Self-acceptance is accepting yourself despite your flaws and failures, unconditionally. It is being aware of your own skills, flaws, strengths and weaknesses and embracing and accepting yourself for who you are, as a person.
Affirming and accepting yourself needs to be unconditional. If this is steady, it can do wonders for your mental well-being. Self-acceptance helps you become more natural and authentic.
To accept yourself truly, you need to embrace your multifaceted self. It includes allowing yourself to be happy with yourself no matter what. Once you start accepting yourself for who you are, you will no longer worry about what others think or do. Only then, you will have no shame or fear in revealing your true self to others.
Accepting yourself is hard because of our mindset which tells us that we are not good enough and that the only way to change is by punishing ourselves, but you must understand that self-acceptance is necessary for good mental well-being. Insufficient self-acceptance leads to poor decision making which results in anxiety and stress. This is why self-acceptance is essential to your mental well-being.
Factors hindering self-acceptance
There are many factors that can affect your ability to accept yourself. Becoming aware of these obstacles of self-acceptance is important.
These signs will show that you are being too hard on yourself. One of the most common causes is judging yourself all the time and comparing yourself with others can make you feel that you are not enough. This can also affect your individuality.
Blaming and criticizing yourself, feeling guilty or regretting your past are a few of the factors that stop you from accepting yourself.
Another factor of low self-acceptance is social media. Nowadays, social media has become one of the important tools for self-acceptance. Comparing and evaluating yourself with others on the basis of the content put on social media does not help you. You might be viewing the happy and fun looking photographs and assume that others are always having fun and are living a happy life, unlike yours. Life is never always happy. Yes, they may be great in some aspect of their life but know that no one’s perfect. Do you know anyone in the world who’s perfect in every way?
The activity (likes, comments, shares, followers) on social media has now become a source of approval. Remember, that you do not need your followers’ acceptance for you to accept yourself. Frequent use of social media and idealizing the content shown can lower your self-acceptance. Social media plays a very important role in reducing positive interaction with yourself.
Ways to Accept yourself
If we don’t accept ourselves for who we are, we will constantly be caught up feeling miserable about our past or ourselves. Let’s heal this and accept ourselves as we are right now in the process of loving ourselves. You have the rest of your life ahead of you and each day you spend not accepting yourself is a day wasted.
It is necessary to accept yourself which leads to loving yourself. There are few ways that help you to accept yourself for who you are. A few of the ways are
1. Creating a good support system
People around you play a crucial role in your life. A famous philosopher said, “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” You need to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are and who believe in you. Always keep assessing your circle and understand if they are positive or negative around you. Positive relationships are the first part of self-acceptance. Notice if any person in your life is causing tension that creeps into your shoulders when you are thinking about them. Becoming aware by recognizing your thoughts and feelings, celebrating your strengths and accepting your weaknesses can really help in achieving Self-acceptance. Allow yourself to dig deep and look within. Search for the real you.
2. Forgiving yourself and overcoming guilt
Everyone has their flaws, everyone makes mistakes. That’s part of the beauty of being human. Let’s embrace imperfection.
Learn to forgive yourself for all your past faults or regrets. Accept all your choices or decisions you made until now. Silencing your inner critic is very important. You might have had many dreams which were unfulfilled, but you need to reconcile who you are now. Acceptance is also letting go of the past and overcoming guilt. Understand that you cannot control your past and let go. Start recognising the things you can actually control and focus on them.
3. Be kind to yourself
Self-compassion and gratitude are the two most important things for achieving self-acceptance, it doesn’t matter if things are going well or miserable. You might think that being critical and harsh towards yourself will push you forward. But instead of being harsh towards self, practice compassion and gratitude towards self and see how everything changes into awesomeness.
Be compassionate towards yourself. Self-compassion involves not judging yourself or allowing negative thoughts to demotivate or defeat you. Be kind to yourself, treat yourself, and celebrate every win. Gratitude includes thanking and appreciating yourself for the person you are and the things you achieve. Identify, acknowledge and appreciate all the good things you value about yourself. Write yourself a gratitude letter. It will help you overcome self-doubt and achieve self-acceptance.
4. Positive self-talk
Using positive self-talk and positive emotions can help a lot. Start with replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. If you tell yourself that you look ugly, you will feel ugly and bad about yourself even if it is not true. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend. Encourage yourself by patting your back for little accomplishments. Include positive statements in your day “You are beautiful”, “Well done”. Remember only when you accept yourself, can you accept others.
Self-acceptance is necessary for you to live a happy and stress-free life. Self-acceptance can help you in achieving personal growth.
On the Evolve US app, there are journeys to become more self-aware and increase your self-love that is designed with the help of experts and is a simulation of an in-person workshop, which helps you achieve self-acceptance by becoming more aware of your thoughts and emotions. These journeys help you increase your self-love which results in self-acceptance.
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*Lalitha Pidatala is a co-contributor to this article.
With over 300 articles published on Evolve. Jash is one of the most viewed writers on topics such as Sleep, Mindfulness and Stress. Drop a mail at Jash@evolveinc.in to connect with him.