Finding and creating self acceptance is no easy task, especially with the difficulties and challenges of our everyday lives. On a good day it can still feel like we are not doing something right, or that we are failing in some manner. In this post we'll be listing 8 steps that can be used to help create self-acceptance:
1. Set Aims and Intentions
The word Intention has 2 meanings: A thing that is intended; such as an aim or a plan, and in medicine, it means the healing process of a wound. While learning to accept yourself, both of these meanings work in tandem with each other. By setting a goal for your own self acceptance, you already begin the process of healing and creating that self acceptance from the start.
By understanding that as long as you don't have self acceptance, our lives will be worse off, you start the first steps we need on the road to achieving our goals.
2. Give Kindness
Giving kindness to not only others, but yourself, is an important step in your own self acceptance. To be kind to yourself, you need to understand that everyone has faults and while
they exist, it does not mean they need to dominate you as a person. Having faults are what make you human and without them you are losing a part of who you are. By giving kindness to yourself and others you amplify your good traits while also understanding that your bad traits are part of what makes you who you are, unique and special.
3. Understand your Strengths
By understanding your strengths, you create the knowledge that you have and can achieve many positive things in your life.
If you look back, rather than thinking about your failures, list everything that you have accomplished, whether that be; goals, friendships, relationships, achievements or kindness, etc etc. When you list these things out you take a clear step to understanding that you have accomplished some truly great things in your life and that it hasn't all been consistently bad.
If you then also write down your list of accomplishments consistently updating and reviewing it, the list will gradually get bigger as you travel down the path to acceptance.
4. Surround yourself with good people
As mentioned in step 3, giving kindness to yourself & others is important, however it is also important that those people give kindness in return. If the people around you are not kind, intentionally or not, they reinforce your negative thoughts about yourself while also diminishing the positive thoughts about yourself. By distancing yourself from said people, you stop them from fortifying your negative views of yourself and instead allow yourself to focus on your strengths. When you both give & receive kindness you create a circle of helping everyone to understand their own positivity, which leads in turn to the creation of a support system of people who believe in you and support you.
5. Lament lost goals
When you are not able to achieve your goals, whether that be a dream job or perhaps a perfect lifestyle, it becomes hard to move on from those goals and set new ones based on your current situation. By taking the time to grieve the loss of your goals, you allow yourself to move on from them and trust that, although they did not work out, you still have the opportunity to work toward and achieve any new goals that you create for yourself.
6. Forgive yourself
In the same light as lamenting over your lost goals, forgiving yourself is also a very important step to accepting yourself. Often when you think negatively of yourself, you likely think of mistakes you made during work, social interactions or even perhaps when you were participating in your hobbies. It's important to remind yourself that yes, while you did make a mistake, it’s a mistake that you have learned from and at the time, it felt like the right decision. Learning from our mistakes, is when we experience real growth.
7. Acceptance is not Surrender
It could be believed that by accepting your faults, you're giving in to them and allowing them to fester further. However, to accept your faults is to let go of your past and the things that are no longer controllable. By letting go of the things that can't be controlled by you, such as your past mistakes and flaws, you allow yourself to focus your energy on what you can control, your future.
8. Be charitable
Performing acts of charity of any kind can help you fight the feeling of self doubt that you have. By being charitable you help change someone's life for the better.
Not only do we feel good when we help someone else (it generates happy chemicals in our brain, but that’s another blog entirely!) it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the idea that you are no good when you see how your good deeds help other people