Do You Accept Yourself?
Do you accept yourself, warts and all? The first part of this question might get an immediate yes, but there may be a pause when it comes to accepting your blemishes.
Accepting yourself means acknowledging yourself as you are. Like justice, it just is. You just are. This entails some figuring out of who you are and being okay with the different parts of yourself.
To get clarity, let’s first identify what self-acceptance is not. Self-acceptance is not…
* …blaming and putting yourself down
* …inflating yourself
* …denying what is happening to you
Before we suggest ways to accept yourself, consider this: Psychologist Carl Rogers observed, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change.”
Paradoxically, then, to become a better you, you must first be okay with who you are now.
In EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) terms, “Even though I have this [issue], I deeply and completely accept myself.” Then the tapping realigns the thought with the energy circuits.
If you can accept yourself, even with the warts, you’ll bring peace of mind and cultivate a mindful wisdom.
How then do you accept yourself? Here are four ways:
1. Set an intention to accept yourself.
Every day is new — and one to accept. Accept what is going on today; it’s an assignment to do your part, the role you’ve been given. As you recognize and accept it, you can create positive change.
Know this is a starting point that builds a foundation for living fully. Once you accept where you are, who knows what is possible?
2. Be a detective.
Investigate yourself like a detective on a case or a reporter covering a story. What are the facts about you? What does the evidence show?
You can track your thoughts and feelings (inner world) and actions (outer world). It’s as if you are observing another person. You will impartially observe the good and bad, and find the blind spots.
3. Respond instead of react.
Sometimes we do need to react to survive, like jumping out of the way of a threatening object, or fleeing from an attack by a person or danger in nature.
Usually, however, most of the reaction is overblown. When challenges arise, it’s better to consider how to respond. That means pausing… breathing… and reflecting. Then you are using higher cortical areas of the brain and opening your heart.
Responding opens up possibilities. It gives you choice, power and understanding. All of those qualities make it a lot easier to accept yourself, including having more presence to deal with the stressors in life.
4. Forgive yourself.
Beware of getting weighed down from grievances about the past. We’ve all been on the offending end, as well as the receiving end of offenses to us.
To free our body, mind, emotions and spirit, we do need to release that heavy weight from the past. As a note, forgiving does not mean you approve of people’s offensive or abusive behavior. It just means accepting and moving on with your life, a little lighter and wiser.But know that forgiving, like grieving, cannot be forced.
When you are ready to forgive, this EFT affirmation can help:
“Even though ____ happened, I forgive myself and others on all levels.” Then start tapping.
Repeat the affirmation, with any additional appropriate affirmations, until the intensity reduces and possibly neutralizes. It may take time to integrate the experience, although sometimes forgiveness is rapid if the person is ready.
Final Thoughts on Accepting Yourself
Ultimately, accepting yourself is taking command of yourself. It’s a way of stopping the inner struggle and turmoil. Self acceptance frees you to live your life more on your own terms.
Research shows that people who are more self-aware have better health. Psychologists describe this healthy approach to life as “self-regulation.” Better to regulate yourself, then, than to have others or circumstances do it for you.
And the more regulated you are, the more things flow, so to speak.
To be who you are, accept yourself, both your strengths and weaknesses. This will help develop strengths. You can also own your weaknesses, minimizing them along with the blind spots.
Then you’ll naturally evolve to a better version of yourself, one that might even be easier to accept.