Updated: Jan 29
Humans! Have you ever seen a more imperfect bunch: big ears; crooked noses, protruding eyes and odd mouths and teeth too? And that is just between the chin and the forehead.
As imperfect as we are, you might think we would easily accept the imperfections of others, that we would be open hearted and open armed.
But the exact opposite seems true. The more imperfect
someone is—deformed, physically ill, old or odd— the more some of us turn away, tighten up or act overly cheerful and friendly. How many of us are relaxed and natural?
And we have the same negative reactions to our own imperfections, the same feelings that all result in the same thing: self-rejection.
I know a man who feels angry at himself for going bald, and a woman who hates the width of her hips; personally, I have felt embarrassed at the size of my nose, disgusted when I carried extra weight and dismayed at my rounded shoulders.
Because nobody likes feeling this way, we work hard to ignore, cover, pretend and rationalize our imperfections. And we are very good at it; but, those times we do catch a glimpse of that part of our body, we cannot help but experience a rush of negative emotion.
It feels even worse when we catch someone else staring at our imperfection.
The point? Without those feelings, we would be completely self-accepting. 100%. Which means that each time we release some of those feeling, we automatically increase self-acceptance, which also increases self-confidence, self-esteem and our inner-strength too.
So let's do that, first with the body and then with behavior.
How? By first weakening, and then eliminating, that negativity. And this happens every time we step up to a mirror and look directly at that part of ourselves.
After a number of times, it can seem like we are getting use to those feelings, but in reality, the emotions are growing weaker as we grow stronger.
Stronger? Facing what we do not want to face, feeling what we do not want to feel, always increases inner strength. And you can speed this process by breathing out any tension with each breath. Relaxing will allow you to feel more and weaken the negativity faster.
So, go ahead, relax, look and feel (embarrassed, angry, ashamed or whatever).
Consistency is key, so tie your mirror time to something you are already doing (e.g. before dressing in the morning, starting the car or brushing your teeth). And once or twice a day is plenty.
The only time we can increase self-acceptance (of our actions) is when we do not want to, when we are feeling the most unacceptable. I mean, it is easy to accept ourselves when things are going well, when our behavior is up to par.
What’s not to accept? The time to increase self-acceptance is when we feel embarrassed, ashamed or in any way weaker.
Imagine, you have just made a mistake that is causing a big problem for those around you; and they are not happy. How do you feel?
If you are like most of us, you are drowning in negative emotion and doing everything you can to stop feeling it: your body is tight, breath short and your mind full of thoughts (about how it was not your fault?).
This helps stop those feelings, but anytime we stop an emotion, we leave behind whatever is not felt (and who needs more emotional baggage?).
But if we continue to feel awful, three things happen:
1.) We release more negative emotion (because whatever is felt is released, permanently);
2.) Our inner strength increases (by feeling what we do not want to feel); and,
3.) Our self-acceptance/self-esteem goes up a notch (from 1 and 2).
Yes, the changes are small, but what else can we do? Keep fighting and pretending we do not feel that way? Work harder to feel a different way? This is repression, and it keeps us stuck at the same level of self-disapproval.
Short Version? To increase self-acceptance, body or behavior, breathe out the tension and let it be okay to feel just... like... you.
All he ever wanted...
His business was deep in the red, and he was now desperate.
I asked him, “If there was one person on the planet who is holding you back, who would it be?”
He immediately said, “My Mother.”
She was giving him money to keep his business afloat. She had also given him the down payment for his house and had recently taken over the payments.
His insight: "I'm 30 years old and still (like a child) dependent on my mother!"
The power of a deep insight is that it cannot be unseen; it tends to stay with us, prodding, pushing and motivating us into a permanent change.
That one insight put him on a path to becoming the man, and success, he had always wanted to be.
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So many people spend their lives trying to change but stay stuck: being overweight; or trapped in money problems, or an unfulfilling relationship, or a stalled career.
But one, deep insight, one eye-widening moment, can begin leaving that pain behind.
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All She ever wanted...
She was saying, “If only I could find the right guy, I would give myself to him, and—"
I stopped her and asked, “Give your SELF?” Her eyes widened as she realized what she had said and what she had been doing.
A deep insight can, indeed, bring permanent change, and yes, you don’t need me. Who is This Guy?
Why am I encouraging you to find your own answers? Every time we even try for personal understanding, our inner strength increases—a bit more—and that strength translates into other areas of our lives.
Either of these 2 simple techniques can bring you the answers you need, as well as increase your strength. And it's all free. Get started now:
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The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: