If you really want to live an emotionally healthy life, one of the most important things you can embrace is self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance means having an awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, and feeling satisfied with yourself, regardless of whatever flaws you have or bad choices you have made. It means embracing all that you are without exception. It’s you telling yourself, “it’s fine to be me.”
It’s rather easy to accept the perfect parts of our lives, but what about the imperfect parts? How do you deal with your perceived flaws and failures? I think you should acknowledge them too.
I can guess you’re probably thinking that if I accept myself that way, doesn’t that mean I’ll never change? On the contrary, your journey to improvement only really starts when you accept every part of yourself, good and bad, – no conditions attached.
The way I see it, if your process of self-improvement is so you can feel better about yourself, show that you’re perfect, or prove that you are enough, then you’ve already lost out on that journey before you even started.
Only when you accept that you may have certain flaws, but you are still perfect, only then can you actually begin to change.
Think about it this way, God loves you and accepts you with all your flaws, but He is still interested in your transformation. His acceptance of you doesn’t cancel out the transformative process that happens to you.
Again, self-acceptance is not resignation. No! It is letting go of the past and things you can’t control to focus on the things you can actually control. It’s you not dwelling over the wrong decisions you made as a teenager, but committing to do better next time.
When you practice self-acceptance, unconditional self-acceptance, you understand that you are not your mistakes. You accept that you have flaws but they don’t define you. It’s you telling yourself, “On my journey to improvement, I am Team Me. I will stop hating myself because of these negatives, and learn to accept me.”
Do you want to get started practising self-acceptance? Here are four things you should start doing.
1. Be kind to yourself.
Learn to practice self-compassion. Read more about that here. Stop judging and being unnecessarily hard on yourself. You are a work in progress and you should treat yourself like a masterpiece that you are.
2. Practice positive self-talk.
You don’t have to listen to that voice in your head that keeps reminding you of your mistakes. Learn to twist the narrative by practising positive self-talk. Read more about that here.
3. Celebrate your strengths and accept your weaknesses.
There are many great things about you, learn to recognize them and celebrate them. In the same way, have a healthy estimation of your imperfections and accept them. When you do, you’ll find out that you release yourself from the emotional burden of being found out about those perceived flaws.
4. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
Make a list of all the negative judgments you hold against yourself and actually forgive yourself for every single one of them. For that wrong relationship or the terrible choice that you made when you were only 18. Whatever it is, forgive yourself and let it go.
As you begin to practice self-acceptance every day, you’ll find that your heart is lighter, you’re more comfortable with yourself and then you can effectively change those parts of you that you once identified as your flaws. If you want a free workbook that can help you as you start practising self-acceptance, shoot me a mail at mail[at]tolaoladiji.com.
I hope this helps.