This is part of AtoZChallenge series on theme Sanguine- Journey towards building inner positivity
A for ACCEPTANCE
Let me begin with a small story, tell me if you don’t connect-
The story of inner cunning voice
Once a baby, later came infancy and then you were a toddler soon
Grisp of parents held you hard
Suddenly you are told not to do this but to do that
Being scolded, hounded and horror-ed by teachers, neighbors and peers alike
Come adolescence you still don’t know what to do and what not
Because my dear you were always told about that
If you revolt then you’re a bad chap
If you don’t then it’s a suffering inside
What do you do then? Nothing much, just stay quite
Your feelings are suppressed and ambitions are oppressed
You are left with no choice
You followed the herd of sheep and heeded to commands
Then you were 25, your inner voice you never new about arouse inside
Voice erupted in your mind- you’re a futile, kaput, otiose and what not
‘Yes, I am’, you said and grew submissive by stride
And gradually you were the one your inner voice had said-
futile, kaput, otiose and what not
Are you with me?
Does it sound familiar in anyway?
We all have grown up listening to our parents, teachers and society we live in. All they do is govern us with a set of rules and constantly try to mould us the way they want us to take shape.
Yes agreed we need guidance while growing but to ‘name call’ somebody- slow learner, chatter box, idiot, useless, hopeless, careless, mean, selfish – is to instill low self-esteem from childhood.
We are judged and we are disapproved most of the times with little positive response. We are told by friends and family members we are not good enough.
Not good enough in studies, physical appearance, sports, mathematics, etc. We have been subjected to comparison and rejection by our loved ones. We have been taught- if we don’t behave then we are going to face the consequences or may be even outcasted!
The critical others have bombarded our minds to such an extent that, somewhere along the way we have grown to believe that we are indeed ‘not good enough’. That’s it.
Now here you are in a helpless state with low confidence and being hard on yourself- constantly seeking external help to uproot from the depth.
We are now self-critical and loath-ful adults having issues with self-esteem. Moreover we are hard on ourselves constantly trying to change and reluctant to accept the way we are.
We are a new-bread in the modern age who struggle to accept ourselves.
What is self-acceptance?
Good for you if you know you are imperfect. Congratulations, you are not any different from other humans around you. In-fact you are step ahead of those creatures who do not even know that they have issues.
According to Shepard–
self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual’s feeling about oneself, that they are of “unique worth”.
How do you know you lack self-acceptance?
Here are few signs that show you lack self-acceptance:
- You judge others without accessing facts.
- You see yourself through other’s lenses.
- You criticize others actions but can’t accept the fact that you secretly wished to do it yourself.
- You constantly seek others approval for your actions.
- You are affected by others opinion about you.
- You compare yourself to others.
- You are good at self-loathing.
- You envy others achievements.
- You hold on to your past mistakes.
- You might as well enjoy playing victim!
Why is it important to accept yourself?
If you can’t accept yourself for what you are, then why should somebody else do anyway.
Robert Holden writes in his book Happiness Now! Timeless wisdom for feeling good fast –
Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of [emphasis added].
Here are few aspects on self-acceptance:
- Comparing yourself with others- You are never going to be somebody else what-so-ever but end up being a copy of them and stand in the second place as a xerox.
- Prerequisite for the change to occur- Acceptance does not mean giving up on improvisation. It means to improve yourself not because you hate your flaws but because you love yourself with your flaws. It will give you the courage to try, explore and learn along the way.
- Accept yourself unconditionally- With self-acceptance you will be able to love yourself and encourage the inner you to take a leap towards positivity growing stronger with each passing day.
- Forgive yourself- If you succeed in forgiving yourself then you can forgive others in life and move on without holding on to grudges and wasting time for irrational deeds.
How do you accept yourself?
1. Acknowledge your flaws in front of others-
Be the first to talk about your imperfection before anybody else does. However, this doesn’t mean you need to announce it to every silly passersby in your life.
What I mean here is, just to the people you think really care for you, but they don’t really know how not to demean you. Let them know you don’t give a damn and you have accepted your imperfections to the core.
Remember, you are not required to bash yourself up for being who you are. It’s just about gracefully accepting them.
This will only help you to boost your confidence so that you’re no more caught in the syndrome- ‘What if they get to know about it?’
2. Be understanding and compassionate towards yourself-
You have done the best to your knowledge till now and at the time when more was expected of you. Although, you didn’t meet others expectations and that of yours towards fulfilling your own goals and ambitions, understand the fact that it was not a failure.
Be compassionate towards your actions in the past and every other aspect associated with self-guilt and baggage. You know you gave your best.
3. Separate your emotions and watch as a third person-
According to Leo Babauta, it helps to separate your negative emotions from yourself. He calls the negativity as leaf and that you should just let it pass like a floating leaf in the wind.
Likewise, in meditation, it is often suggested not to control your thoughts but to observe them as if you were a spectator. On the contrary, if you try to change your thoughts or hold them back, then conflict arises.
Any untoward feelings that makes you question your self-worth is something that you must detach yourself emotionally-just watch and let it pass.
4. Recognize your strengths and hone them-
[Many people] fail to see their strengths and cling to antique scripts they carry about their lack of worth
It has become a second nature to us that we think of impossibilities first before starting some thing new. We think of things that can wrong. The question that first arises is- what if I fail?
We need to stop feeding useless traits and stop it consciously. Every time worthlessness peeks in your mind just shut it and show it your one strength so that it can just ward off.
5. Do not heed to others opinion-
What matters is what do you think about yourself as opposed to what others think of you. No matter what at-least one person on this planet will have mean opinion about you.
Hence, you need to stop picturing your character and personality based on what others have to say about you.
Keep growing year on year and achieve your set goals. Let your life be governed by your own rules rather than that of others.
6. Be surrounded by healthy minds-
Surround yourself with people who give you positive feedback. The kind of people who talk about growing in life rather than cribbing about their own personal life or pin-pointing your short comings. These are the kind of people you will want to worry at the end of the hell!
Although we have discussed earlier about not getting affected by people’s verdict, it definitely helps to begin your journey by cutting out people who just eat your time and brain.
Here is a video I strongly recommend you to watch-You have been self-critic all your life, now it's time to become self-accepted person and see what wonders awaits you
In every stage of life we are wired to believe in a certain way depending on our understanding and knowledge at that particular time. As we grow we tend to analyze our behavior in the past which leads to regrets and remorse.
The best we can do is to learn from our actions in the past, forget and forgive in the course of life, thereby moving ahead trying to make more positive memories.
Wearing maskings and trying to be somebody else all your life is frustrating and tiring. The ultimate freedom to be yourself comes from accepting who you are without questioning your weaknesses.
Did you ever had self-acceptance issue in your life? How did you face it? Did you succeed?
Please let us know more about your experience and share some tips so that we can grow together with positive attitude towards self as well as life.