Writer: Sherly Aditya Rahmatika
Word count: 1534
Reading time: 9 minutes
It is a natural thing for us to crave a better self. These feelings, in some ways, can actually motivate us to move forward. However, sometimes, we hate ourselves instead.
According to Psychotherapy, Christopher K. Germer (2009), the process of self-acceptance is a type of condition against discomfort. The process begins with hatred, which is the excess of the inability to accept oneself for who one is. Then progresses to curiosity about the problem.
However, these feelings are like poison to our bodies. Your head may be filled with negative ways of thinking that can lead to stress, less happiness, and even depression. Self-acceptance is important for your mental health.
For those of you who have this problem, let’s take a little step to make it up. You will be able to accept yourself by knowing what self-acceptance is and doing some steps for enhancing your self-acceptance. If everything goes well, you will end up embracing everything that happens in your life.
What is Self-Acceptance?
We are all just humans with all the beauty and flaws who just trying to do our best. Yet, we often hold ourselves to impossible standards and harshly judge our failures while ignoring our achievements.
Self-acceptance, as defined by Shepard (1979), is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. self-acceptance is an ability to see oneself as a whole person with imperfections and values which involves valuing the self regardless of accomplishment or failure. It is also an ability to accept all parts of yourself which essentially allows you to be human.
Self-acceptance boosts self-esteem and makes you less susceptible to criticism. It requires deeply and completely every aspect of yourself unconditionally without exception to accept yourself.
When we accept ourselves, we can embrace all aspects of ourselves, not just the positive and more “valuable” ones. As a result, self-acceptance is unqualified and unconditional. We may be aware of our flaws or limitations, but this does not limit our ability to accept ourselves completely.
Steps to Accept Yourself as You Are:
- Be Honest With Yourself About How You Feel
Being honest is a way of self-reflection even though it is something that is considered difficult to do. Not only to others but being honest with yourself is sometimes difficult. You must be honest with yourself about how you’ve been feeling, what’s been bothering you, how you’ve behaved, and how you’ve lived your life so far. This can be a moment for you to open up to yourself and help you find the best version of yourself.
- Create New Distinctions
According to Langer and Pietrasz (1995), this act can increase the positive impact and interest in an event, object, behavior, or situation. When mental exploration becomes a way of life, it becomes easier to explore those thoughts and emotions that were previously hidden or avoided. Exploring new aspects of personality will improve one’s self-acceptance.
- Accept Your Weaknesses and Strengths
It may sound cheesy, but everything has two sides that balance each other. You may feel insecure and inferior right now, but you must be aware of your abilities. Try to find something you enjoy and are good at. You might be good at dancing or cooking, or you might have a strong interest in writing. So, pay attention to your own strengths as well.
- Forgive The Mistakes You Made in The Past
Learning to accept your own weaknesses must also start by forgiving the mistakes you made in the past. Perhaps, in the past, you have mistakenly taken advantage of your weaknesses to the point you regret it, or perhaps you are being harsh to yourself. Whatever it is, forgive yourself in the past, and make up with it.
- Confront Your Fears
As humans, we all have a history that includes some horrific and traumatic events. We are all burdened by the weight of our tainted past. However, it is our fear of the unknown that keeps us trapped. We are so afraid of the mysterious that we allow ourselves to become immersed in what we know. To create change, small steps must be taken. Begin with something small, try to deal with it, and learn what makes it scary. Then, you can move on to the next small issue.
- Express Yourself
Acceptance of oneself and being expressive are two connected things. Someone who is unable to accept themselves as they are usually suppressing their emotions. In general, someone who is not expressive appears awkward and confused in a variety of situations. As a result, you must become more expressive in order to gain a better understanding of who you are. Aside from that, you can learn to appreciate yourself more. Gradually, this habit can help you grow and, of course, accept yourself as you are.
- Appreciate The Process
The process itself can usually take years or even a lifetime. Try to appreciate more all the effort you put in. To fully comprehend it, you must cultivate the ability to see and hear what you really want. This is a skill that must be constantly practiced. It may feel heavy at first because, before taking action, you must first ask yourself, “Is this something that suits me?” “Is this really what I’m looking for?” In other words, knowing oneself is the process of awakening self-awareness. This helps you to accept yourself.
- Start To Write a Journal or Diary
You can observe your progress through a diary or journal. Start it with writing down some points of the significant events of the day. Look back at events with the aim of observing new things and new perspectives on them. Practicing mindfully viewing events and situations in retrospect will enhance the ability to mindfully experience events and situations at the time they occur. Keeping a diary or journal can also be beneficial for mental health, so you can do this to see how you are progressing.
Why You Should Accept Yourself?
Self-Development – If you start focusing on being the best version of yourself, you will experience less stress from trying to be someone you are not. You will also experience less stress as a result of attempting to find happiness outside of yourself. If you can find acceptance and happiness within yourself, you won’t need to seek happiness in other places and things.
Enhances Emotional Well-Being – Your psychological well-being may suffer if you do not accept yourself, and beneficial interventions may be less effective for you than for others with higher self-acceptance. If you have low self-esteem, the parts of the brain that help you manage emotions have less gray matter than someone who has a higher level of self-acceptance.
It Supports You to Practice Forgiveness – We are much more likely to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. When you work on forgiveness, you will release pain and negative feelings, and create room in your life for a happier life.
Becomes More Successful – When you accept and love yourself, you have faith in yourself. When pursuing your dreams or attempting to achieve success, it is critical to believe in yourself. When you learn to accept yourself and have a better image of who you are, you will not only work on your current dreams, but you will most likely come up with new ones. People who accept themselves tend to have more goals, believe they can accomplish more, and take great steps to make things happen for themselves.
Beneficial to Your Mental Health – of course, feeling better or happy will affect your mental health to be more positive. When we are struggling with our physical health, it is easy to overlook our mental health, despite the fact that the two are closely linked. Letting go of expectations, mistakes, and failure is a good place to start when it comes to accepting yourself and improving your mental health.
“Self-esteem and self-love are the opposites of fear; the more you like yourself, the less you fear anything” – Brian Tracy
In conclusion, when people are mindful, they will be actively engaged in making new distinctions about their surroundings rather than manipulating their image in order to gain the acceptance of others or maintain fragile self-esteem. When people actively notice their surroundings, they are living in the present moment. When you look at yourself objectively, you will notice that you are multifaceted individuals whose potential is only limited by your constricted perspectives.
Self-acceptance is a deliberate decision made when you accept responsibility for your lives and recognize that you have control over the decisions that shape your personal world. You can accept yourself unconditionally when you view the world and yourself mindfully. When you accept who you are today, your happiness is no longer tied to everything you want to change. Self-acceptance makes you feel better.
After all, self-acceptance is essential for living a healthy emotional and psychological life. You can also get counseling and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness-acceptance-based approaches (see www.online-therapy.com), which can help promote self-acceptance to promote change. Please always remember that you deserve to be happy, you deserve to be loved and accepted as you are.