Self-acceptance, a fundamental pillar to advance

Robert Johnston
Self-acceptance, a fundamental pillar to advance

Self-acceptance is the foundation that allows us to grow and move towards well-being. The turning point that leads us to see ourselves and look at ourselves from humility to love ourselves as we are.

What is self-acceptance?

Living consciously can be difficult when what we have to face has to do with us. Facing the compendium of which we are participants without deceiving ourselves, puts into play the challenge of self-acceptance. It is not so easy to take off your clothes when the spectator watching is ourselves.

Accepting ourselves involves stripping ourselves of all judgment to treat ourselves with affection, embrace our broken parts, and acknowledge our worth. It means detaching ourselves from the demands, ideals, criticism and perfection to love ourselves as we are.

Albert Ellis, psychologist of Rational Emotional Therapy (ERT) defined self-acceptance as follows: "Self-acceptance means that the person accepts himself fully and unconditionally, whether he behaves or does not behave intelligently, correctly or competently, and whether or not others grant him their approval, respect and love ".

Thus, self-acceptance implies finding inner peace and getting rid of the psychological and social barriers that prevent us from doing so. Such as rejection for our physical characteristics or personality traits. We are much more than all that, although it is difficult for us to be aware of it.

Now, accepting ourselves does not imply holding on and not changing, evolving or improving, on the contrary. As the great Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung said, what we accept transforms us, self-acceptance being therefore the previous step for change. Because if we accept who we are and what we feel at any time of our existence, we allow ourselves to be aware of our choices and actions, enhancing our development.

The faces of rejection

When we do not accept ourselves to a certain extent, we are not giving ourselves permission to see each other. It is as if we stand in front of a mirror and hide part of who we are because we do not like it, we are ashamed or we do not consider it appropriate. We even mistreat ourselves with derogatory comments and destructive criticism..

Other times, rejecting ourselves means that we hide under a mask pretending to be someone else or that we live pending the approval of others. As a consequence, we enslave ourselves to an image that is not ours, which over time will generate a discomfort that hides a void behind it. Well, the others do not know us and everything they feel is directed towards that character that we interpret.

We all make mistakes, we have pieces that do not fit together and wounds that are difficult to heal, but it is a mistake to hold a grudge because we are not perfect. Beating ourselves up for our faults and defects stagnates us in discomfort and blocks us. Forgiveness frees us and allows us to start loving ourselves unconditionally.

How to encourage acceptance for ourselves?

Forgiving the people around us can be difficult, but when it comes to ourselves it is even more difficult. How to forgive and accept ourselves unconditionally and without reservation?

Canadian psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden suggests that to foster self-acceptance we say to ourselves the following phrase each morning, "Whatever my flaws or imperfections, I accept myself without reservation and completely." In this way, we can begin to believe it..

It is true that our fears, insecurities and reproaches will not disappear, but by yelling at them we have never advanced anything. The question is to accept them to know each other and treat us with affection. Our imperfections also have their beauty. 

We are much larger than any isolated thought or emotion and recognizing them will allow us to transcend them so that little by little they fade over time..

On the other hand, it is important that we cultivate a good relationship with uncertainty in order to turn each experience into a new learning and not get trapped in our comfort zone. It is also important that we abandon that vice of comparing ourselves with others, since it is an unfair practice because each of us has his own story..

Finally, let's not forget that mistreating ourselves is not the option but to look at ourselves from the greatest sincerity to get to know ourselves because if we practice self-acceptance our self-esteem will be enhanced and we will relate from our authenticity with others. Free of masks, reproaches and fears.

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