Do you find it difficult to accept yourself for who you are as an individual? One of the most common reasons individuals experience body image issues, low self-esteem, and low confidence is because they do not accept themselves. The importance of self-acceptance is a concept that is often not explored in depth.
Self Acceptance, What does it mean? What are the benefits of being able to accept yourself for who you are?
A wise individual once said “What self-acceptance does is open up more possibilities of succeeding because you aren’t fighting yourself along the way.”― Shannon Ables
What exactly is ‘self-acceptance’?
Self-acceptance is the ability to accept yourself for who you are, with all of your flaws and weaknesses. It is about acknowledging that you are not perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.
Self-acceptance is more than just recognizing your personality features; it’s also about accepting your physical and mental selves.
Self-acceptance will allow you to stop being critical, and when you do that you become more kind towards your past mistakes and failures.
It is only when you have accepted yourself for who you are, including your positive and negative aspects is when you can actually start working towards self-improvement.
Importance of Self-acceptance
Self-acceptance leads to more confidence
When you are able to accept yourself, the first thing it will allow you to do is to feel more confident about who you are as a person.
You won’t feel the need to be someone else because it doesn’t fit in with your idealistic standards.
Self-acceptance will allow you to be your true self because you will have enough confidence to do things without the fear and approval of others.
Greater Self- Acceptance improves emotional well-being.
True self-acceptance is accepting yourself as a whole, including the positive and negative emotions you feel.
Practicing self-acceptance allows us to observe and deal with our emotions, be they negative emotions or positive emotions. We become more in touch with our feelings instead of avoiding them.
Research also suggests that self-acceptance appeared to be closely related to psychological health.
Self-acceptance helps you face challenges
When you have higher self-acceptance, you will be able to face challenges more easily. You will learn to take every experience as an opportunity to grow.
Self-acceptance means letting go of your idealistic standards, which means you will learn how to deal with problems and things when your expectations are not met.
Self-acceptance increases your self-esteem
When you have self-acceptance, your self-esteem will increase. You won’t feel the need to be someone else in order to gain admiration and approval from others so you can appreciate and value yourself for who you actually are.
Self-Acceptance reduces self-criticism
Unconditional Self-acceptance will help shut down your inner critic and reduce your negative thoughts.
When we truly accept ourselves for who we are, we stop judging ourselves and stop being highly critical of our actions.
It will also lead to self-compassion because we have accepted ourselves as is.
How to become more self-accepting of yourself
Pay attention to your inner voice and reframe your negative thoughts
Your inner-critic is the part of you that constantly judges yourself. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you that your thighs are too fat, or that your hair is awful today.
When you find yourself being self-critical and notice a negative voice popping up note it down in your journal. For instance, if you believe you are a failure, write that down. Do that with all the negative thoughts that pop up in your mind.
Once you have observed your thoughts, try to understand what is causing them and identify if those are actually true.
Replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk. For example, if you say you can’t do it and are a loser. Talk to the voice and say you are strong and will succeed.
Mindfulness is the act of being consciously aware of what you are thinking and feeling in a given moment without reacting to it negatively.
When we practice mindfulness, we become more connected to our thoughts and emotions.
Therefore practicing mindfulness allows us to be in touch with our feelings and truly understand and listen to how our body is feeling.
There are a number of ways in mindfulness practices in which you can get involved. Including our 30 Day mindfulness challenge which will allow you to practice different techniques to grow your awareness.
Forgive yourself and let go of your past
Forgiveness is about letting go of your resentment and guilt so you can move on and be free.
This is a key exercise to build self-acceptance. By holding onto the pain and hurt from the past, we become unable to grow and change as a person. You cannot let go of what you do not acknowledge or accept within yourself.
You may have made mistakes in the past, but it is not who you are today.
Today, you can decide to take responsibility for your actions and live differently.
Practice Gratitude daily
Gratitude is essential because it allows us to acknowledge how amazing our life is and how much we have.
Every day Write a gratitude journal every night and write down three things that went well during that day.
This will help you focus on the positive aspects of your life instead of dwelling on negative situations.
Celebrate your strengths
Take time to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. It’s important to acknowledge yourself when you do something well because it builds self-confidence and self-esteem.
You can also acknowledge your strength by identifying them in situations in which you experienced success.
For example, if you are a great cook, tell yourself you are a great cook and that you can handle cooking for a big dinner party.
Doing this will help you to internalize your strengths.
Practice charitable acts
Giving to others has been shown to increase our self-esteem and happiness.
Research shows that giving makes people happier and improves their emotional well-being.
Make time to volunteer every week, do something you are passionate about.
If you are unsure where to start, consider volunteering with children or at a local animal shelter. Even small acts of kindness can have an impact on your happiness levels.
Get into the habit of regular meditation practice
Meditation is a great way to calm your thoughts and emotions, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation can also help you improve your self-awareness, which gives you the ability to identify negative feelings and thoughts and accept them for what they are.
When we meditate we are able to take a step back and see if our thoughts are really true.
This helps you gain clarity. Sometimes you will find that your negative thoughts do not hold true, if this is the case replace them with positive thinking. Meditation has also been shown to improve concentration levels and improve sleep quality.
Self-love means being kind to yourself even when you don’t feel like it. It is about allowing your true self to emerge and for that self to be accepted.
The key to self-love is about appreciating, respecting, and loving you as you are right now.
Therefore the more we practice self-love and nicer to ourselves the easier it will be to build self-acceptance.
Have a strong support system
Another key to self-acceptance is having a strong support system. Spend time with positive people and those who bring about a positive change in your life.
Stay close to people who uplift your mood and make you a better person.
Start accepting yourself for who you are today
Now that you have understood the importance of self-acceptance and how to practice it. It is important that we start working on our self-acceptance immediately and work on improving our mental health. Truly accepting ourselves will take time and we have to believe in ourselves. Continuous hard work on ourselves will help improve our low self-esteem and build self-acceptance.
Top 10 Self Acceptance quotes for when you need motivation
- “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”―Amy Bloom
- “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”―Mark Twain
- Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”―Siddhārtha Gautama
- “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”―C.G. Jung
- “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”―Dalai Lama XIV
- “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Your really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”― Lucille Ball
- “It is not worth the while to let our imperfections disturb us always.”― Henry David Thoreau
- “The first step in this process of mindfulness is radical self-acceptance.”―Stephen Batchelor.
- .“What self-acceptance does is open up more possibilities of succeeding because you aren’t fighting yourself along the way.”- Shannon Able
- “Change is possible, but it must start with self-acceptance.”― Alexander Lowen.
My top 5 reads on Self Acceptance
- Radical Acceptance – Tara Brach
- The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
- The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love – Sonya Renee Taylor
- The Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation – Simon Tami
- The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive – by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer