How do we define self-acceptance?
It is the contentment or satisfaction with everything about yourself: your appearance, personal relationships, your position, and everything about you. Self-acceptance is also an important foundation of personal well-being and your mental health. A woman who is totally accepting of herself knows her worth and is not ashamed of loving herself.
Sadly, not everyone practices self-acceptance. Many people struggle with loving and accepting themselves. They don’t think they are worthy of love. They don’t have the confidence to follow their dreams and live their best life.
Are you like this woman? Then it’s about time you start accepting who you are, one step at a time.
Why Self-Acceptance is Crucial to Your Personal Growth
When we lack self-acceptance, we end up bullying ourselves into a challenging pursuit for perfection.
In the past, I couldn’t accept who I was. I failed my God and my family because I was drowning in debt. I had maxed out my credit cards, and I was in a relationship with a man who wasn’t my husband. I felt so dirty and guilty that I ended up being my harshest critic. I would always push myself to change or be better because I was never enough.
Do you feel the same way?
Many people fall in the same pit. While it’s natural to doubt your abilities once in a while, staying in that pit of doubt can cause some problems in your life. Consider the following:
- Living a lie. Lack of self-acceptance may push you to strive to become someone you’re not. In the end, you will be living a fake life.
- Low self-esteem. Being blind or denying all of your successes and failures will cause you to doubt your capabilities, resulting in low self-esteem.
- Victim mindset. If you don’t accept yourself, you are vulnerable to the opinion of others. You will embrace their negativity and cause you to think that you are a helpless victim.
- Sadness. Since you don’t like yourself, happiness is an elusive state. Nothing makes you happy.
Self-acceptance and happiness go hand in hand. Your level of personal happiness depends heavily on how you accept yourself. You enjoy life when you think you are worthy of the life you are living. Don’t let personal doubts keep you from accepting how God created you. Instead, ask God to give you peace and fully accept who you are.
The Path to Self Acceptance
How do you start accepting yourself?
Step 1: Recognize Your Strengths. People will notice your weakness before they see your strength. You might be practicing the same thing. You think about your shortcomings more than you recognize your merits. Stop putting yourself down, focus on your abilities.
Write them down so you can have a picture of what you can do. You don’t have to complete that list in one sitting. Write one good thing about yourself every day.
Begin with something simple, like “I am kind.” As the list grows, your old view of yourself will change. You will start recognizing your strengths and talents. Reinforce your self-esteem by reminding yourself of the goals you’ve reached and the lives you’ve touched.
Step 2: Forgive Yourself. The unfortunate truth is it is often easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. Past mistakes haunt us and slow down our progress towards achieving self-love. Learn to forgive yourself and move on. Use your previous mistakes as an opportunity to grow. While you can’t change the past, you can still paint a better future for yourself. Remember, you’re not that person anymore.
Step 3: Keep Your Inner Critic Quiet. Our brain is often wired to seek the negative more than the positive. When your inner critic rears its ugly head and says you’re a failure, remind yourself of how God sees you. You were created in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He knit you together in your mom’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He knew the number of hairs on your head and He knows the words you’ll say before you actually say it (Psalm 139:4; Matthew 10:30).
You are NOT a nobody. You are a somebody in the eyes of the Lord.
Step 4: Celebrate Small Wins. You don’t have to climb a mountain or have a closet full of trophies to celebrate your efforts. Acknowledge the small victories to build your confidence and competence. Start with the small things before you acknowledge the major victories in life.
We can be our own worst enemies, but that doesn’t have to be your reality. With prayer and willpower, you can learn to accept yourself. You can become empowered and be a better version of yourself.
It is not easy to accept who we are, especially if we have been labeled as not good enough. The good news is we can break from a wrong view of self. You need another woman who went through a season of self-doubt and has turned herself into a woman who has accepted how God created her.