Self-acceptance has been a long journey for me. As a teenager my self-acceptance was at an all time low, I didn’t like who I was, I didn’t like how I looked, I didn’t like how I talked, I just didn’t want to be me, I wanted to be someone entirely different.
I remember as a child the day dreams I had of being a superhero, whilst looking out the window sitting in the back seat of my parents car. I remember dreaming of flying alongside, teleporting wherever I wanted to go, I was strong and skilful beyond human capabilities, I wanted to escape myself and all the limitation that I felt being me, I craved freedom more than anything else in the world.
I craved the freedom to be me.
It took a long time but I finally realised over the last few years that the freedom I seeked could only ever be achieved by my own self-acceptance.
Accepting myself was giving myself permission to use my key to unlock my prison door, the key I had access too all along.
It wasn’t until I made self-acceptance a priority that things began to really shift for me.
I learnt that the only one who was ever going to give me permission to be me and take the actions that matter most (to me) was me.
No one else was going to do that for me.
Self-acceptance became and still is an everyday practice for me. I put conscious effort into loving myself more deeply, just as I do with my Fiance, my clients, my friends and my family.
What is the truth of who you are? What do you hold back because you aren't loving and accepting of that part of you?
When we live from the core truth of who we are, we no longer have a need to be accepted and liked by others. We already do that for ourselves.
From a place of self-acceptance a new world opens up for us, one that suits us the best. We begin to experience more depth in our relationships with the right people that suit our lives. We feel more alive and we experience the freedom to be authentic, real, vulnerable, we create the outer life we want because our inner world is free from self-imposed sabotage and limitations.
If you are ready to experience the inner freedom that self-acceptance will bring to your life? If so, then read on.
Here are the five practices for thriving Self-Acceptance:
Become aware of your self talk.
How do you talk to yourself?
Are your thoughts loving? Do you treat yourself with your thoughts in the way you would like to be treated by somebody else? Do your thoughts speak encouragement? Do your thoughts speak trust? Do your thoughts speak gratitude? Do your thoughts speak respect?
When we disrepect ourselves, speak negatively to ourselves or harshly judge ourselves, we block ourselves from our true capabiltiies. Most negative judgement comes from being "the victim", we literally allow ourselves to feel bad abut ourselves because that's where we become most comfortable.
Note: Do not get angry at yourself for your negative self-talk, simply observe it happening.
Forgive yourself for your negative self-judgments.
Forgiveness is paramount to loving yourself, and loving yourself is paramount to self-acceptance.
Try this practice:
Write out the negative judgments you most speak to yourself, whether it’s “I am too ugly” or “I am not lovable”, whatever those judgments may be, write them all out.
Next, write out each judgment similarly to this “I forgive myself for judging myself as (negative thought/judgement)"
Lastly put your hand on your heart, and breathe deeply, really feeling into the words written beginning to speak them out loud, read them slowly and deliberately with feeling, not from the head but from the heart.
Have love and compassion for the current you.
We can be so so harsh on ourselves, let’s take a minute and feel/think about that. Most of us are doing our best to live out our days on this planet in the best way we can and sometimes it gets really difficult to do that. Challenges come up, our emotions are ever changing, limiting beliefs surface from years of conditioned beliefs and ideas being drilled into us.
Life is a challenge, there is no doubt about it, let’s not give ourselves a harder time of it.
Practice love and compassion for the current version of you, whoever you are at this moment in time can change and it’s more than likely you will change. But who you are right now works for your current life you are living. You might not have grown into the person you need to be for another type of life just yet and that’s okay, you are still lovable, you are still acceptable as you are.
See you as you are now, doing the best you can and love yourself for that.
Take Yourself Less Seriously.
Seriousness is seriously limiting. Life may be a challenge, but it certainly doesn’t need to be a boring and serious one. Lighten up and enjoy your time on this planet.
Observe your limiting thoughts and laugh at them, laugh at how much they hold you back. Laugh about how much power these thoughts have over your actions.
Feel joy for your life as it is, feel joy that you are alive, laugh some more and play!
We all have lots of important work to do with our time on this planet and we all have responsibilties to uphold. That is true.
But let’s bloody enjoy it!!
Create declarations of who you want and need to be.
This part is magical.
I invite you to declare a new version of yourself in “I AM” statements. For example one of my declarations is “I am a deeply loving and powerful presence” sometimes I may fall short of this declaration, but it is a declaration I am committed to being as much as possible until eventually it becomes who I am on a deeply ingrained level.
I practice living out my declaration, I speak it into the world and then I move forward as that man with the actions I take.
Declarations (otherwise known as affirmations) are not lying to yourself as so many people feel they are. Instead they are ways to speak into the world WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
They are ways of creating the person you want and need to be to allow you to grow into and have the relationships you want, the thriving and successful business you want to create, an amazing circle of friends or to be a leader in your organisation, whatever it may be, it’s up to you. That’s the exciting bit.
We all have a choice of who we want to be in the world, we can create whatever way of being we would like, it may seem really far off in this distance to us but we can still create it, by both declaring it and by practicing actually being that way in the world as often as possible.
Do you want to experience more joy but aren’t at the moment a joyful person? Well declare who you want to be - “I am a joyful person”, make it more powerful if you want to “I am the ultimate experience of bliss and joy, happiness shines through me”.
It’s that simple.
Declarations for me are reminding my subconscious and my consciousness of who I am creating. If I speak to myself “I am a joyful person” then I am going to notice a lot more when I am being serious and blocking joy. Then from there I can choose to allow more joy in and practice living into more joy every single day whilst having love and compassion for my current way of being, whether I slip into being too serious or not.
Reading this article is just the beginning and may equate to very little change in your life if you don't commit and dedicate yourself to consistent practice of self-acceptance.
Personally my own practice right now is fully committing and accepting my own vulnerable expression. Recently I was made aware by a powerful man I connected with that when I speak and tell my story in a vulnerable way I stumble through it, not slowing down and really being with the vulnerability. Instead I use words to fill in spaces such as "kind of" and words that reaffirm my sentences. I have a guilt around talking a lot during a conversation, I do not allow myself to be heard and seen fully.
This man challenged me to slow down and take out those filler words, allowing the true power of what I am saying to come forth in my story and to allow my speaking to be a gift to others.
And this is my practice of acceptance and love for myself, to allow myself to be truly seen and heard.
"I forgive myself for not allowing myself to be truly seen and heard by others"
"I George Howard declare that I am the allowing of myself to be fully heard and seen by others". (I am still playing around with my declaration and what feels most powerful to me).
What can be your practice right now? What could you focus on to accept who you are?
Would you like support with this?
I am constantly supporting people just like you with coaching conversations and if you feel this is something you would like to explore then send me an email @ email@example.com
If we decide to have a powerful and transformative two hour conversation together there will be no charge. I only work with a handful of long term clients at a time and we have to be right for each other for this to happen. We won't know that until we have both experienced a conversation together.
With love, George.