Let’s start with a short story this time.
Remember those school days when all of us had groups in the class? A group of like-minded students who enjoyed a lot with each other.
Well, in my case, I too had a group of around six friends. Even though we sat, ate, and enjoyed ourselves together. Still, that mental and emotional connection was somehow missing.
Sometimes, It even felt as if I was forcing myself upon them, and I was trying to fit in where I wasn’t supposed to.
Years passed by, and I entered college with the expectation of making several good friends.
Unfortunately, nothing went as expected, and the group that I made in college had one member. Guess who the member was?
It was one and only me.😂
For a long time, I felt as if the problem was with me and blamed myself for being unable to fit in. The self-criticism that generated eventually led to a lot of frustration and anger.
However, after multiple failed attempts to change, I realized that the problem was not how I was. It was how I accepted what I was.
In simple words, It was all due to a lack of self-acceptance. Further, I involved myself in the process of accepting my true self, and my life changed forever.
So, if you too have issues with self-acceptance, the post is especially for you.
What is Self-Acceptance?
Self-Acceptance, as the word suggests, is accepting what you truly are and loving the way you are.
It is not only being aware of your strengths and utilizing them to the fullest but also being aware of your weaknesses and working on them.
The journey to self-acceptance might seem easy, but that isn’t simply true. It requires the will to change your own perception along with constant efforts.
What keeps you from accepting and loving yourself?
There are endless reasons why you can’t accept and love yourself. Thus, It is impossible to quote all of them.
However, there’s a single reason that links directly or indirectly to all other reasons.
Do you know what the reason is?
It is the bubble of ‘Perfectionism.’
Now, what’s this?
We all know deep down that nobody can be perfect. However, we can’t accept it when it comes to us. We keep chasing perfectionism so much that we forget to live our lives. We feel unsatisfied with who we are and develop a mindset that others are satisfied the way they are.
Give it a thought-“Is it really true? Will acquiring the traits that others have will satisfy you?”
Self-Acceptance vs Self-Esteem vs Self-Improvement
Most people generally confuse self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-improvement with each other. However, there’s a lot of difference between all of these.
Self-acceptance is accepting yourself unconditionally. You appreciate yourself for who you are and stop comparing yourself to others.
People who accept themselves are the ones who can easily go with the flow of life. They don’t care whether they fit in or not. They live life the way they really want to live.
Self-esteem is what you think of yourself and how you perceive your personality. It might be positive or negative.
People with extremely high self-esteem have unrealistic opinions about their image. On the other side, people with extremely low self-esteem seek validation from others and are often under-confident. Thus, a balance is preferable.
Self-Improvement is improving certain traits about your personality. It means to work on specific areas of yourself that you consider weak.
People inclined towards self-improvement are ever-learning and ever-growing. They don’t stop at a certain point. Also, they are the ones with the highest probability of achieving their goals and success in life.
9 Self-Acceptance Exercises That You Must Try
So, now you know everything you were required to know about self-acceptance.
The next question that would pop into your mind is:-“What is the roadmap for self-acceptance, or how can I practice self-acceptance?”
Don’t worry! I got it covered as well. Here are the nine exercises that you should try to accept yourself.
1. Stop Overthinking
You would have surely heard this statement:-“It’s all in your brain.”
For self-acceptance, the statement might be true.
Do you feel as if you’ve created a mindset that revolves around-“I am not able to accept myself.”
Do you really have any reason why you aren’t able to accept yourself?
If not, then the chances are that you are just overthinking. You are just faking yourself about being unacceptable to yourself.
Stop overthinking. Think about it for a moment as it might be only in your head. You are just trying to create problems for yourself.
Get rid of the false feelings.
Trust me. You’ll feel relaxed.
2. Relieve Yourself from Other People’s Expectations
“I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.”– Thomas Cooley
The biggest problem with you that you aren’t able to accept yourself might be because you’ve always been trying to live upto someone else’s expectations.
Maybe it’s not how you want to live.
If you are not living the life that you truly want to live, you can never accept the way you are.
Start living life on your own terms. Don’t beat yourself up to meet other people’s expectations. It will be much easier for you to become better towards self-acceptance.
3. Focus more on your strengths
Focusing more on strengths does not mean that you should stop working on your weaknesses.
However, Don’t just provide excessive weight to your weaknesses and let them drown you.
Keep a balance of it with appraising your strengths as well.
If you weigh your strengths more, you will be much more confident in yourself than ever.
4. Ease Out
Sometimes in life, you need to ease out on things and stop pushing yourself anymore.
Relax and give a pause to your thoughts.
Find your peace and discover the real you. Give yourself a break from constantly working on yourself.
You might realize that you’ve been too harsh on yourself lately.
5. Forgive Yourself
Are your past mistakes not letting you accept yourself? Does the guilt feel heavy?
If yes, Now is the time to get over all of them. It could be one of the biggest reasons why you aren’t able to practice self-acceptance.
I know it isn’t easy to forget them, but one thing that I can certainly say is that ‘All of it happened for a reason.’
It was your past, and you have to get over it to discover a new inner self.
You are a human, and humans do make mistakes. It depends on you if you want to stick to it forever or learn a lesson from it and move on.
6. Realize the fact that you can’t be perfect
As I’ve mentioned before, we all know that nobody can be perfect but forget to apply this fact to ourselves.
We aim to achieve perfectionism and create unrealistic goals. We chase those goals, and when we fail, we become more and more unacceptable to ourselves.
Have realistic goals and don’t aim to be perfect. Aim to be the best you.
7. Positive Affirmations
Enough of the negative self-talk now. It’s time to change your negative talk into positive affirmations.
Fill yourself with all the positive thoughts. Change what you say to your mind about yourself.
Start each day with such affirmations, and your perception of yourself will change without you knowing about it.
8. Celebrate your Achievements
Celebrate even the smallest achievements that you earn. It will help you feel happy about how you can accomplish anything.
It will also generate a sense of confidence that you are unstoppable and you can accomplish much bigger tasks.
You will realize that you are already living upto most of your expectations. It will help you feel better about your self-image, and you will soon master self-acceptance.
9. Surround Yourself With Better People
The people you surround yourselves with are the ones who can help you a lot in self-acceptance.
If they praise you for what you do, you will automatically feel better about yourself. However, if they only criticize you, it will become much more difficult for you to accept yourself.
I also know that criticism is necessary, but that’s upto a certain extent. Over-criticism will only harm you. Also, not everyone can perform under criticism because everyone is different.
Therefore, try to have better company, and you will be shocked to see how happy your life would become.
Now, as we are moving towards the end of the post, there is something that I need to say to you:-
You are more than enough, dear. You are beautiful the way you are. Please, don’t stress out yourself to become who you aren’t. You are different, and nobody is competent enough to compete with you.
Keep going. Keep learning. I believe in you, and I know you can do wonders. Just let yourself be free.