Some would think that accepting oneself is an automatic process, but it’s not. We tend to focus on our negative qualities, sometimes even when our positive qualities exceed them.
That’s why we need to learn to love ourselves more. This article offers ways for practicing self-acceptance. Also, it highlights why mental therapy is important for your self-care.
What Is Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance is simply accepting who we are and everything about us, both the good and the bad. It involves learning to appreciate what makes us unique and letting go of that we cannot change.
For example, you’ll get interesting results when you ask a person, “Do you accept who you are?” Most people will answer with a quick “Yes.” But once you start asking what aspects they like about themselves, some will take a lot of time to respond. It is because many people are used to fixating on the negative parts of themselves, such that sometimes they forget to like who they are.
When you want to accept yourself, you will have to do it unconditionally. Being an unconditionally self-accepting person means accepting who we are and where we are, even at our lowest.
It is easy to accept oneself when things are going well in life, for example, getting promotions, finding love, or even winning awards. The true test comes when we have to face our faults and come to terms with our flaws and the lowest points in our lives.
Unconditional self-acceptance means being able to understand that you have made some mistakes either in the past or present but not letting them define or run your life.
Accepting yourself unconditionally and self-compassion are a significant step towards loving yourself. It helps people embrace their unique selves and even encourages them to improve the things they can change.
Ways for Practicing Self-Acceptance
Teaching yourself to appreciate and accept the different parts of you that make you well, “you,” is essential, but it takes time and practice. You can’t just wake up one day and say, “I am more self-accepting now.”
Here are some ways you can practice self-acceptance:
Let Go of What You Cannot Change
There are things you can change in life and those you can’t. Learn to turn your focus away from what you cannot change towards what you love about yourself.
Identify the Strengths You Possess
Self-acceptance entails knowing who you are. Take some time and note down everything you are good at. It could be anything from music, art, sports or even other interests such as cooking.
After identifying your strengths, you should practice them regularly. That way, you will have more confidence in your abilities, which will help in other aspects of your life.
Find people with whom you can share your feelings and thoughts. It has to be people you trust and those who accept you for who you are, for example, family or friends.
You can even choose counseling or online therapy, where you open up to a professional and acquire the help you need to improve your life and make you more accepting.
Set Realistic Goals
Set some goals for your life, but they should be realistic. Start with short-term goals and then create some long-term ones for the far future.
It doesn’t end there: create a plan to meet the goals you set so that they are likely to be more achievable. Finally, reward yourself every time you achieve one of your goals.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Create a list of every accomplishment that you remember up to the present and keep it somewhere you can easily access it. From there, keep updating it as you continue making more accomplishments and be proud of what you have achieved.
Being proud and celebrating your achievements boosts your self-confidence, and you can go through the list when you have doubts about yourself.
Be Kind to Yourself
It’s hard to attain self-acceptance if you are harsh to yourself. So, treat yourself from time to time. Do things that you enjoy and spend more quality time with yourself.
Take a nice vacation somewhere, have a warm bath from time to time, read a good book, or take soothing walks in nature. Being kind to yourself also means taking better care of yourself.
Some ways to do that include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating healthily
- Practicing meditation
- Taking breaks
- Laughing more
- Unwinding and giving your brain some downtime after tough days
- Unplugging from gadgets from time to time
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
One major reason why a lot of people find self-acceptance difficult is because they compare themselves to others. You shouldn’t compare your life to that of friends, family, colleagues or celebs according to cnns news.
People take different paths in life, make different choices, and have different opportunities. There will always be someone who seems to have everything in control in their lives, and it’s easy to think, “I wish I were them.”
However, you are just on the outside looking in, and you don’t know what they are dealing with inside. Take inspiration from others but don’t measure yourself by their achievements.
Once you stop comparing yourself to others, you take a lot of pressure off, and you’ll be able to focus on the things that make you happy and your strength.
Let go of the thoughts about perfection and what it looks like. Life is full of imperfections, and sometimes being good is enough.
The obsession with being perfect slows a person down and gets in their way of accomplishing their goals. No one is perfect, and the sooner you realize that the easier it will be to accept yourself unconditionally.
Practice Positive Thinking
Often in life, we are left with our thoughts, and they greatly impact how we feel about ourselves. So, it’s important to be kind to yourself in your thoughts and ease up on any self-criticism.
Work towards transforming your negative thoughts into positive or even neutral ones. It will positively impact your confidence and self-esteem.
Put yourself out there more. Do some volunteering, try new hobbies or activities, get a part-time job. All these activities can help you learn more about yourself, and you might even discover new things you are good at. If you are busy, you will have less time to be self-critical.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
Life is often challenging, and many people undergo problems that they can’t handle on their own. Even with the self-acceptance exercises highlighted above, some people might still find it difficult to accept themselves.
It contributes to issues like:
- Lack of self-esteem
- Becoming a victim of other people’s negativity
- Living an unfulfilling life
- Constant unhappiness
Seeking professional guidance from a mental health professional is the best solution to handle such challenges. Calmerry provides online access to trained therapists and counselors who help people by uncovering the source of their issues and helping them work through them.
Remember, our mental health is as important as physical health.
Self-acceptance influences a big part of our lives, but developing it takes time. However, it is a journey that most people need to take to lead fulfilling lives.
Just remember, being self-accepting does not mean staying content with your present issues. It means being free to change and rising above your limitations and failures in life to find happiness and peace of mind.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from
Pepperdine University and has been working in healthcare since 2017. She
mainly treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief, identity,
relationship, and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience is focused on
individual and group counseling.
Follow Kate here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-skurat-5348381b9/