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The challenge of self-acceptance

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? Or, like you aren’t dealing with situations the way a “normal” person should? No matter the circumstance, does it always feel like something is wrong with you?

Let’s take a step back and zoom out for a moment.

In reality, we all struggle with different challenges throughout our lives. Some more, some less. And the experience of beating ourselves up from time to time happens to the best of us.

IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE DAMAGED.

It’s more than likely that your current issues are temporary, they’ll pass in time,  and most importantly, you have the power to change them.

But to do so, you first need to accept, rather than resist. Resistance is where the pain and struggle is. It naturally and unconsciously complicates any situation, big or small. Accepting your current state and whatever your situation is right now is your first step forward. This will help you put things in perspective so you can more clearly see the situation for what it is, start to work through it and soon enough – resolve it.

In short, this is the power of self-acceptance.

IT’S THE KEY TO INITIATE CHANGE IN JUST ABOUT ANY DIFFICULT SITUATION.

The problem is, many people are unwilling or unable to look at their lives honestly. The idea of observing life from the outside and dissecting their issues that way is completely foreign, or just too painful.

In many cases like this, the person is afraid of what they may find if they dig deep enough in their self-reflection. This may deviate from an image they’re trying to uphold, it may conflict with some of their embedded beliefs or traditional ways of thinking, it may even affect some of their real life choices that they might be attached to – ie. relationships, friends, job, etc. It may just be too much to deal with, and easier to just keep going with the way things are. This is just life. Right?

Sure, it is life. And things can remain. But at what cost?

The longer you deny your truth, your self-acceptance, the longer and harder you’ll be conflicting with yourself and any adverse situation that arises. The energy that you could invest into confronting and, in turn, resolving your issues is instead, exhausting itself in a constant battle against your reality. You vs. you.

“But it should not be like this.”

“I should have gotten xyz.”

“He or she should have…”

All the should have, could have, would have of life will haunt you forever if you let it. This does nothing but prevent you from connecting to your inner-self, from accessing your own individual power. This is where your true value lives, in your self-esteem.

The self-avoidance and run around of blaming others sucks up all your energy. And what you resist, persists! This is why, when you do not recognize and resolve a problematic pattern in your life, it continues to return in various ways until you do. That’s, if you do. And if you don’t, it only worsens to the point of permanence which is the breeding ground for much deeper issues.

WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR US TO ACCEPT OURSELVES?

Many people confuse self-acceptance as meaning to be content with life as it is currently. As if it is a way of just saying yes to all of your flaws and to stop trying to improve yourself and striving for a better life.

This is not what self-acceptance is.

Self-acceptance is actually the first step on your journey to building healthy self-esteem and connecting to your own internal and individual power. It’s the beginning of you creating the life you want to live.

Self-acceptance is like pinpointing your location on a map. Looking at what is right now and taking stock of all that is there and your surroundings. Only when knowing where you are on the map can you start planning your next steps to your desired destination.

The same is true for any journey of self-empowerment. You need to be aware of where you are to get to where you want to be. You don’t have to love the spot you’re currently in, but for as long as you’re unwilling to accept it as a step in your journey forward, the efforts to change will be much more challenging.

Self-acceptance means accepting yourself the way you are right now. With all your flaws and issues. With all the things you want to fix, including your desire to become a better person and to continue to change your life for the better.

When practicing self-acceptance, you can begin by saying: “I accept myself with all my flaws and faults. Including my desire to overcome them.”

Remember: this moment you’re living right now is just a snapshot of your life. It’s one moment in time. It is not fixed and your acceptance of it does not make it permanent. It only shows you where you are on the map of your life so you can charter the course to your ideal destination.

If you want to learn more about this and how we help with the fundamental practices of self-acceptance, visit our “self-esteem through purpose” program here. Fill out a brief questionnaire to see if it’s the right fit for you.

If you have any questions or thoughts on this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]

Warmly,

Orlando Owen