No one is perfect. Guess what? That’s okay. Society bombards us with images of the perfect life, perfect home, perfect face, perfect body. This makes it seem that we’ll never measure up. You may feel there is something inherently wrong with you. Not true.
Everything’s an illusion. Each of us has our own view of the world that’s filtered through our stories. What is real is what you feel.
To open up to a more fulfilling life, you must start learning and/or changing your stories to begin the process of accepting and loving yourself–warts, pimples, cellulite and all.
What is Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance means that you have a positive attitude about yourself and your experiences. You accept your strengths along with your weakness. You know what you can control and what you cannot. You let other people see the real you.
You accept that a strict diet and relentless exercise may never make you look like a supermodel. You know that these actions, within reason, may help you feel better, become more energetic and develop more self-confidence.
Self-acceptance doesn’t mean you that you stop growing. When you practice self-acceptance, you are more likely to grow. You are more likely to realize that you are still growing. You are more likely to accept your mistakes as learning experiences. You are more likely to jump in and make more mistakes.
To pursue the road to love and self-acceptance, try some of these suggestions.
Short Path to Accepting and Loving Yourself
Don’t demonize or worship someone else’s life, accomplishments or setbacks. You never know the true story behind the actions of others. You don’t know how hard the work is. You don’t know what goes inside their family, their body or their head, for that matter. Accepting and loving yourself means that use yourself as your yardstick.
When you constantly compare yourself (either positively or negatively) you begin to fall into a trap. You begin to measure your worthiness based on how you fall in comparison. And this can become disheartening when you start comparing yourself to something that seems unreachable.
Other people’s achievements have no influence on your self-worth.
It’s okay to compare your progress against one task or one action. Or you can use someone else’s achievements as a way to learn. It’s comparing the end results that hurt, especially when you’re at the beginning.
Exercise: Be mindful. When around others, become aware of how many times you compare yourself. Notice how it makes you feel. Are you envious? Are you angry? Are you resentful?
Don’t Fight the Feeling
It’s normal to get upset, jealous, anxious or angry. You are human. Accept it. The key is not to stew in negative emotions and base your self-worth on them. For that matter, don’t force positive affirmations either. Ride the wave.
Exercise: Take five minutes. Sit still and watch your thoughts. Don’t fight the thoughts or the emotions. Allow them to come and go.
When you fail to reach your goal or have a temporary mishap, remember that they are just learning experiences. You will always make mistakes; everyone will. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. If you make a mistake, own it; then learn from it.
Exercise: If your mistakes are overwhelming you, take a step back. Grab a journal. And, write your perceived mistake. Come up with at least three ways you can prevent it from happening again or handle it. Or, jot down three reasons why it no longer is relevant.
You’re special. You’re wonderful. You have a purpose. Acknowledge this, and thank yourself every day. This is especially important if you’re a mom, boss, caretaker or someone else who rarely receives the appreciation you deserve.
Exercise: Many people take themselves for granted. Show yourself gratitude every day. It’s not enough to take care of your physical needs. Step it up. Do something every day that makes you feel loved and appreciated. Give yourself flowers, take a bubble bath or indulge in a guilty pleasure.