Self-Acceptance: Are you denying yourself?

Self-acceptance is about accepting yourself for who you are and the way you are.

It’s easy to love and appreciate what you perceive as “good” about yourself. However, self-acceptance includes accepting your past, your mistakes, your failures, and all else that you might feel ashamed or disappointed.

Self-acceptance is giving yourself love unconditional love regardless of what happens in your life.

When you deny yourself and disown your feelings, your self-worth decreases as well. This may cause you to feel embarrassed, ashamed, tainted, broken, and unloved. You take away your right to grieve your pain and to properly heal by chastising yourself for having those feelings and your past experiences.

Why do you do this yourself?

It could be because someone else has done it to you in the past. Maybe you learned it as a child from a dysfunctional family, childhood illness, childhood abuse, household moves, family changes, death in the family, and so on. Children relationships with parents have a big impact on their self-esteem and how they cope with their problems as an adult.

Parents can not give what they do not have. So, if your parents didn’t have good coping strategies, problem-solving skills, emotional regulation, good self-esteem, chances are you would have had to learn all of that on your own as an adult.

So now you are an adult and you have to learn to re-parent yourself. You have to give yourself all the things you didn’t get that you needed as a child. You have to turn into that loving unconditional parent that helps you learn the tools you need to cope with your problems.

Self-acceptance includes recognizing areas you may need improvement and not hating yourself for it. Needing improvement doesn’t equal less than. If you are more accepting of yourself, you are less afraid to be vulnerable with yourself and others.

If you are more accepting of who you are:

  • You will feel more confident in yourself without the need for approval from others.
  • You would trust your actions and reactions.
  • You would be open to learning new things and self-discovery.
  • You would make decisions with more confidence instead of worrying about messing up or making a mistake.
  • You would encourage and praise yourself more for just trying even if you failed.
  • You will see every experience as something you could learn from or something that helped you have a greater awareness of self.
  • You would feel confident about what you have and what you have already accomplished.
  • You will allow yourself to grieve things that have caused you pain.
  • You will nurture yourself instead of scolding yourself.
  • You will practice self-forgiveness and let go of things you can not control.
  • You will believe you are enough.
  • You will validate and work to meet your own needs.

Are you beginning to see how you limit and deny yourself just by what you think about yourself? Just imaging if you were more kind and accepting of yourself. What could you accomplish in your life? What could you finally do since not accepting yourself is no longer holding you back?

How can you be more accepting of yourself? Comment below and let’s share ideas!

Published by Asha Griffin, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

I am Asha Griffin, a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. I am dedicated to improving the mental health of others and helping them to "tend to their gardens". My goal is to inspire people in finding better balance in their lives.

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