If you’re anything like me, you may be surprised at how many people don’t truly accept themselves for who they are. Sometimes those closest to us, and people we admire for “having it all together” are able to put on a front so they appear self-confident, happy and powerful when they really aren’t.
The good news? Even if you’re one of these people, you can learn how to accept yourself right now, here, today! If you’re suffering from low self worth and less-than-optimal self-confidence, you can tap into the ability to turn things around!
Why It’s Important To Accept Yourself – Right Now, Here, Today
It’s important to accept yourself because self-acceptance can mean the difference between a life of happiness and a life of sadness. When you accept yourself, you’ll find it easier to look forward instead of backwards, to be more self-forgiving, and you’re much more likely to accomplish more of the goals you set for yourself in all areas of your life.
The reason why? Self-acceptance can be seen as a foundation toward building a stronger and more satisfying life – no matter WHAT you have been through! After you accept yourself, you can continue to build from there and add on greater confidence, more tranquility and a respite from our often too-noisy world, enthusiasm, drive and true happiness.
No matter where you are on your journey to a healthier, stronger YOU through weight loss surgery or through a focused and directed weight loss effort, accepting yourself right now, here and today does not mean you are giving up on the positive changes you’ve started. Beating yourself up for every little challenge, slip or mistake can derail your efforts faster than almost anything else – remember that what you say TO yourself ABOUT yourself has a major impact on your level of success.
Six Important Steps To Acceptance
There are many methods and tips that can help you along the road to self-acceptance – just like we are all unique and special individuals with different strengths, the strategies that work best for you may be different than what works for someone else. Check out the list of six tips below and choose just ONE to start with. By practicing the mindset shifts explained below, you’ll get gradually stronger and more confident, and you’ll find your own unique way of getting to a healthier and more productive way of achieving your goal of self-acceptance.
Try ONE these strategies to help you accept yourself over the next 30 -45 days and then add others as you achieve success:
1. Allow for the mistakes you’ll make. Sometimes you may try too hard to be perfect, and this in itself puts additional stress and pressure on you. Allow yourself to make mistakes (big and small) because you’re a human being – not a robot! You’ll make small mistakes and big mistakes throughout your journey to a healthier and stronger you – know that it’s how you bounce back from them that’ll make all the difference in whether you continue the journey, or you abandon the path. Keep moving forward – baby steps forward are STILL steps forward.
2. Live in the present day, and make the most of it. Ohe of the most common reasons you may not have fully accepted yourself could be the fact that you’re living your life in the past, and you keep beating yourself up over old mistakes or challenges. Maybe you’re finding it hard to forgive yourself for not achieving your prior goals or certain traits (personality-related, physical) that you have. Getting over the difficulties of your past is an important step to help build self-confidence, self-respect, and hope that you can build and achieve a brighter future.
3. Avoid comparing yourself too strictly to others. Other people have different skill sets and life experiences they bring to bear on their individual self-improvement journey, which may make you envious of them and drag down your enthusiasm for your own journey. For these kinds of situations, work to come to terms with the fact that you don’t have what they have – and remind yourself that they may have gone through circumstances that you don’t WANT to have to handle! On the bright side, there are many things that you do have, that you have seen or experienced that they don’t – and that they are likely appreciative of it.
* Each and every person is unique and wonderful. Be grateful for what makes you different from others, as this is part of your singular and special inner beauty!
4. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). If you don’t develop and maintain realistic goals, you’re increasing the odds of failure. The truth is, you won’t even have a chance from the start! So instead, plan on a specific and measurable path toward achieving your goals, laid out in attainable steps, with a realistic and timely deadline. How can you do this? By setting goals that take advantage of your natural strengths, encourage you to build positive capacity, and that you can achieve. Even small successes build your confidence and ability to set higher and more challenging future goals.
5. Learn to Love who and what you see in the mirror every single day. Sometimes you don’t want to accept yourself because of the way you look – the “face” and “look” you present to the world on a daily basis. Our society has become ruthlessly efficient at repeating negative messages about visual appearance, and contradictory advice about what women in particularly are “supposed” to look like. It puts some serious, potentially negative pressure on individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Remember that people in magazines are usually airbrushed to the point where they may not even recognize themselves (see Cindy Crawford) and striving to look like them is, for the most part, unattainable. Instead, focus on your own natural, positive attributes and the steps you are taking to improve your overall health.
6. Think (and speak out loud) only positive thoughts. One of the most important daily activities you can perform on the journey toward loving and accepting yourself is learning to think positively. It’s easy to forget how much power there is in thought – and that creating a habit of speaking only positive things about yourself OUT LOUD to yourself can help to counteract some of the negative programming we ALL carry with us.
* If you make a daily effort to think (and speak) in a positive way, you can actually change your manner of thinking and positively impact your actions, self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive thinking leads to more positive actions, which in turn lead to feeling better about yourself.
Get help from your family and loved ones.
Remember that you can ask for help from POSITIVE loved ones. While our families and loved ones may not 100% agree that weight loss surgery (or significant weight loss) is the best thing for us, those who are positive about your efforts are rooting for you to succeed can provide reinforcement and “cheerleading” when it matters most. It sometimes helps to get an outside perspective on your challenges and your progress. If you tend to be your own worst critic, your family and loved ones can provide support, love and encouragement. Sometimes, they’ll see changes in us (especially if you don’t see them everyday) that we don’t notice as much because WE see ourselves every single day, multiple times each day.
Your positive family members and loved ones have almost certainly accepted you for who you are – with less (or no judgment). If you can see yourself more through THEIR eyes and less through the admittedly negative filters we have for ourselves, you can be much happier with where you are today and have more hope for your future.
Take one or two of these strategies to heart and exercise them every single day for at LEAST 30 days to help form a new, positive habit. Once you learn to accept yourself – right here, right now, today – you’ll find the world is a wonderful place and you’ll enjoy your place in it!