Many times, we have a mental picture of what we want our perfect life to be. Whether that is getting your dream job, purchasing a home at a certain age, looking a certain way or striving to fit into an image of what we think we should be.
You might think to yourself, “I will accept myself once I achieve those things.” However, this mindset is unhealthy and toxic. In order to truly accept yourself, you need to find comfort in knowing that you are exactly where you need to be, as you are right now.
The reality is, you will never be able to truly find acceptance of yourself by always striving to be your version of “perfect.” Choosing to be a harsh critic of yourself breaks down your idea of self-worth and of truly living your life to the utmost capacity.
For some, this process of deconstructing negative self talk can seem daunting and lengthy. So, I’ve broken it down into simple ways you can begin the journey of self-acceptance.
Recognize and celebrate your strengths.
An important step in accepting yourself is to recognize and celebrate your strengths. Maybe you have a really good work ethic or you are comfortable speaking and reaching out to new people. These are amazing strengths that should be recognized and celebrated! Everybody should be able to find an aspect of themselves that they are proud of. Here are a few more examples! What are your strengths?
- You are creative and love to think outside the box.
- You are not afraid to speak your mind.
- You care deeply for the people around you.
- You have an amazing work ethic and are goal-oriented.
- You are very dedicated to your work and passions.
After figuring out what your personal strengths are, you can reflect on what you wish to improve. Try to set an attainable and reasonable goal for yourself in an area that you wish to see self-improvement. For example, if you are wanting to increase your productivity and be on your phone less, your goal could be to set app limits on your most used apps and to stick to them. Once the app limit is up, you will be less likely to go onto your phone when you want to be more productive.
Surround yourself with supportive people.
An important aspect of self-acceptance is to surround yourself with people who support you and your goals! The people around you should be excited about your plans and desires. It does no good to keep toxic people in your life. When you have supportive and loving people surrounding you, your journey to self-acceptance will be made so much easier.
Let go of things you cannot change and celebrate your “now.”
Sometimes, there are things that happen or circumstances you are in that cannot be changed no matter how much you wish they could be. The best thing you can do to improve your self-acceptance is to stop and reflect on those circumstances. Come to terms with them, accept that they can not be changed, learn to see where growth can happen as a result of those circumstances and set goals for how you wish to continue. Celebrate where you are right now at this moment in your life. Know that everything happens for a reason and continue on your journey to finding acceptance within yourself.