Self-Acceptance in all we are and all we do is the ultimate goal. As with any successful goal planning, you must create milestones with reminders to check-in with yourself; a gut-check if you will. Total acceptance is not our go-to behavior and may take more than the average amount of self-discovery, awareness, and practice to tap into. I would like to use the word master here but I am convinced that the laws of nature push against this concept so it takes you being persistent and diligent in your pursuit. Just think about it...freedom! Freeing yourself from judgment, shame, and regret and loving YOU! Pencil it in, we aren’t giving up!
By all accounts, I’m a very confident person. I’m outspoken, extroverted, never met a stranger, loves speaking to large crowds, and in most cases, fearless. But I struggle with self-acceptance. I don’t have low self-esteem and can easily identify my strengths but it’s my weaknesses that I judge and criticize. It’s hard for me to truly and completely forgive myself for past mistakes and as a result, I carry a good amount of regret. Someone once told me that it isn’t guilt but sadness. Sadness over lost time that you can’t recapture.
I love how everything looks different from a shift in perspective. You can carry a torch for something but from a different vantage point, that flame can look like a roaring fire or barely and burning ember. It’s important to let people inside to help you work through these judgments and to share a different perspective.
Think about finding an accountability partner to share your dreams, fears, strengths, and weaknesses with. This person can play an important role in your life if you pick the right person. Someone who is genuinely interested in your health and well being. A person that has nothing to gain by your success for failure but who is honest and kind. You don’t need a drill sergeant or a tough-love coach for this exercise. Your accountability partner is someone who you can turn to when you need compassion, guidance, and truthful but kind feedback.
You aren’t looking for someone to stroke your ego and tell you how attractive you are and how you shouldn’t have anything to complain about. Your fears and self-criticism are real even if, to the outside person, they look unwarranted. Having someone to tell you to just “get over it” is not helpful!
Self-acceptance comes with time and emotional growth. Each milestone hit, a meaningful relationship formed, personal victory experienced, and obstacle overcame gives you a push in the right direction. But there can be roadblocks and detours that cause you to question everything. Your accountability partner can be a healthy reminder of how far you’ve come and guide you around the closures and back out to smooth sailing.
How easy is it for you to identify your strengths? What are you good at? What are you proud of? If someone asked you to tell them about yourself, what do you highlight? Sometimes I do this exercise with groups and I tell them they can’t pick their family. Go deeper than what you’ve produced and talk about yourself, your core. Sometimes we hide behind what we do to avoid talking about who we are. You are unique. Good and bad, there is only one of you. Your walk on this earth is flanked by many experiences and lots of people, but it is your walk to take. No one can make the ultimate decision but you. So don’t you want to get to know your captain?
How about your weaknesses? Do you have a list a mile long? What if your weaknesses were actually your strengths? That would shake it up a bit wouldn’t it?
I care deeply about what people think about me. That can be a strength and a weakness. As a strength, I’m very focused on my relationships with others. I am aware of my communication and body language style and go out of my way to be accomodating and kind. As a weakness, I can easily misinterpret a lack of attention or response from another person. I believe I have more control over other people’s thoughts and reactions than I do. I don’t recognize when someone might be dealing with their own insecurities that have nothing to do with me.
As I said, this is a marathon, not a sprint!
So what are you waiting for? Start embracing your weaknesses today! Whether you choose to work on your flaws or accept them, don’t be afraid to share more of yourself with the world.
Guess what, we all have problems. That’s a general statement meaning everyone is dealing with their own stuff and even if you idealize the person who you think has it all together; guaranteed, they are insecure about something!
I love the dynamic of support groups. I’m using the word support group to give you an accurate visual of a group of people sitting in a circle sharing intimate details about themselves with others. What I don’t like about the support group stereotype is that there has to be something wrong with you to want to seek the counsel and support from other people and that’s wrong! We need each other. We were put here on this earth to commune and work together. That is how we survive and thrive.
Being independent does not mean going it alone or solo. So many times we feel like we are the only ones dealing with these issues and no one could possibly understand what we are going through. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. When you share your fears, desires, goals, challenges, and successes you find common threads that link you with other people. There a bond is formed; a basic understanding and mutual respect. We are always learning and learning from others who have walked there before, overcame, and conquered is priceless.
If you are alone and disconnected believing no one would understand what you are going through, please reach out. Don’t be ashamed of feeling weak. You aren’t supposed to go it alone, you need others for comfort, compassion, understanding, and support and that is true strength.
Let’s take another step forward to self-acceptance. Today, you might have uncovered a weakness that turned out to be a mighty strength and a strength you’ve been using to hide weakness. We can shift our perspective to see things with a new light as we start to forgive ourselves for what we can’t control and love ourselves for who we are.
CHALLENGE: Embrace all that you are, good, bad, and undiscovered. You have the power to accept and improve while loving YOU.
I Know YOU Can Do It!