“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.”
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.
11 thoughts on “Self-Acceptance: A Powerful Tool”
This is very well said. I can’t tell you how long it took me to realize that accepting something did not mean I had to like it. Once that light went on, life became so much easier. You’ve written wise words for anyone to start from.
A lesson I have seen work in my life over and over, and yet one I need to relearn over and over. Thanks for the great reminder!
Such a wonderful and well written post!
It is such a great feeling not to fight yourself constantly.
I feel like I spent so many years doing that and was more comfortable fighting than accepting.
Life is so much easier now. There is more of a flow with life instead of fight.
Yes, this is right on and very well written.. There is a difference between believing I am what I am and everyone should just accept that AND taking a close look at yourself, and doing a bit of self-editing. We are not perfect by any means and there is always room for self growth and development.
Well written and hit close to home. Thanks so much for this wise and savvy guidance.
Great ideas here- such a positive spin on personal growth. Sadly true that we so often (I think usually subconsciously) bash ourselves a bit about the things we want to change.
I just had an epiphany with your post. For years I have talked myself out of having my family over for holidays, a dinner/BBQ because they once told me my house was too small for entertaining. When we get together it is always at their houses. Ha! Yes, my house might be smaller but I love to entertain and that is who I am! So why am I depriving myself the joy of expressing myself?? Today I invited them over for a BBQ on Saturday and they are coming! Talk about self acceptance! Thanks Shannon for your inspiring words and helping me to see things from a different perspective!
That’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing your aha moment. 🙂
Great post! God, like too many of us I could write a book on this topic. From my experience in life (and I’m only 45) if we taught girls from as young as possible to have self love and self respect first, last and no matter what, the rest would fall into place. I’m a work in progress and that’s OK.
My GF is doing this with her eight yr old daughter by allowing and even encouraging her willfulness and ability to say No, or Why? She’s working on finding the line between future life skills and respecting her patents. Some days are easier then others but when the nurse went to give her daughter a needle and was promptly told I AM going to yell you know and that it was HER arm (LOL) she knew it was worth it. She’s hoping her daughter will handle boys/ men as well as she dealt with the nurse!
I’m not bossy, I AM the BOSS. – Beyoncé
Thank you for sharing your friend’s parenting approach. And I especially love Beyonce’s quote. 🙂
I refuse to talk badly about my body. I slip sometimes but even if I don’t like what I see I refuse to call myself fat and other derogatory names about my weight or image.
I made this decision many years ago and it is good to hear you promoting that you can accept yourself even without liking yourself and then moving forward from there.