The Beauty of Self-Acceptance

Written by on April 28, 2021 in Perseverance, Self-Awareness

Can you look in the mirror and feel genuine acceptance toward the amazingly beautiful work-in-progress staring back at you?

Or maybe your mind flat-out rejects the notion of accepting yourself as you are now because you are so determined to become the best you can be.

After all, no one knows your many faults and failings better than you!

But what if true acceptance lies somewhere in between these extremes, or possibly another place entirely?

What does self-acceptance mean to you?

The Nature of Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is exactly what the name suggests: the state of unconditional acceptance of oneself.

If you’re thinking that accepting the good with the bad (and even the ugly!) aspects of yourself sounds difficult—you’re not wrong!

Let’s be honest, some of us make a habit of magnifying our faults to impossible extremes.

We regularly feed insecurities by beating ourselves up over the slightest misstep and approach self-improvement from a perspective that in some way we need fixing.

Then we go about counting up our faults and use them as clear evidence that we are – in fact – defective.

Consider the woman who has worked hard to eat healthily and be physically fit and yet hates what she sees in the mirror.

She doesn’t like her face – her eyes are too close together or her lips seem to be uneven … and where in the hell did those little wrinkles at the corner of her eyes come from?!

Rather than give herself credit for her hard work and healthy lifestyle, she focuses only on what she perceives to be her faults.

Then there’s the person who grew up in a family where abuse was the norm and continues to carry around all the emotional baggage dumped on them from years ago.

Blaming themselves for things that they had absolutely no control over.

What about the man who has convinced himself that he’s not good enough to be promoted to management in his firm?

So even though he has achieved success in his field and has all the qualifications and experience, he never even bothers to try for advancement.

Can you imagine how the lives of these individuals would be changed for the better if they were able to dump the excess baggage of personal history and limiting beliefs to fully embrace their strengths and weaknesses, imperfections and all?


The Challenge of Unconditional Acceptance

For most people, the real challenge of learning to accept themselves is the notion that it needs to be unconditional – without qualifications or judgment.

You are human, so for all your good traits, you also have flaws and you make mistakes, but those things do not define you – unless you let them.

When you practice unconditional self-acceptance, you can begin to love yourself for who you are, quirky bits and pieces and all, even as you work toward growing into the person you desire to become.

In fact, acceptance often leads to dramatic change as you can free yourself from limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that may have been preventing you from growing.

Learning to accept yourself is not a skill to be learned like riding a bicycle, it’s a process and for that process to be effective it should include all aspects of your life.

This means owning every part of your reality–not just the things that need work but also your strengths and successes.

“There will be a path to achieving anything worthwhile. There will also be detours and obstacles on that path and they will either show you the way or stop you in your tracks. The good news is, you get to choose.”

Marquita Herald

Acceptance is a Journey, Not a Destination

The key to genuine self-acceptance is to acknowledge that you are a work in progress.

As long as you are on this side of the living you will experience change, obstacles, and occasional detours, and life being the grand adventure that it is, you won’t always be willing or ready for the challenge.

These experiences will either help to show you the way to the next leg on your journey of growth, or they will stop you in your tracks.

The good news is, you get to choose.

Related reading:
Will you be the passenger or driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach, and founder of Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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