How many of your problems in life are rooted in the fact that, when it comes down to it, you just don’t like yourself that much?
HINT: Most of them.
I recently helped a good friend of mine come into a place of full self-acceptance. Instantly, his energy levels increased, his dormant sex drive turned on and I’ve never seen him as powerful in his presence as he is now. All because he simply stopped trying to live according to his roles in life (husband, father, leader, business owner), but instead fully accepted who he was and actually how old he felt—beyond his roles.
Self acceptance is a life changing art and I want to show you the best way to create it. However, first let’s look at a few helpful flags in identifying our current levels of self-acceptance.
Here are a couple clear indicators that you don’t like, or more importantly—accept, yourself:
1) “I’m not enough” or “I’m too much.”
Most people feel one of two ways about themselves: “the real me is either not enough or too much.” And make no mistake, those are simply different sides of the same coin. Either way, the shortcomings and adopted negative self-perceptions of your past are bigger and louder than any other voice in your head.
2) “Failure is always one mistake away.”
Most of us put quite a bit of pressure on ourselves to perform well and readily kick our own ass over when we don’t. If the feeling of failure is readily felt or available, you’ve not yet fully accepted who you are outside of performance.
3) “I don’t feel loved or wanted.”
Have you ever known someone who really felt they didn’t fit in (or maybe that has been you)? No matter how much people pursue that person and try to make them feel included—they still do not accept their place as part of the group. The root of the problem is usually not that people don’t want the person around, but simply the person cannot accept they are wanted. The person has not accepted themselves. Sadly, the way they act is completely controlled by the feeling of not being included or desired, so they end up pushing people away when what they really want is to feel desired and connected.
Brene Brown, author and TED talker, says it this way…
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
What would your life look like and how would you feel if you fully accepted yourself?
How different would things be if you accepted every part of you and felt amazing about who you are? If you connected with your “most loved self,” not just for an occasional vacation, but EVERY DAY—how would your life change?
I can promise that you’ll experience true belonging and connection—which tends to birth everything we want in life!
So, how do we accept ourselves?
In my own journey of self-acceptance, as well as almost every case I’ve helped people walk through, here are the three basic (and beginning) steps that have a way of breaking cycles of self-hatred and introducing a far healthier one!
Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. Even as we discuss self-acceptance, you may be realizing ways that you’ve been self-loathing or simply indifferent to yourself that you had no awareness of before.
You just didn’t know what you didn’t know. And that’s okay!
Now you’re gaining awareness, which is an extremely powerful place to be. You can’t change something you aren’t even aware is there!
You must take this the first step in choosing to be brave and look at where you haven’t loved or accepted yourself well.
What feelings do you feel? Are they negative or positive?
Instead of resisting your negative emotions (as ego is telling you to do), the best way to dispel an emotion is to enter it fully. Let yourself be there and feel the way you feel about yourself. Embrace it! (Remember, what you resist, persists!)
You don’t like the way you do this or say that. Become aware of it all. Don’t try and hide or deny it.
Just sit in this awareness and feel it. I’m talking about accepting and coming to grips with the reality of how you feel about YOU. You need to feel everything. You need to feel inside that reality.
Now say this with me: “I have not accepted (loved, nurtured…etc) myself fully.”
Now that you know where you have lived in bits of self-sabotage, it’s time to accept.
When operating on a heart plane you do not win by fighting or control or conquering. You win by accepting.
Acceptance means entering fully into whatever you are feeling about yourself, while staying aware that the emotion you’re feeling is not YOU.
Acceptance is not only the most loving and compassionate thing you can do, it’s the most productive thing you can possibly do. Self-acceptance, self-image, self-concept, self-expression—all these things are restored in this place of acceptance.
As those negative thoughts and emotions come up about yourself, see yourself as an entirely other person and simply say: “I accept that about you. I love that about you…”
Only once you’ve accepted what is, you are able to take real action towards change and growth. You are now in a place to create movement. It’s time for inspired action in the form of self-nurture!
This action step is about learning how you feel cared for and giving that to yourself. The question here is: what do i typically feel like I need from my spouse or father or friends?
You need emotional understanding? Learn to process your emotions, becoming more vulnerable with yourself.
I’m a words of affirmation guy and one thing that has helped me tons is creating positive affirmations and speaking them out loud everyday…
“I know WHO I AM is enough. I am free from the guilt and shame of my past, because my mistakes do not define me. I am deeply aware of my own incredible uniqueness. I am awake. I am a gift to the world. I feel connected to God and my most loved self, so I am amazing at connecting with people. I no longer feel separated. I do not fear being “found out” or like I need to prove something, because I know who I am. I finally feel at peace with myself and free to live out my divine purpose. I really am this great. I really am a genius. I really AM brilliant.”
I want you to remember, daily nurturing and loving ourselves creates huge shifts and growth. You don’t have to figure out what to do to change everything at once. This is not a contest. But taking small steps towards the life you want actually turn into huge leaps!
Hope it helps!