The Key to Self-Acceptance

There are days when we wake up feeling nothing is right with what we do, say or think. We are unhappy being who we are and tend to compare ourselves with everyone else. If we look into the mirror, we see too many flaws and remember too many past wounds and failings to love ourselves unconditionally. In fact, it leads us down a spiraling course of negativity.

Do you have days like that? I know I do. Of course, it is anybody’s guess where that trail of thought usually leads one to. At the pit – right at the very bottom, from where it can be a struggle to pull oneself out.

Why does that happen? Why is it that that especially when we’ve made mistakes, we really don’t like ourselves? It leaves us feeling miserable, with our self-acceptance in shards.

I’ve come to believe that we are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths. We routinely fail to see our strengths and cling to antique scripts we carry about our lack of worth. Won’t you agree?

So, can we change this at all? Good news is, we can!

To begin with, we need to set an intention – to change our perspective from doubt and shame to one of acceptance and trust. Isn’t this where the transition from darkness to light happens?

One very effective method of dealing with self-doubt is listing our strengths, the highlights of our life, remembering the achievements and the accomplishments, the hardship we’ve overcome, the lives that we’ve touched one way or the other, and the connections we’ve made. Keeping this list handy and reviewing it often, helps us to keep adding to it from time to time and reminding ourselves of who we really are, instead of what we think we are.

Can you see why we can’t see ourselves clearly, without clearing those weeds that get in the way? That is the only way for letting positivity in. And whilst we become more accepting of ourselves, let us also let go of past regrets, because, all too often, they stand as barriers when we are struggling to accept ourselves in our true light.

The balance-sheet of life shows our wins and our losses, but our self-worth is much more than what this balance-sheet shows us. In learning to accept ourselves, we must constantly repeat within our conscious mind, why we are more worthy of self-love and acceptance than what we think we are, why we should stop being judgemental about our capabilities and more openly accept the person that we are.

Today, let us gain strength from the mantra:

I am only human, I am doing the best that I can and that is all I can do.

The key to self-compassion is to understand that weakness and frailty are part of the human experience, by letting go of the mistakes we’ve made and moving on from past regrets. 

Through all this introspection, let’s remind ourselves yet another time, that:

Coming to accept who we are involves loving ourselves because of our flaws, not in spite of them.

pablo

How good are you with self-acceptance? Have you ever struggled to see yourself beyond your failings and mistakes? What are the keys to self-acceptance according to you? 

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(Linking this with #microblogmondays and #mondaymusings.)

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23 thoughts

  1. When I started to reflect. I realized I had very high expectations from myself. So, I fine tuned them and started seeing things differently. It worked cos I thought I was accepting myself the way I am. On the other hand, I had now set the benchmark too low. Now – I think I am able to balance in little ways but this is a constant area of work for me.
    Great thought provoking post, Esha.

    1. I am with you on this Parul. This is something that I too need constant working on…its that fine balance between the two extremes that is needed but we are human and its only natural that we veer off the course. Somedays I find it intensely liberating not to have any expectations of myself, and lately, this has helped me stay positive knowing that there is too little that I can actually control so I let things take their course and I sit back and try to be open and accepting about everything. Not always as I said, but some days this can make life so much more liveable.

  2. I am going through a phase where I am questioning myself a lot…..things sometimes don’t work the way they ought to, or the way we want them to….and it is really hard to judge our own selves because we tend to become very critical….at least I tend to do that….and then it leaves you tired….exhausted….your words make me want to let go and take it easy…….I feel that they are going to help me today….Thanks for that Esha….

