How well do you know yourself? When people talk about finding themselves, do you feel inspired or do you think it’s a bunch of baloney? I’ve talked before about how I used to be a skeptic on all things touchy-feely. Talk about gratitude and I hightail it out of there. But over time I’ve learned a lot about myself, and it’s made me less jumpy and more willing to embrace love.
My intention with this article is to help you accept yourself as you are. Warts and all. No apologies and no regrets. But here’s where I need your buy-in: Self-acceptance requires you to be an active participant. You need to be open to feeling and acknowledging your emotions and thoughts without denial. I’m going to ask you to, like, do work. You down? You ready to get this party started?
Before we get to gettin’, I need you to either grab a notebook or print off this worksheet. (I told you I was going to ask you to work!) Each step has a related exercise to give you a little nudge.
Accept yourself as you are right now
I’ve told you before how I would like to lose weight and generally get healthier, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love and accept my unhealthy slightly overweight self, you guys. If I constantly put off accepting myself because there were things I could improve, I would die without loving myself fully because there is always something I could improve. The key here is to know this: You are worthy of love, both your own and others, exactly as you are.
List five qualities you have difficulty accepting in yourself. Now, write how you can be more accepting of them and more loving to yourself.
Accept your strengths
When people compliment you, how do you react? Is it hard for you to see the good in yourself? Do you have an inner critic that immediately follows up each compliment with a “but it could have been better?” Girl, it’s time to accept your strengths. Do not spend one moment apologizing for your gifts. It’s just as easy to believe you’re awesome as it is to believe you suck. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but this is where affirmations really come into play.
List five of your strengths. Now, below your list, write an affirmation for each strength. Repeat these affirmations to yourself in the mirror, or in your head while driving, or wherever whenever.
Be honest with yourself
Do you put on a good show for Facebook, only sharing posed and curated shots with witty captions? Or do you post authentically, typos and all? Who you are and who others believe you to be are often not the same person, right? You are not your persona, and it’s time to be honest with yourself about who you are as a person.
Think of your authentic self, warts and all. What are the top five qualities that make up who you are as a person without the shield of your persona? How can you remain authentic?
I will just not shut up about gratitude, I know! But you guys! I’m serious when I tell you to adopt the attitude of gratitude. I’ve talked at length about its benefits, and self-acceptance is another! Once you realize how amazing it is to have what you have, it’s hard to be upset over the things you don’t.
Keep a gratitude journal for a week. If you chose not to download the worksheet, you can still grab my free weekly gratitude log here. List five things you’re grateful for each for a week. Trust me, you’re gonna love this exercise!
Find your tribe
Finding your tribe is twofold. While you create a support structure of like-minded folks, you’ll need to look at your existing relationships and evaluate if they’re mutually beneficial. As I’ve mentioned before, there are steps you can take once you identify a toxic family member or friend.
If you have a toxic relationship, list it here. Next to that person’s name, identify what boundary you’re putting in place to protect yourself. Remember, boundaries only work when you believe they’re needed. Otherwise, you’ll allow them to be crossed.
EMBRACE WHO YOU ALREADY ARE
I know I just asked you to do a lot of work, but you’re worth it. Once you accept yourself, you’ll be much happier and more grateful. You’ll find yourself able to embrace the season of life you’re in (MIDDLE AGE FOR ME, WHAT?!), but most importantly, you’ll stop comparing yourself to others.
Let me know if you’re facing any struggles in the comments. Or, if you’re thriving, let me know what’s working for you!