Self-Acceptance Vs. Stagnancy – How To Lovingly Work On Yourself

As you know, I’m someone who is obsessed with self-improvement – it’s the basis for this entire website after all!

I’ve recently been having some revelations when it comes to my thoughts and behaviours, which has made things very interesting when it comes to the work I want to do on myself.

I genuinely believe that in order to see changes and actually become the person you want to be (which I think is the person you really are, deep down, you just need to find them), you first got to accept what’s going on right now.

Whether that’s accepting your body as it is right now, not waiting until you’ve gained or lost weight, or accepting your temperament and the way you react to other people in the situations you’ve been dealt.

Accepting is a very different thing to complacency though, and I don’t ever want to get confused between the two.

Learning to accept all parts of yourself is not the same as remaining the same because that’s “just who you are”.

Rather, with acceptance, we can clearly see the person we are and who we’re meant to be, and the gaps between this. Deciding to work on yourself from a place of acceptance is going to provide you with much better results.

Not only does acceptance give us a clearer vision when it comes to the work we need to do – such as working on our trust issues, the way we think about money, or the shape of our bodies – but it also allows us to make permanent changes.

Acceptance means that you are willing to treat yourself with love and respect, which in turn will make things easier on your soul.

AN EXERCISE IN ACCEPTANCE

Think about someone you love very dearly – perhaps it’s your best friend, your partner, that celebrity you follow or even your dog. It doesn’t matter who it is, think about the respect and love you have for them.

Due to this love and respect, how often do you feel irritated with this person/animal when they do something ‘wrong’? Do you berate them for their weight, their emotional issues or the fact that they simply can’t get their act together?

Of course not! We are always so much kinder to other people than we are with ourselves.

But even though you don’t judge or ridicule these loved ones, you’ve probably noticed that they are not perfect. Yet even though they are not perfect, you accept them anyways.

See what I’m getting at here?

As you accept these people, think about what you would do now if your best friend/celebrity crush/partner told you they were going on a diet, or going to therapy.

How would you react?

There’s no doubt in my mind, because I know that you’re a good and caring person, that you’d try to comfort them and inspire them. You’d tell them that you’re proud of their self-awareness and happy to support them in anything that they want to do.

So, why is that so hard to do with yourself?

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

– Buddha

Another way I like to think about this contrast in behaviours comes from the goddess, Elizabeth Gilbert.

In a podcast interview, I heard Elizabeth claim:

“What makes you so special? How come you think that you’re the only person in the world who does not deserve your respect?”

And let me tell you, that quote hit different.

So please, let me know – what does make you so special? Why aren’t you just as deserving as everyone else to have your own respect and acceptance?

With these negative attitudes, you’re only holding yourself back, my friend. And the longer you hold yourself back, the longer you are also holding the rest of the world back.

Whatever you have going on – whether it’s amazing art skills, a great speaking voice, incredible scientific formulas, or serene beauty – the world needs it. By not accepting yourself and allowing yourself to grow, you’re preventing the rest of us from seeing what you have.

I truly believe that you can change the world, you just got to make some changes within yourself first and changes make the most sense when they come from a place of acceptance, love and kindness.

What are you going to accept about yourself right now?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

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