Self-acceptance means acknowledging that you are as you are and being comfortable with it. It doesn’t necessarily mean liking every aspect of yourself. Some attributes can’t be changed, and you may as well accept them right now. Take your age. You can disguise it, lie about it, ry to hide it, but you can’t change it. Similarly, you can do little about your gender (without going to drastic lengths), your race, height, eye colour etc. You also have little chance of transforming the way the world works, society in general and other people. But you can find a way of making the best of yourself, by:
- becoming better informed
- acquiring new skills
- changing unwanted habits
- handling relationships and problems more effectively.
But bear in mind, self-acceptance does not mean giving up on yourself. If some disliked aspect of yourself is important and can be changed, do something about it. There’s no point in feeling bad about something you can change, just as there’s no point in feeling bad about something you can’t!
Never grow old in your mind.
Your true age is how you feel inside.
Valerie J. Hayward
1. What aspects of yourself do you find most difficult to accept? Are there times or situations when you find it harder to be self-accepting than others? If you wish jot down what stops you giving yourself permission to be as you are.
2. Write down everything you dislike about yourself. Include anything at which you feel you’re not particularly good. Be honest: but don’t exaggerate or wallow in self-pity.
3. Go through your list (from Confidence Builder 149) and underline any things you dislike that cannot be changed. Then look again: are you sure there’s nothing you can do to change them? Eliminate any which are merely the result of negative conditioning.
4. Use this affirmation: ‘I accept my… and my… (the attributes you have underlined). This is me, and I’m wonderful, aren’t I?’
5. Do you ever feel that your best is never good enough? If you judge yourself as not good enough, no amount of achievement will ever satisfy you. Ask yourself: ‘How realistic are the goals and standards I set myself?’ There’s a paradox here. There’s nothing wrong with having high expectations of yourself: low expectations lead to underachievement. But impossible ones destroy your confidence.
6. Write down this sentence: ‘When I fail to live up to my expectations or fall below the standards I set myself, I tell myself…’
7. Write down the first six thoughts that come into your head. Why are you so hard on yourself? You don’t have to be perfect, you know.
8. Stop comparing yourself with others. You’ll always find people who are better than you at some things, and people who are worse. The only meaningful comparison is between you as you used to be, and you as you are now. No one is better than anyone else, just different. If you lapse into thinking ‘I’m not as… (attractive/clever/athletic etc) as…’, stop it. Tell yourself, ‘I’m a wonderful, amazing being. I’m good enough, and I’m grateful for it.’
“ A DIFFERENT KIND OF HEARING “
At the age of 11 Evelyn Glennie was told that she would have to attend a special school for the deaf. It was a moment that changed her life. She became determined to go to the local secondary school attended by her brothers. ‘It didn’t make sense that simply because a chart says you can’t hear such and such, you therefore can’t do certain things,’ she said in a recent interview. With her parents’ support she ignored the audiologist and went to the mainstream school anyway. Now, despite being completely deaf since the age of 11, Evelyn is one of the world’s top classical percussionists, feted all over the world, performing barefoot to help her feel vibrations from the other instruments. When asked how she copes with her hearing problem she replies that she doesn’t ‘see’ herself as deaf – just someone with a different kind of hearing. Her other senses are enhanced and her concentration
heightened: she simply ‘listens’ harder.
‘I never asked, “Why me?”’, she says. ‘We’ve all got something that needs sorting. You meet people really handicapped who appear to be the happiest people in the world. That puts life in perspective.’
SAPUTRA ( source was adapted from The book of 365 steps to self- confidence by DAVID LAWRENCE PRESTON)