The Importance of Self Acceptance and How to Practice It
The one beautiful thing about us humans is we are all unique and authentically different. Yet, both personally and professionally, so many of us strive for perfection and by doing so can often leave us feeling deflated and not good enough. We too often feel the pressure of society’s high standards on us, allowing personal achievements to stay in the background while our insecurities remain in the forefront of our minds, which is neither helpful nor healthy and it is very often the case we are responsible for putting ourselves under that pressure.
So what can be done? We believe everyone should practice self-acceptance, not only to ultimately lead a happier and healthy life but also to be able to self improve, set goals, and to recognise positive achievements.
Before we dive into how to practice self-acceptance, let’s make sure we all understand the true definition of what it actually is.
Self-acceptance is the ability to see ourselves as a whole human that includes our virtues and our flaws. It is valuing our self regardless of accomplishment or failure. It is the ability to effectively learn from mistakes, rather than allowing them to internally disrupt our psychological wellbeing – Positive Psychology.
How to build Self Acceptance
A way to dip your toe in the water before diving in would be to practice self-compassion. When you speak to yourself, imagine you are a loved one or a best friend. How you speak to yourself is extremely important and self-loathing is not good for the soul or your mental health.
How about starting with self-forgiveness? Write yourself a letter forgiving yourself for the mistakes made in the past or present. We strongly recommend you take a look at Self Compassion.org for more tips on how to practice self-compassion.
Learn from your mistakes. Making a mistake, although at the time isn’t easy, recognise there will be a positive that comes from it, you’ve learned something new! Try adopting a growth mindset when making a mistake. What can you take from it? How can you improve and what will you do differently?
Make a list every time you find yourself self-judging. Sometimes we self loath and don’t recognise we are doing it. Try to tune in when this type of behaviour occurs and make a physical or mental note of what it is. Once it’s recognised you’ll be able to see how you can turn it into something you accept.
Healthy risk-taking is another way to build a strong self-accepting attitude. Most people that have a good level of self-acceptance are more likely to take risks compared to those who don’t and tend to ‘play it safe’. Give yourself an encouraging nudge, be on your own team, and take risks!
Practice what you preach with others. Start to change your mindset towards others. If you practice acceptance it will become ingrained in your own attitude.
It’s great to be reminded of the importance of being kind to yourself, practicing self-love and self-respect, recognising when you are not so kind to yourself, and making sure you are not in your own way.
We hope this has been helpful. Next Tuesday as part of the Syfter Book Club, we will share 10 really interesting reads on Self Acceptance that we hope you find useful. Make sure you are part of the Syfter Facebook Community to check them out
Do you have a personal development topic you would like us to explore? Email the community team: [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.
Take care and stay safe!
Syft’s Community Team