Self-acceptance means treating ourselves with love and recognizing that we are valuable and worthy of being loved and respected despite not being perfect. In theory it seems easy, however, it is not like that.
We live in a highly competitive society, and self-acceptance requires, on many occasions, changing our way of thinking and re-educating ourselves.
Not accepting us as we are is a barrier between us and our emotional well-being and growth, because it prevents us from facing life with energy and makes us succumb to difficult experiences and difficulties that we may encounter. Life has good times, but it also has difficult times and you have to accept them. If we do not accept ourselves, we are our worst enemy.
Self-acceptance is the path to inner peace
Self-acceptance is finding inner peace, finding peace with ourselves. It also allows you not to escape from problems and accept them, because understanding that failures are human is healthy for your well-being. Self-acceptance is, without a doubt, a victory in the ring of life.
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When you do not build your inner peace and self-acceptance is at the mercy of the situation, which most likely will engulf you. When a person does not accept himself, he will have problems at work, at school, with others and, ultimately, with life.
Self-acceptance is such a powerful tool that it is even used in psychological therapy. Third-generation therapies, for example, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or mindfulness, revolve around this concept.
Albert Ellis, one of the most influential psychologists of cognitive therapy and creator of rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), defined self-acceptance in this way: “Self-acceptance refers to the fact that the person accepts himself or herself completely and without conditions, whether he behaves as if he does not behave intelligently, correctly or incorrectly, and whether others grant him approval or not, respect and love. ”
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Tips to achieve self-acceptance
It is common to talk about forgiveness and whether or not we should forgive other people. Forgiving others and living without grudges is good for our emotional health. And in fact, it is one of the most important factors in our interpersonal relationships. But can we forgive ourselves? Forgiving others can be complicated, but it is even worse when we need to forgive ourselves.
Forgiving and accepting oneself requires will. Therefore, below you can find some tips that can help you get it.
1. Make a list of negative judgments towards yourself and let them go
The first step to ending negative thoughts towards yourself is to make them aware. Therefore, it is necessary to detect what it is that takes away the happiness of being yourself. You can do this with a diary of thoughts. To do this, you must detect those thoughts and write them from self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, making a contract with yourself to let these thoughts pass and forgive you for what you have done. This is achieved with a non-judgmental attitude.
An idea to achieve this is to write the following:
I release myself and let go of all the suffering and guilt in relation to ……. (fill in the blank). I’m willing to forgive myself for what happened. I did my best. I forgive myself and everyone else involved. I will not torture myself more for this.
2. Learn to validate your emotions
When it comes to resolving interpersonal conflicts, acceptance, through emotional validation, is one of the best ways to do it. After all, certain prejudices and beliefs about our identity can cause us to falsely reject some feelings, causing us to doubt and feel bad about what we experience. It is necessary a look free of prejudice towards ourselves.
Emotional self-validation consists of accepting and validating what we are feeling whether we agree or disagree. Therefore, we do not need anyone’s permission to accept our emotions, because we give ourselves permission. To validate our emotions, first of all we must know them, label them and then accept them as they are, with a nonjudgmental and noncritical attitude.
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3. Cultivate a good relationship with uncertainty
Cultivate an attitude of courage and be authentic. Take risks and do not fear uncertainty or being vulnerable. Get out of the comfort zone. Many people get caught in a spiral in which failure fuels the “I’m not good enough” story.
Disconnect from this feeling of failure and negative feeling that affects your self-esteem and connect to the wise experience that we are not all perfect and we can fail. Get out of your comfort zone, take risks and take life of a continuous learning.
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4. Do not compare yourself with others
We often compare ourselves with others, because we live in a society that rewards people with money and success. In evaluating us for money, possessions and job success is not good, it is worse to compare ourselves with others. When we do that, anxiety takes hold of us and our self-esteem is affected. We must re-educate ourselves and stop thinking in this way.
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5. Learn to accept your imperfections
Stop being a perfectionist and stop thinking that you are unworthy because you have imperfections. Perfectionism negatively affects our emotional balance. On the other hand, when you accept your imperfections and see them as something normal, then they were free! You are free to feel the anxiety to be as you are and you no longer need to waste that mental energy in these thoughts that in the long run cause you great emotional fatigue.
6. Practice Mindfulness
In recent years, a practice is becoming really popular in psychology is Mindfulness or mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of life, although psychologists have adapted their principles and methods to therapeutic practice, aware of the great benefit it brings to mental health, to the point that it is used to treat cases of mild depression.
This philosophy is based on living the present experience in its entirety and proposes that we find the essence of what we are. This is achieved through self-acceptance, compassion towards oneself and non-judgmental mentality.
Mindfulness allows us to be aware of the reality that surrounds us and helps us to live in freedom, self-knowledge, and acceptance. As a therapeutic tool, Mindfulness makes us focus on the here and now, judging beliefs about the past as what they are, uncertain and imperfect ideas that may or may not be useful, depending on the case.
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