Updated: Jul 3, 2019
h1 A Hard Look at Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance? But my nose is too big, ears too wide, shoulders rounded and feet dead flat. Other than that, I guess I like myself; well, except for the wrinkles, balding and that tendency toward a balloon belly.
It has always been easy to dislike me. I do it without effort and certainly without conscious choice.
That said, I am glad I am a man, because we guys only see handsome models for shaving creams, hair gels and cars; but women are absolutely brainwashed from Barbie to that overwhelming tsunami of ads they saw before breakfast.
With so many perfect people constantly before our eyes, how can we like the imperfect part(s) of ourselves?
But you and I have something in common with those beautiful people. It is a personality shaped, in part, by what we think of our ourselves, and any negative thoughts or feelings we have continue to pull us down.
In fact, to avoid negative feelings like embarrassment (or shame), many of us ignore, even hide, that part(s) of our body .
h2 The How of Self-Acceptance
So, how do we go about accepting THAT part? By realizing that the part itself is not the problem; it is the negative thoughts and feelings that go with it (the discomfort we feel when we notice it).
Here, then, are 3 steps to increase self-acceptance, by releasing those thoughts and feelings:
1 First relax. Every time we think or feel anything negative, the body and breath automatically tighten. With each breath out the tension with each breath.
2 When you are relaxed and breathing easily, step up to a mirror, look directly at THAT part and feel the discomfort. For some of us this means feeling disgust, anger, disappointment or even hate.
For a few minutes, continue looking and breathing to relax.
3 After doing this a number of times, you will probably find that those feelings are not so awful, that you can handle them, that you are, indeed, handling them.
At this point, (relax and) give yourself permission to be that way, because that is the way you are (e.g. crooked tooth, overweight, balding). And, at least in this moment, there is nothing you can do about it.
The old way of ignoring it, hiding it and even hating it has not been working. Your self-acceptance / self-esteem remains the same (or worsens). Stop fighting! Breathe to relax and feel.
Eventually, those negative thoughts and feelings will fade, because every time you allow them that much more is released.
And yes, the time will come when you look up and realize you are being judged and not feel defensive. Their opinion will be okay with you, because it is, after all, just their opinion.
In that moment, you will enjoy true self-acceptance, along with the increased confidence and inner-strength that goes with it.
h2 Faster Self-Acceptance: 3 Tips
1. Feel the discomfort without words. Both words and thoughts dilute emotional release.
2. Do not try to change negative words to positive ones (it does not work and is just more rejection/repression).
3. If your mind skips away from the mirror after a few seconds, gently bring yourself back to you.
h3 Your Own Judgements?
How to Make them Positive
So many people say “I’m not judging” or “I don’t judge,” which is why it is hard for me to admit that I do.
Yes, I look down on those around me, as I see their problems and issues; I mentally shake my head at the way they act and the mistakes they make.
And I judge their looks too.
Of course, I only do it when I am feeling in some way weak: tired or ill, stepped on or left out or judged!
And when I finish judging, I feel better, stronger, superior; but, the feeling does not last, which is why I have to do it again. And again.
What is also true is that I never CHOOSE to judge; in fact, I do not want to and do not like myself afterward.
But there seems to be no way to stop. Suddenly, a judgmental thought pops up in all its negative glory, way too late to block it or even make a change.
Immediately burying it does not work, nor does correcting myself with a positive thought. Those efforts have no effect on how often or how much I judge.
Thankfully, after some decades, I found a way to turn my negative judgements positive: 3 Steps
1 I keep my judgements inside. I even keep them from those I do not like or feel angry toward, because nobody deserves an expression of MY pain.
2 Instead of trying to stop or change it, or beating myself up about it, I take a step back and allow my judgements; I give myself permission to be that way.
I mean, what is the alternative? I cannot stop, and beating myself up has not helped--ever. So, self-acceptance it is.
3 And when I can, I give the one I judged a compliment (mental or verbal). It only takes a moment to find something I like and another moment to say it. And making it verbal gives us both a lift.
As for my need to judge? It continues to lessen; I think because I stopped fighting and started accepting.
And someday, I hope to be free.
Short version? Face what you do not want to face and grow stronger. Feel what you do not want to feel to increase self-acceptance.
this is excellent:
For more on self-acceptance: Self-Acceptance Techniques
4 Things to Know to Accept the Unacceptable in Yourself and Life https://www.awakentheguruinyou.com/blog/4-things-to-know-to-begin-to-accept-the-unacceptable-in-yourself-and-life.html
Whether it is bullying or hurtful words, this is the way to let them go for more self-acceptance:
The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: