There have been so many times in my life where I’ve been my own worst enemy. I’ve kicked myself when I was down, I’ve beat myself up over things I couldn’t control, I’ve been more negative than positive, and I’ve been my own worst critic when I should have been my number one fan. I’ve even tried to be someone I wasn’t to fit in or be accepted. Bottom line is: there have been moments in my life where I haven’t loved myself enough and, truth be told, we all go through these moments. What it all comes down to is that when we’re busy putting ourselves down, we neglect to focus on building our self-value, self-confidence, self-belief, and self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance is loving yourself unconditionally, accepting yourself for who you are, embracing your differences and flaws, recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, forgiving yourself for your mistakes. Self-acceptance is a habit that we must practice every single day, because how we view ourselves will ultimately make or break us.
Self-acceptance is a step-by-step process that begins with making the right choices about your perspective. Perspective is key in building up self-acceptance because we must create our own definitions for the things most important to us.
For example, there are many standards and definitions of beauty, perfection, accomplishment, wealth, love, etc., that have been embedded in our minds by society, the media, and sometimes our friends or family. Many of us have grown up with misleading, unrealistic and harmful ideas of what we’re supposed to look like and how we’re supposed to behave. So what must we do? We must change our perspective by redefining and tailoring these standards for ourselves.
Lets take the misconceived meaning of beauty as an example. When many of try to define beauty, we typically conjure up images of movie stars, Victoria Secret models, or even Jennifer Lopez. Sure, all these women are beautiful, but sometimes we start comparing ourselves to these women and even begin to wish that we looked like them. I know I’ve been guilty of this on several occasions. However, it’s something I work on everyday. Often times, I say to myself:
“You’re not beautiful like them, you are beautiful like you.“
Saying this gives me perspective. I’ve shifted the power to define beauty from the media to the that woman I see everyday in the mirror: me. I am beautiful because no one will ever–or could ever–look like or be like me. I must accept myself completely, with flaws and all, because that is the first step towards self-acceptance; that is a choice only I can make.