Let’s face it. I know at some point, you wish that accepting yourself as you are could be effortless (or even painless). But it’s harder to ignore the fact that self-acceptance is back-breaking.
For instance, I’m the type of person who’s definitely not for the “hustle culture”. I’m 1000% sure that if I kept trying myself to fit in, I’ll be one step closer to burnout every single time. If I couldn’t accept myself as a person who’s more productive when doing things slowly by taking one step at a time, seriously, that would torture the hell out of me!
In this blog post, I want to talk about what self-acceptance is, why it’s so hard to accept yourself, and the number one key to start accepting yourself as you are.
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What does self-acceptance mean?
From the word itself, self-acceptance is the acceptance of yourself. Accepting or welcoming not just the good traits of you, and not only the bad and ugly, but the whole you.
Self-acceptance, according to Shepard, involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual’s feeling about oneself, that they are of “unique worth”.
“Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are.”
Accepting yourself as you are is also letting go of what you think you are and who you think you “should” be. It also means that accepting your bad or ugly sides doesn’t mean you should like them. Accepting that you have those traits will help you get to know yourself better and improve yourself.
Why can’t I accept myself for who I am?
Expectations are one of the main hurdles to achieving self-acceptance. There are a lot of times that we expect ourselves to be someone we know we’re not. As for me before, I always expected myself to finish a ton of tasks in a day and beat myself up if it didn’t end up that way.
Getting to know yourself will help you lessen your expectations from yourself. That’s why I’ve posted a 4-part series about knowing yourself. Give it a read if you want to learn more. Also, I’ve created this downloadable workbook packed with handouts and exercises to discover yourself. Get it here for free.
What is the key to self-acceptance?
Self-compassion is the key to start accepting yourself as you are. It is giving yourself understanding and unconditional love especially when you don’t feel like it.
There are two parts of self-compassion: the feminine (yin), and the masculine (yang). It is represented by yin and yang in traditional Chinese Philosophy.
The yin compassion or the feminine part involves a comforting and calming approach in times of suffering. While the yang compassion or the masculine part involves stepping up and showing inner strength.
For the most part, in order to accept yourself as you are, feminine or yin compassion would work. You don’t want to push yourself too hard when you’re struggling to accept yourself. Instead, you’d want to feel at ease and safe. But sometimes, it still depends on your situation.
For me, because I tend to become my worst critic (aren’t we all?) and I set high expectations for myself, understanding and comforting myself (yin compassion) will help me when I feel disappointed and struggling to accept myself.
Being kind to yourself is a way to help you be who we really are. Think about who you are without society’s expectations? Without all the expectations you set for yourself? The truth is you are unique and worthy of love. Kindness will make you understand that everything about you is okay and that’s when acceptance comes in.
Self-acceptance is not always solely accepting your good and bad traits, it is accepting the whole and every part of you. It could be hard sometimes. That’s why self-compassion is the key to start accepting yourself as you are. Self-acceptance and compassion go hand in hand. Learning to express compassion and empathy to yourself will bring you acceptance and unconditional love.
Why do you think self-acceptance is hard? Comment your answer below!
I hope you loved this post! If you do, make sure to check out my other posts in the recommendation!
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I am a content writer and the creator of Cresetella. I’m here to help you start your self-discovery journey and be fearlessly authentic.