrue in the thick of things, but they will eventually get over it and move on. People who try so hard to put others down by saying statements like "you've changed" shouldn't let you down. Because in life, nothing ever stays the same. We all have freedom of choice to do or become anything we want in this life.
When you're doing the work of self-acceptance, you understand that it won't happen overnight. You also understand that change is an inevitable part of the process. And because change is part of the process, you can also expect that people in your life will also change, and that's okay. This is a self-paced journey, and we are allowed to create the life we are destined to live.
Remember, self-acceptance first comes from the awareness that you are the person you're meant to be. You are not responsible for other people's feelings or emotions. Accepting yourself and being who you are, rather than pretending to be someone else, is the ultimate gift you can give yourself.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can improve on self-acceptance, I highly recommend this workbook by Louise L. Hay, Love Yourself, Heal Your Life. It pairs well with the You Can Heal Your Life book as well.
If you'd like to work on self-esteem and self-acceptance, a great place to start would be in our online personal development book club. Members like you enjoy reading these books and having discussions on how to improve these areas in their lives as well. By becoming a member you gain even exposure and insights on the benefits of personal development and see it in action in your own life. Join us today!