“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” – Mark Twain
I have an important question for you; How do you feel about yourself?
If you are here in the hope of figuring out how to live a happier life in your own skin, I really do encourage you to think about that question for a minute or two.
If you are seeking out how to live your best life, feel happy and unlock your confidence; you are always going to keep coming back to the same first step – Self-Acceptance.
As a Coach, I am well aware, too many (amazing) people, do not feel good about themselves.
At this moment in time, during this precious second of your life, you do not accept who you are. That’s a real shame, because as you are right now, is all you have.
The way you look, the things you have been through, the decisions you made, the people you dated, the way you talk, the things you said, the job you have, the length of your hair, the shape of your face; it’s all part of you right now. Open your eyes and see yourself the way you long for someone else to see you.
Before you panic…I’m not suggesting you accept yourself and stay the same. Nope. Accepting yourself still allows room to grow, change and achieve. But unless you accept your life and self now, it is going to be much harder for you to grow, change and achieve.
Lack of self-acceptance involves bitterness, anger, upset and self-hate. Have you ever tried to make a change in your life from that state? Usually, you won’t reach the goal at all, or if you do, the journey is miserable and the happiness at the end is short lived if you managed to feel it at all.
When you like who you are; life feels even better and happiness actually lasts longer than five seconds. Bonus.
Life is easier, kinder and bigger when you accept yourself and be who you are born to be.
If you follow the Tips in this article, you will soon see how true it is; happiness starts from within.
We have to out the taboo right now. Saying nice things about yourself is something that is ridiculed from a young age, we are taught very early on that it’s not socially acceptable to accept yourself, instead you should only acknowledge all the things you do not like. If you find the whole idea of self-acceptance to be ‘cringey’ and ‘big headed’; you need to reframe that right away.
It was never your decision to see yourself in this way, it has been put on you and continues to be put on you by a toxic culture of self-hate.
Guess what? Accepting Yourself is not settling, it’s not conceited, it’s not arrogant. In fact, it is you standing up for your happiness, peace of mind and who you are.
Being positive about yourself is accepting yourself as you are now – flaws included.
Accept you the things you can’t change
Accept the things that take time to change
Accept your past mistakes
Accept your relationships status
Accept your weight
Accept your stubbornness
Accept you get anxious
Accept you feel sad sometimes
Accept that not everyone likes you
Accept that time you embarrassed yourself
Accept that it hurts
Accept you are not perfect
When it Feel Impossible
I get how impossible it seems. I do. Maybe, don’t aim to 100% accept yourself. Aim to accept yourself just a little bit more than you do right now. We can go for 100 later.
It’s not just you. I really need you to hear this; the more you think you are the only person feeling this way or messing up, the more you stay stuck.
It seems to be engrained in people to negatively perceive situations and events in their life, and then to twist them into stories that confirm how worthless they are.
Look, I’m sure you have moments of happiness, and then somehow, you manage to bring yourself back down. You start looking elsewhere for happiness again, or doubting yourself, or thinking other people are doing better.
It’s time to get real with yourself; Life has ups and down, people have strengths and weaknesses.
Accepting yourself asks you to start witnessing your own strengths AND weaknesses. I don’t want you to enhance the weaknesses or ignore the strengths any longer. You don’t have to be in love with everything about yourself, but accept it is part of who you are in this moment. I want you to dig deep, find a way to appreciate yourself right now; especially the parts of you that you detest (if it really does feel impossible, I have some tips to help below).
If you can not find a way to be comfortable with yourself, you won’t feel comfortable. If you do not like who you are, you will hide away or be someone you’re not – you may already know, that way of living is exhausting and soul destroying.
Why Self-Acceptance is Important
Life is going to be a lot harder for you if you continue down the track of disliking (hating?) yourself. Let’s be honest, you are hardly going to fight hard for someone you don’t like. It takes effort to reach dreams and stick to goals, are you really expecting yourself to put that kind of time and effort in for someone you can’t stand?
Criticising who you are, and the way life has gone so far is not going to change anything. It is not going to attract your dream job, healthy relationships and purpose.
You can spend all the time in the world comparing yourself, blaming yourself and wishing you were someone else. Or, you can take a look at yourself as you are right this second, give yourself the pat on the back you deserve, and perhaps for the first time, accept that you are who you are.
I know you have your eye on the goal. You think when you have achieved X, Y & Z, then you will accept yourself. But that’s not the way it goes if you are looking for long term happiness. We’ve got that wrong.
First comes real happiness, then comes all the good stuff. The other way round is too risky, you wind up relying on things and people to make you happy and worthy.
