One the greatest obstacles in life is self-acceptance. Though it is difficult, learning to be okay with who you are is perhaps the most crucial thing you need to do to be happy. No matter what your life has dealt you, you have the opportunity to accept yourself and learn to like who you are.
- Learning to Love Yourself
- Discovering Yourself
- Opening Yourself to Others
Be your own friend. Often we set higher expectations for ourselves than we do for others. Try instead to treat yourself the same way you would treat a close friend. Don’t say anything about yourself (out loud to others, or even just in your head) that you wouldn’t say about someone you care about.
Celebrate your strengths. Scientists have proven that by focusing on developing and appreciating our strengths, we are more likely to live fulfilling lives.
- Make a list of three of your strengths. These can be specific (such as, “I am good at chess”) or broad (such as, “I am courageous”).
- Include at least one specific and one broad example on your list.
- Stop and appreciate these parts of yourself. Say out loud, “I like that I am courageous.”
- Brainstorm one way to further develop each of these strengths. If you listed “I am good at chess,” consider entering a chess tournament. If you listed “I am courageous,” perhaps go white water rafting.
Forgive yourself. If you are not okay with being you, there may some guilt living under the surface. Forgiving yourself is not easy, but it can be transformative. In order to try to forgive yourself, perform a ritual release.
- Write a letter confessing your secret. Explain everything you feel guilty about in vivid detail.
- Destroy the letter. Send it into the ocean or burn it.
- Say to yourself, “I put my guilt in the past.”
- Repeat this ritual as many times as you need to.
Be kind to yourself. Many people have internalized the belief that taking care of yourself is selfish. When in reality, being kind to yourself is one of the most responsible things you can do. If you take better care of yourself, you will begin to feel worthy of such care. As a result, you will soon be okay with being you. Here are some ideas:
- Set specific times when you don’t work. Give yourself permission to relax during these moments.
- Work out. Get those endorphins pumping! When you do make it to the gym, thank yourself for showing up.
- Get enough sleep. Don’t sacrifice this essential human need. Plenty of sleep will help you stay physically and emotionally strong.
Make an affirmation. An affirmation is a simple, positive, present tense statement about yourself. Think of such a statement and use a dry erase marker to write it on your bathroom mirror. Say it out loud first thing in the morning, and again every time you enter that room. It is okay to feel silly at first! This feeling will pass, and in time, this will help you be okay with being you. Some examples include:
- I am a good writer.
- I am a strong person.
- I love you, ____ (fill in your name).
Discover your unique preferences. Uniqueness is what makes someone interesting, attractive, and confident. Begin your journey to self-acceptance by creating a list of things that you enjoy. Try not to let the opinions of others influence this list.
- What type of music do you like?
- What sorts of food do you enjoy?
- Which colors appeal to you?
- What types of clothing do you like?
Develop your style. In order to be okay with being you, you must embrace and cultivate what “being you” looks like. Look over the list of preferences you created, and put it into action.
- Put together an outfit like the one you saw in the magazine.
- Download some new music from an artist you like.
- Order some food from a restaurant you love.
- Try to do at least one thing every day that is uniquely you.
Expand your horizons. Chances are you have only been exposed to a tiny fraction of what life can offer you! Deepen your pool of preferences by finding new things to love and new ways to express yourself.
- Travel someplace new.
- Try a fashion, food, or music that you’ve never tried before.
- Try to do something once a week that is new.
Express yourself. Tapping into your creative side will bring you more in touch yourself. Finding a channel for your unique flow will help you connect with yourself and others, heal old wounds, or just have fun. The only person you need to impress is yourself! In time, this creative outlet will further help you accept yourself.
- Keep a journal.
- Go dancing.
- Make a collage.
- Do this once or twice a week.
Get in touch with your core values. Sit down and make a list of your five core values. Do you believe in integrity or honesty? It is straightforwardness or kindness? Could it be boldness or style? By honing in on your core values, you will have a better grasp on what you need to be okay, as well as what you need in a friend.
Look at who you surround yourself with. If the people around you are negative and judgmental, this may make it difficult for you to accept yourself. Seek people in your life who are supportive. Seek people who appear to be okay with themselves. Minimize the time you spend with people who complain constantly or instigate unnecessary drama.
Create a support system. Building a network of supportive people is essential to being okay with yourself. This could be a more formal network, like a literal support group led by a therapist, or a more informal gathering of friends. By empathizing with others, you also improve your ability to empathize with yourself.
- Attend a meeting or organize a gathering where your friends can come together and receive support.
- Do this at least once a month.
Do something nice for others. Scientists have proven that not only are we happier when we are nice to others, but we actually live longer! Being nice to others can help you be okay with being you. Make an effort to do something nice for others without expecting anything in return, and soon you’ll be more okay with you.
- Compliment the cashier’s jacket.
- Give up your seat on the bus.
- Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen.
- Kind gestures can be small or large.
Practice gratitude. Anytime you feel self-doubt creeping in, change gears and focus on gratitude instead. List five things you are grateful for in that moment. Take a moment to really pay attention on each one: how does it feel to have that in your life?
- Think about a physical attribute that you like. Do you have great hair?
- Think about an aspect of your personality. Are you good at school?
- Think about a person in your life. Are you close with your mom?
Aim for acceptance. When we are not okay with ourselves, we are often not okay with others. This equation works both ways. If you let go of judgment and try to accept others, you will soon start accepting yourself. If you find yourself making an assessment of the actions, choices, or identity markers of someone else, just let it go. Remind yourself that it’s not your concern.
If you have any questions about this topic let a comment bellow and I will help with the best answer I can give. Also if you want me to write about something comment and soon you’ll see a post about your subject. Or simply comment and let me know what do you think about this post. ❤