In an ideal world, when you ask someone if they like themselves, they immediately answer with a resounding “yes.” But sadly, a lot of us have not come to be proud or accepting of who we are. Self-acceptance is tough for many people.
But there are ways to jumpstart our quest toward accepting ourselves. Here are some of them.
Allow Yourself To Rest
In today’s age, people always seem to be on the go. Because of this trend, we tend to feel guilty when we’re not productive. This type of thinking can often lead to burnout.
What you can do is to accept the fact that you also have to rest. Allow yourself to sleep, hang out with friends, read a book, play video games, or whatever relaxes you. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be doing something useful all the time. “Sleep can restore your mind and body. The immune system repairs itself and the brain rests and recharges while you sleep. Without enough sleep, you can’t function at your best.” A piece of advice from Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist.
One thing we all tend to have difficulty with is accepting compliments. We often downplay our achievements and strengths, shrugging or laughing off whatever praise people give us.
Next time someone compliments you, let “thank you” be the first words out of your mouth. It won’t be boastful when you accept praise for hard work. Give yourself the credit you deserve by learning to take a compliment and by giving yourself one as well.
Believe In Positivity
“The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. said. Although cliché and sometimes hard to believe in, positive quotes can help with self-acceptance. Focus on things that help you feel good about yourself. Leave yourself a note with a compliment, subscribe to daily inspirational messages, and hang posters of affirmations. These things will keep negative thoughts away.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stay positive all the time. Always trying to be happy can also be stressful. It’s only right for us to feel and experience other emotions. Positivity reminds us that there are good times after the bad.
Accept Your Mistakes
Self-acceptance isn’t only about agreeing to the good. Learning to love yourself includes recognizing your mistakes. Recognize that there are people you have hurt, you’ve made some bad choices in life, and you’ve let opportunities slip by you. These faults are part of who you are, but they do not define you. Learn to embrace them as part of your being and then forgive yourself for them.
Be Careful With Self-Criticism
To some degree, self-criticism is a helpful practice that allows us to recognize our faults and thus correct them. It helps us grow as an individual in our personal and professional lives. However, our inner critic can sometimes be unnecessarily harsh. For many of us, we are our worst enemy.
For this reason, we have to be careful with self-criticism. Our thoughts can sometimes be cognitive distortions. Examples are magnifying mistakes, minimizing achievements, and being swayed by emotions instead of reason. Try to stay rational and be gentle with the things you tell yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to the people you love, then you probably shouldn’t say it to yourself.
With self-love comes self-acceptance. “Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. said. To do so means to be kind and compassionate toward yourself. Allow time for rest and fun, receive compliments with grace, and let positivity in and block out the negative. Be careful when it comes to self-criticism all while recognizing past mistakes and forgiving yourself for them. With these practices, you’ll be able to confidently show the world that you’ve accepted yourself for who you are.