    1. I can understand your situation, Sunaina. I’ve been there too and know how overly-critical we tend to be on ourselves, especially those of us who are very discerning as individuals and tend to take things more seriously. It can be very exhausting as I myself realised years ago. I have been trying to work on myself in this aspect for many years now, somedays it is an easy job and at others, I tend to give in. But, work-in-progress at all times, Sunaina, and always questioning what I do because I’m always keen to learn, grow and improve from where I was yesterday. Its like a guiding force in my life in everything that I do. I’m so glad to know that my post spoke to you and made you feel that you should let go and take it easy. Thanks a ton for coming to visit Soul Talk and sharing your thoughts here. If my words can touch even one soul, I would be happy beyond measure. Your comments just did that. Take care

  3. Oh yes, Esha. I was going through these very emotions till some time back. I found myself way less worthy of my own love and respect, let alone that of the others. But, I have realised that it’s the game our evil mind plays on us. We let go of the control over our mind which in turn brings us down with all sorts of negativity and ruins our peace. Of late I have begun really appreciating everything about myself and my life and my people. That in turn is helping me stay positive to quite an extent. It’s really an everyday job, this working on ourselves and our morale, you know? I also think it has something to do with our age, our changing hormones and also a lack of focus. We ought to set goals for ourselves and set about working towards those goals, that will automatically change our attitude towards ourselves.
    Love and hugs!

    1. Realising where we are with respect to how our mind drives us is half the battle won, Shilpa. I’m glad to hear that you are trying ways to bring in positivity despite the odds. And, you’re absolutely right, it is an everyday job and in this we are all a work-in-progress. Hormones and age do have a big role to play in our perception of things around us and the thoughts that come into play. I find myself more accepting now than I was twenty years ago and more resilient to changes around me than before. On the other hand I am much less keen to take risks now than I would twenty years back so, some changes are good and some aren’t. Accepting the changes also takes time and makes our journey worthwhile, don’t you think?

  4. Excellent thought Esha… Listing down all the struggles we have overcome and all the achievements is a brilliant way to not fall into the pit. I too have those days and then have to will myself out of thinking about the past. The mistakes will always haunt us, how we handle them defines our future. I am a very flawed person and I am ok with that. It’s only when I accepted I am flawed did I try to improve myself. Self acceptance and self growth goes hand in hand I believe.

  5. Absolutely agree with the thoughts you have shares, Esha!. Accepting self is so vital for our well being. We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves and once we do that everything else falls in line too.

  6. Oh, I do have days when I feel so miserable that I tend to curl up in bed so that the feeling disappears somehow from my mind. I need my sleep before I can come to terms with the fact that mistakes are indeed stepping stones to being better and more. We all have our own methods to tide over adversities and I believe I have mine when I say this. To not let the worry overpower us need to be the aim whatever the method be.

    1. I agree each of us has a unique way of dealing with this feeling of inadequacy within us that leads to self doubt and we must nip it in the bud right away. I like the way you “sleep” to get over it. That’s a very novel method to apply. 🙂

  7. Self acceptance is very important for one to be happy and content. We often forget simple things in life and fret over many useless things. I used be a thinker and an impulsive person but now trying to just see positive in everything. Only when you accept yourself and love yourself, you can be happy.

  8. I am pretty good with self-acceptance now though I have my times when I feel that I am quite hopeless. But they are fewer now. I have seen that what people say does not disturb me much. But a loved one saying something mean haunts me and pulls my moods down.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. It does hurt when someone dear to us does that. I know the feeling, but I guess, as we get older, life toughens us to be more open and empathetic in trying to understand why sometimes those hurtful words might just be a reflection of what people feel about themselves and often end up passing on to others. I can speak myself out of such situations, now, Rachna, something I found hard to do when I was younger.

  9. Self-acceptance is hard work at times. I have days when I feel everything is wrong and no matter what I do, nothing seems right. There are days when it worries what others think about me, even though I know they have probably misunderstood me, it bothers me to an extent that I lose sleep over it. That’s when conscious dialogue with myself works. I tend to make a list in my mind of everything that is right and all the people who really love me and accept me as I am, that’s how I move on. I think the key is remembering that we can’t please everyone. A lot of my issues comes from forgetting that very fact.
    A thought provoking read, Esha.

    1. Thanks, Nabanita. I totally understand what you say. I’ve been a lot like that in the past but life has taught me that very often we put too much emphasis on others and their expectations of us and that works havoc with our mind. I’ve unconsciously tried to focus on pleasing people and that again has led me down the path to exasperation because no matter what, you need to think of yourself first. It took me years to learn to do that. No matter what you do, Nabanita, people always have something to say about it, s it makes sense, that you do your own thing because that way, at least you would focus on what makes you happy. Conscious dialogue definitely helps me.

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