According to Shepard (1979), self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses.
To be happy you need to accept who who and that way you wont be constantly beating yourself up and being too critical. However, I do not mean that you need to let yourself go or not take opportunities to better your self. You can not eat yourself to an early grave because you have accepted that you are an unhealthy person who binges. You can certainly do something about this. I don’t mean staying at a miserable job when there are opportunities for you out there because you have accepted your fate. I also do not mean that you give up on your ideas because you have accepted that you can not do anything or you can not finish anything.
How does self acceptance relate to you?
- Self acceptance is being aware of your strengths and limitations. This helps you to know what you can and cannot do. Having said that it doesn’t mean that you can not try something new otherwise life can be boring. What is important is knowing your limits.
- It is liking who you are faults and all. We all have faults. The best ways is to acknowledge them and try to do better instead of blaming yourself. Acknowledge and move on.
- Being realistic when evaluating your skills, behaviour and choices. You can aspire to buy a holiday home but you also have to bee realistic about your financial situation. What can you afford. The problem with self appraisal is we are sometimes very subjective in the way we see ourselves.
What are the qualities of self-acceptance?
A person who embraces self acceptance has the following qualities and attributes:
- Is positive – if you accept your strengths, limitations and who you are you live a free and happy life. You are not constantly critical of yourself. You allow yourself to make mistake and forgive yourself for the things which you cannot do.
- happy within themselves and accepting of self – when you accept your self for who you are you are able to love yourself and build self confidence.
- Knows their identity – this supports you to develop a positive attitudes towards yourself and your abilities and limitations. This helps you achieve your full potential also known as self actualization (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).
- Is satisfied with they are bring about happiness and good mental health.
Tools for self acceptance
Self acceptance like most things in our lives do not just come by themselves. I live by the moto that “I am who the Lord says I am.” And that has been the cornerstone in my life and in all what I do. I believe the Lord did not create me to be mediocre, so what ever He says I am is what I am.
Following are the tools you can use
- Honour and love who you are you are not broken so you don’t need fixing
- Have boundaries and stay clear of those who do not value you.
- Surround yourself with love and those who edify you
- Learn to forgive yourself we all make mistakes and that doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.
- Work to change what you don’t like in your life but do it with love
- Keep a list of the your good qualities and what you love about yourself and keep it handy to refer to when self doubt and the critic in you rears its head
- Accept yourself you are beautiful the way you are. This reminds me of the Serenity prayer. We can learn a lot from it.
Some of the things you can accept about yourself
Most of us women worry about our bodies which lead to constant dieting. We compare ourselves to unrealistic models we see in the media.
- Self image- you should not try to to please by doing things you don’t really want to do just to be accepted by them
- Your body size – desire a healthy body weight and go about it in a healthy way. Adopt a healthy living lifestyle
- Accept the way you look, you are beautiful and an image of God
- Choose healthy relationships- be around those who complement and genuinely love you
You need to be self aware and stop being critical of yourself in a negative way. Work at changing the way you think about your yourself, change your inner dialogue. Always surround yourself with love. Love yourself enough and the love will shine out of you and you will light the room when you enter.