Self-acceptance is a personal process and journey that takes time, effort, and perseverance. Because our perceptions, perspectives, and views of life are shaped differently due to our varied experiences, acceptance also varies. Our experiences mold and craft who we are and also influences what we value and how we define our purpose. Self-acceptance is embracing and continuously understanding ourselves despite the changes and discomfort of realizing that we too have flaws, limits, and negative traits. Growing in awareness is also growing in acceptance. The more we get to know ourselves, the more we are able to accept, face, and move forward in growth and development.
Note: Self-awareness and acceptance is a choice to prioritize ourselves.
Acceptance: Letting Go of Standards and Expectations
Being patient with ourselves and our journey is essential in accepting the different parts of who we are. Because we consume what we see, it’s often difficult to unconditionally accept every part of ourselves and that’s okay. Awareness builds on our preconceived notions of who we understand ourselves to be and who we wished we could be. Grappling with self-worth and self-acceptance opens the door for a new perspective, a perspective that welcomes self-development and growth. Once understanding that we cannot be anyone but ourselves we are faced with the challenge of accepting what and who we are now, letting go of societal expectations and standards.
Affirmations: I love and accept myself just the way that I am. I am all that I need to be. I am valid in my experiences and feelings.
Questions to Influence Growth in Self-Acceptance
Accepting ourselves fully in the stage we are in can be difficult and challenging especially when we don’t know where to start or we expect ourselves to be doing better. As a method of reflection, these questions can help in starting the process of approaching and welcoming awareness for acceptance of who we are now:
- Who am I?
- What do I want in life?
- What do I find value in?
- What allows me to feel and experience peace of mind?
- What are my needs?
- What are my boundaries?
- What are my flaws and areas I can improve?
- What do I struggle with?
- How can I better myself?
- What are my goals?
Affirmation: It’s okay to be in different stages in my journey. I know that I am where I need to be.
Self-acceptance is a process with no time limit or expectation. We are always growing, evolving, and learning. Once we’ve reflected and asked ourselves important questions to grow in self-awareness, we can now put our continuous acceptance into practice. Here are some ways you can practice self-compassion and awareness in the choice of acceptance:
- Set and accomplish feasible goals.
- Do what makes you happy.
- Start a hobby or do something you find interest in.
- Practice affirmations of self-worth and self-growth.
- Reflect on what you want to improve, where you see yourself going, and what you want to do in life.
- Work on building habits that help you to feel good about yourself.
- Set boundaries in your relationships.
- Express your needs.
- Celebrate your accomplishments.
- Forgive yourself for past wrongs and work on ways you can be/do better.
- Allow yourself to feel and process your pain.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Network and find like-minded people.
- Build perspective by engaging in dialogue with others.
- Welcome difference.
- Practice empathy.
- Challenge yourself.
- Prioritize self-care and learn your limits.
- Be gentle with your expectations of yourself and your definition of success. Remind yourself that you are doing your best.
Self-acceptance opens the door for fulfilling opportunities that reflect our needs and wants. Once we realize our own power and worth, we begin to attract who we are in what we do and who we surround ourselves with. What we need and want will come to us as we begin to accept ourselves.
Reminder: Know that despite our flaws, limits, and pain we’ve faced, we are still worthy of self-acceptance, compassion, growth, and peace.
Nina is a Latina from Brooklyn, NY who struggles with depression and anxiety. She finds refuge and healing through her writing since she graduated from college in 2016. Nina writes to spread awareness and hope to those who struggle with their mental health silently. She also strives to motivate and encourage self-acceptance. She enjoys creating creative and uplifting content on her blog SparklyWarTanks.com where she shares her experiences, notes, poems, quotes, and articles