Many people confuse good self-esteem with self-acceptance – where having self-esteem is when we feel valuable or worthwhile and self-acceptance is being able to accept all our shortcomings, flaws and defects without it interfering with our worth.
When we accept every part and stop judging, criticizing and shaming ourselves, we start to embrace a strong sense of who we are and become more and more comfortable with our true natures. It’s one of the most empowering gifts we can give ourselves. And it all begins with an intention.
Importance of self-acceptance
Self-acceptance requires us to boost self-love and compassion within ourselves. Unfortunately, as children, many of us were expected to be perfect in order to be accepted. Many of us were criticized by our parents, forcing the belief that if we didn’t live up to their high expectations, we were inadequate.
Many of us were told we were not smart enough, slim enough, witty enough, academic enough, and attractive enough and so on. The saddest part is that this lack of confidence sets roots as we become adults and this behavior can today be seen in the workplace, often masked by 'humor'. Unacceptable – these remarks are always made by people who are super inferior and lacking
in self-esteem and enjoy taking others down to make themselves feel more superior for a hot second.
We try to change ourselves to be someone else. How crazy is that? To help stop comparing ourselves to others and increase confidence, we must nourish ourselves in order to continue growing closer to the life that is true to our nature. Here are a few tips to help you along the journey to self-acceptance.
How to build confidence and self-esteem
1. Silence your inner critic
Stop berating yourself. Keep reminding yourself over and over that it’s unwarranted to be mean to yourself – it's harsh, it's cruel, it's futile and it's unkind. Keep repeating, "I have done the best I can. I am only human. My mistakes and my imperfections are not bad or wrong, they just are. So I’m
perfectly imperfect." The more you accept yourself and love who you are because of your flaws and not in spite of them, the more your confidence will rocket.
2. Make a celebratory list
Stop being a collector of your shortcomings. Stop clinging to what you don’t have and what you can’t do and instead raise your self-worth by focusing on how intelligent, how creative, how kind, how powerful, articulate and gorgeous you are. Stay focused on these traits each day and your list of shortcomings will lose its strength. List all the hardships you have overcome and all the goals you have accomplished. Keep the list on your phone, review it frequently. Honor what a superstar you are.
3. Check out the people around you
Do they moan and complain? Are they Debbie Downers, Negative Nellie’s and Moaning Marks’? Do they put you down? Do they do your dirty work because you are unwilling to choose a different reality? Do they leak their fears onto you? Do they keep themselves small? If so, distance yourself from them. Surround yourself with those who champion you, who are kind to you, who are positive, who take risks, who sit in the solution and not the problem. Hang with those who celebrate you regardless of your flaws. ALWAYS stay where it’s warm.
4. Develop self-awareness
This takes many forms. Journal, meditate, pray, chant, do yoga, whatever you choose to do, get to know yourself as this plays a big role in self-acceptance. Where do you focus your time, energy and thoughts? Do you invest time on what you can change and control, or on what you cannot change or cannot control? Check that you don’t demean yourself in front of others, even in a jokey manner. Ban phrases and thoughts like, “I'm not very good with figures or I’m a useless cook." NEVER advertise your flaws.
5. Take responsibility for yourself
Don’t play the victim running around complaining about how others make you feel. Don’t dramatize or catastrophize. Stop having dialogues with yourself about who is right or wrong. That’s your ego at play. Be there for yourself. Refrain from disassociating, numbing out or denying what the reality is, acknowledge how you feel in the moment and affirm you are a loving, loveable and valuable human being and you matter in this big, vast beautiful world.
Get out there, take action and make it real. You got this.
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