For the First two weeks of my 14 Week one to one program, we focus solely on reframing how you view yourself. I work with you to re-evaluate and expand the image you have of yourself. Only then, are you going to be ready to go for the things you have your eye on. Until you can adapt, you will continue to play small, or at least stay at the level you are at. Below, I have given you tips to get started on your journey of self-acceptance and happiness:
1. Make a Decision
First and Foremost, I encourage you to make a decision that you are going to go against the norm and begin to accept yourself fully. The shift came for me when I made a decision that everyone is worthy of love and acceptance, me included. Decide that you are going to spend the time you have in the world, being yourself and being your own biggest cheerleader.
Making these decisions and setting new intentions is a crucial step in helping you transform your mind-set and the view you hold of yourself.
2. Face the Truth
Stop avoiding, stop hating and stop going over and over the problem, the weakness or the mistake. Say it out loud. What are the things you struggle to accept about yourself right now? Don’t come at this task from a place of anger and judgement, instead, choose compassion. Listen to yourself, feel the pain and accept this is the reality. This IS the situation. Then, and only then, can you decide on the next steps to overcoming this.
So what is one thing you are struggling to accept about yourself? How are you going to move forward in your life and embrace this situation?
3. Forgive Yourself
You have to let go. Holding on to regrets and mistakes will prevent self-acceptance. If there are things you have done, or parts of you that you have neglected; forgive yourself. Tell yourself, you did the best you could. Even if you look back now and it seems obvious that things were going to go the way they did or you could have taken action sooner.
I get that you wish things were different, but that’s not what has happened here, that’s not your story, this is.
Forgive yourself, you’re human, and that isn’t an easy thing to navigate, so cut yourself some slack.
4. Notice the Positives
If you’ve attended my workshop or completed any of my programmes, you know we do this exercise very early. You have to start looking at yourself as a whole person; that includes the good and the bad – stop ignoring the good. Grab my FREE ’10 Things I Love About Me’ Resource HERE, set a timer for two minutes and write ten things you love about yourself.
How did you get on? If you wrote ten or more, fantastic. If you wrote less than that, no problem – start looking out now and get this worksheet filled out over the next week. Then keep that list, and keep looking back at it, every day. I guarantee, there are positive things about you, I know that for a fact.
As well as tuning into your strengths, look back and acknowledge past achievements and times you overcome hardship.
5. Stop Aiming for Perfection & Certainty
If you are aiming for perfection & certainty in your life; you are in for a tough time. Being perfect is not a thing and Certainty is not what life is about. If you are aiming for something that isn’t real, you are never going to get where you want to be. Failure is normal, falling is normal. Uncertainty and mistakes are a part of life; your life, my life, everyone’s life.
Get on board with the vulnerable feelings that come from the unknown, break ups, loss, snapping, feeling jealous, and the rest.
6. Accept your Reality and Resist Comparing
Live in the now. Where you are right now in your life is your reality. Wishing it was another way does not stop it. Avoid thinking you should be doing a certain thing in your life right now. Comparing yourself to others has to go. This is a pattern of thinking that is standing in the way of you growing and being who you really are. You keep looking outside of you, thinking everyone else is doing it right and succeeding, the truth is, everyone is just trying to figure it out. For as long as you compare yourself, you lost time focusing on yourself and creating your best life.
7. Take Action
If part of the struggle is that you are doing things, or not doing things that go against your values as a person, then take action and do something different. Begin to act in line with your values and then it is harder to criticise yourself. It’s OK to desire change in your life, the problem comes when it becomes a need or you trying to make something happen that you do not have control over. Take action where you can and let the rest be.
8. Be Aware of the Media
You are involved in a society with a toxic focus on making you dislike yourself. You have been fed an image of ‘perfect’, if you continue to believe it, you will never feel good enough. Look around you, look at the fake, unrealistic image that has been created and notice how it makes you feel about yourself.
Don’t buy into it anymore, you don’t have to. Be the one that breaks the mold and stop listening to the lies that are put on you. Most of it is just to get you to buy a latest product anyway.
9. Remember Your Thoughts are Not Facts
Don’t let your inner bully get the better of you. It is not telling you the truth about yourself or the world. If the way you talk to yourself is not the way you would talk to your best friend, take a new approach. Giving your inner critic this kind of power is going to slow down your progress, or even stop it completely.
They are just 9 tips I am giving you to begin/continue your journey of self-acceptance. Pick one or two tips and focus on them over the next couple of weeks. In time, you can move on to the next tips. If it feels too tough to go it alone right now, contact me HERE for a 90 minute Clarity Call and let’s get you started.
This is not a case of whether or not you can have the things you want in life, you can. But I want you to enjoy them and appreciate them. I want you to appreciate yourself for making them happen. I want you to be OK if they don’t work out. I want you to accept that life is weird, and wonderful, and precious, and that you are a unique part of it. Me wanting those things for you is not enough. Nowhere near, it has to be your own choice.
You can learn to be your own best friend; to treat yourself with love and be there when things get tough. Imagine that, someone you really can always rely on; and it’s the person you can guarantee will always be with you 24/7, if only you allow it.
Carly Ann xx