1. Identify the benefits of self-acceptance
The primary purpose of self-acceptance is to learn healthy techniques that will help you to heal and allow you to let go of unpleasant memories and traumas. The ideal goal is for you to have healthier interactions in your present life. Other benefits of practicing self-acceptance include:
- More self-confidence
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Less self-criticism and guilt
- Increased awareness of yourself
- Increased self-worth
- Improved sense of inner peace
2.Reflect on the reasons you are judging yourself
Take some time to yourself to figure out why you are having a hard time accepting yourself. Try meditating, journaling, or just sitting in a quiet place for a while and thinking about your reasons for judging yourself. Try to identify whose voice you are hearing when you judge yourself as well. For example, do you hear your parents, your partner, your friends, or someone else?
3. Re-frame the past
Let’s take parents: most of them aren’t that great. Are they not that great because they don’t love us or we don’t deserve affection? No. Though as children, that’s hard to see. They’re not that great because they have no idea what they’re doing – they’re trying, but they’re only human. Instead of blaming them (or an ex, for example) for your pain, re-frame it. See that they don’t deserve anger, hate, or resentment. At worst they deserve pity; at best, compassion.
- Whether you’re 7 or 70, you’ve probably had relationships that have left you a little worse for the wear. You might have a tendency to take every failure/argument/disappointment/rejection personally and tally it up in your own mental notebook, coming up with a number to equate to just how valuable you are. That has to stop immediately. The past is in the past and it’s going to stay there. It has little significance.
4. Forgive and forget
This is an integral step in the accepting yourself and re-framing the past idea. When you don’t hold grudges and stop taking things personally, you’re left with an organic, untainted version of you – an emotionally independent and resilient you. And you’ll be happier, too!
- The next time you catch yourself being upset with someone, realize that it has nothing to do with you. It’s them making their own decisions, and you have no control over that, which is fine. This is one trivial moment in the scheme of your life that in short order will be completely forgotten about.
- That being said, this doesn’t mean that some people should be let off the hook. Forgive them, forget the behavior, but modify your expectations. Was your friend an hour late to your lunch date? Noted. Next time (if there is a next time), you’ll know how to handle it.
5. Spend time with yourself
When’s the last time you had some free time to kill and didn’t whip out your phone or otherwise distract yourself? You’re constantly bombarded with stimuli, which ultimately prevents introspection and getting to know yourself. Starting now, take 20 minutes or so a day for some “me-time.” Who’s better company than you, anyway?
- In this time, watch your mind wander. Where does it go to? How does it think? Take note of just how fascinating this thing inside your head really is. What can you learn about yourself?
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