Self-Acceptance: How Hard Is It?

Self-acceptance is when you accept yourself ‘as a whole’, without any judgments. “As a whole” includes your strength, weakness, difficult side of yours, weird side, quirky side, and the side that you deny or suppress within and overall, every shade of you. In the journey of getting to know yourself, you might face different challenges that might obstruct your way, but once you are on it there should be no looking back or no stop but just moving forward. It satisfies you and brings happiness within oneself. There might be numerous reasons pointed out by others relating your body, your fears and entire you, which will quickly lead you to move into self-recrimination without having a single thought. But instead of accusing yourself listening to others, you need to slow down a little bit, be aware of what’s going on in your mind and ask yourself questions such as: “Is it a healthy way to relate me to what others say?”, “Is this what I truly want?” “Will this thing affect me in my near future?”  This will help your mind to play a little and get into the real conclusions.

Accepting yourself as a whole might get difficult at times, but when you truly believe in yourself, just yourself, you will manifest it and you will love and accept yourself unconditionally. There might be different reasons why self-acceptance can be hard. Some of the reasons include:

  • You think you are a bad star. You blame yourself for every bad thing that has happened in your life.
  • You doubt your own self and feel unworthy at times.
  • You have made self-acceptance conditional. You think you need to achieve something big so that you can accept yourself fully.
  • You have always been a people-pleaser. You have always been there for others more than for yourself.
  • You have experienced shock or trauma that triggers shame or the misbelief that you were somehow responsible for that.
  • An unhealthy parenting style at a developmental age may lead you to this undetermined state.
  • You feel you have some unacceptable qualities or dark secrets that make you deny your positive self. But believe me, you are not alone. Everyone has this side in life.
  • You focus on your weaknesses more even though you have numerous strengths to count on.

As mentioned above are some of the reasons why self-acceptance gets hard at times, but there are antidotes for it too. There are several ways to help you in accepting yourself as a whole but you have to imply it because no one can believe in you more than yourself. You should work on yourself to get there. Some of the ways that ease your self-accepting power are:

  1. We must start by telling ourselves that given all of our negatively biased self-referencing beliefs, we have done the best we possibly could. We need to let go of the guilt and self-criticisms as it hampers our positive self. 
  2. Don’t blame yourself for the circumstantial events in your life. Some of the things that caused such an event were never your responsibility, so give it back. It was never yours to own.
  3. Take time to love yourself. Do not doubt your own worth and potentials. Instead of focusing on your failings, start to believe in your positive self because you know your limits and you set it on your own.
  4. Do not set conditions to love or accept you as a whole. You need to accept your whole self, right now without any kind of conditions. No one will love you unconditionally except you and no one believes in you if you don’t do it to yourself. 
  5. Surround yourself with people who love, appreciate and support you. You don’t need a huge number of people for this; few would do if you care to choose them wisely.
  6. Learn to parent yourself now in soothing, loving and empowering ways. Give more time to outgrow your inner self; love and care yourself enough first.
  7. When the inner critic of yours speaks, notice it and gently but consistently challenge those words with a positive message about yourself. 
  8. Know that, no one is perfect. Everyone has flaws and dark sides at some point in life. Learn to have more humor and gradually comfortable, when the difficult sides pop up. Embrace your shadows and try to release/realize your personal power.
  9. Embrace your shadow self. Shadow self refers to our illicit or anti-social impulses which may have sabotaged us in the past. Self-acceptance involves our willingness to recognize and make peace with this part of the self that has been denied. It represents an essential part of our nature which is integrated to become a whole “ME”.
  10. Know that change is the only constant. You need to accept every little change that happens in your life and believes that changes help you grow and lead you towards the path that you are always meant to be. 

Self-acceptance is not as hard as you think until you believe in yourself. You need to embrace each and every side of you, love every part of you and focus on the things you have been doing rather than the things that are yet to be done. Just know, you set your own limits of how far you can reach in the journey of this life. Forgive yourself for being too hard at times, forgive others for whatever they have done to you and think, that is what brought you here in this stage of life. Lastly, love every version, every bit of you. Believe in your inner self, your strength, your weaknesses and every side of you. You alone are enough! You have nothing to prove to anyone. You can change your surroundings as you want but first, be the change that you want to see and manifest it in every area of your life.

Bhawana Pradhan
Psychosocial Counselor
Twitter : @PBhawana