A Powerful Tool: Self-Acceptance
Monday July 12, 2010

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“As you become more clear
about who you really are,
you’ll be better able to
decide what is best for you-
the first time around.”
–Oprah Winfrey

The pressure to succeed, to pursue happiness, is at the very core of who Americans are, as well as millions of people around the globe, but at what cost to themselves are people trying to reach success?

For many, the belief that in order to change yourself, you must at first feel bad about what it is that needs to be reformed is innate.  Initially, this is wonderful motivation to rev up a your engines and propel you forward to achieving, thus changing, your reality.  However, over the course of the journey, this form of “negative” motivation loses power quickly.  There is a small majority of people that can thrive on this idea of self-rejection to carry them to success, but too many times that same person is never capable of accepting who they are no matter how successful they become. So the question is, what is a healthy alternative to motivating yourself to achieve your dreams?

The most powerful tool you can use to achieve success is self-acceptance. I can honestly say I have fought this mentality for quite some time.  At face value, acceptance to me sounded as though I was accepting where I was in my life and refusing to do anything to change it, but after doing more research and coming to a better understanding of the true meaning behind what acceptance was, I began to see this wasn’t the case at all.  Let me explain.

Ironically enough, by accepting yourself as who you are at this very moment – strengths and, yes, weaknesses, you are actually making the first step in the process toward changing those very things you are accepting. Keep this in mind as we move forward in the discussion, accepting something doesn’t mean you have to like it.

What self-acceptance does is open up more possibilities of succeeding because you aren’t fighting yourself along the way.  For example, if you know you have a killer voice, but you are so body conscious that you wouldn’t dare step on stage, you haven’t accepted yourself or your life at the present moment for what it is.  Essentially, you are getting in your own way of achieving success.  Now, if you accept that you need to work on your weight, but in the meantime, you’re going to step on that stage and sing your lungs out impressing each pair of ears that are in the room, voilà, you’ve demonstrated self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance at its core, is being happy with who you are in the present moment and loving yourself for who you are right now even those aspects that you aren’t thrilled with.

Here are a few benefits of embracing the idea of self-acceptance:

*You become less defensive

*It becomes easier to maintain close relationships

*It leads to valuing and appreciating yourself and others more fully

*You begin to tune in to your true essence and stop wasting energy on your faults.

*You celebrate your strengths, laugh at your weaknesses and if need be, contemplate and proceed to make positive changes in your life.

*You become more effective in setting and reaching your goals/dreams and achieving success.

Here are some daily habits to include in your life to begin to move toward being more accepting, therefore, allowing yourself to not be hindered by the negative talk and focus on your imperfections:

*Monitor your self-talk.  Be an optimistic realist and eliminate that worst critic, you, in your head. It does you no good – trust me!

*Do not compare yourself to others – celebrate them and then go about living your best life – exude and share your talents.

*Learn to say NO!  When you respect yourself enough to put a kibosh on people’s negative comments about you, you take your power back.  By saying no to things you don’t agree with, don’t want to be a part of and don’t feel right about, you are saying that your needs and your ideas are worth attending to. Think about it.

Amazingly enough, by letting go of the need to focus on your faults and instead celebrating your strengths, a renewed energy will emerge and amazing gains will be made toward the success you have dreamed about.

Have a beautiful start to your week and if any of my readers have experience with this concept and would like to share, please do. I would love to hear more inspiring personal stories on how indeed acceptance is a powerful tool.


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14 thoughts on “A Powerful Tool: Self-Acceptance

  1. You always give the best, most motivating advice, sweetie. Thanks for reminding us of this. Self acceptance is so important and is essential for success and happiness.

    Hope you had a fabulous weekend and that your week is off to a wonderful start! xoxo

  2. It is all about the self love. LOVE THY SELF! If you can’t love yourself have can anyone else. You are all perfect for your purpose. That is TRUTH. Thanks for the great post and BTW the sunnies are killer. xo Mish

  3. what a great post lovey! – and ALL sooooo true – i really believe before i TURLEY accepted who i was – FULLY, good and bad parts – i was a lost cause – now i’m full of confidence, KNOW who and what i AM .. and it feels good to be ME … can’t beat that!

  4. I’m so glad you write these kinds of posts, I agree with all of it, and it’s a nice thing to read first thing Monday morning. Everyone could use a boost of self-confidence, which comes via self acceptance. Hoping your Monday is off to a great start!
    xo Mary Jo

  5. Honestly, you are so right. I was just pondering this very idea within that past month. I get down on myself and my situation a lot. In the short term it helps me to start on projects to make things better, but it does not last for long. Such negative feelings are hard to maintain as fuel. It’s a struggle to stay positive. But this post has just reminded me to stay focused and positive as I make strides to reach my goal. Another excellent Monday post.

  6. Beautiful post and, oh so true. In order to be truly happy we need to make ourselves, our well being, our needs, our desires, the number one priority.

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. Great post! I also struggle with self-acceptance because of my constant need to be working on some type of self-improvement. You might want to check out the book Forget Perfect. It has helped me re-evaluate my ideas about working towards some sort of preconceived notion of perfect.

  8. Several years ago I took a pottery class. The teacher taught me a very important phrase, “Perfect Enough”. She said that when it came to pots, you could not be perfect but you could be “perfect enough”. You had to learn when to let go of a pot and let it be what it is. Much like life.

    Thank you for your perspective.

  9. Shannon, this is Katina again. I want to tell you how much I appreciate this particular post. I too, as brilliant as I am have battled with self-acceptance. I was constantly doing self-assessments which essentially was counter-productive. Usually while I am at work I flip through your posts and pics just to keep me juiced up. When I came across this one I let out a lifetime sigh of relief. Now I’m unstoppable. 🙂 I also enjoy Weekend Style Inspirations. I’ve created several fabulous outfits as a result. Thanks for being awesome.

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