Self-acceptance: 5 Psychological Tips To Achieve It

Didn’t you just find yourself? We explain how to accept your defects and your virtues.

Self-acceptance means treating ourselves with affection and acknowledging that we are valuable and worthy of being loved and respected despite not being perfect. In theory it seems easy, however, it is not.  

We live in a highly competitive society, and self-acceptance requires, on many occasions, to change our way of thinking and re-educate ourselves.

Not accepting ourselves as we are is a barrier between us and our emotional well-being and growth, because it prevents us from facing life with energy and makes us succumb to difficult experiences and difficulties that we may encounter. Life has good moments, but it also has difficult moments and you have to accept them. If we do not accept ourselves, we are our worst enemy.

Self-acceptance is the path to inner peace

To accept ourselves is to find inner peace, to find peace with ourselves. It also allows you not to escape from problems and accept them, because understanding that failures are human is healthy for your well-being. Self-acceptance is undoubtedly a victory in the ring of life.

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When you don’t build your inner peace and self-acceptance you are at the mercy of the situation, which will most likely engulf you. When a person does not accept herself she will have problems at work, at school, with others and, ultimately, with life.

Self-acceptance is such a powerful tool that it is even used in psychological therapy. Third-generation therapies, for example, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or mindfulness, are around this concept. 

Albert Ellis, one of the most influential psychologists in cognitive therapy and creator of rational emotional behavioral therapy (RBT), defined self-acceptance in this way: “Self-acceptance refers to the fact that the person accepts himself fully and without conditions, whether he behaves or not behaves intelligently, correctly or incorrectly, and whether or not others grant him approval, respect and love. “

Tips for achieving self-acceptance

It is common to  talk about forgiveness and whether or not we should forgive other people. Forgiving others and living without grudges is good for our emotional health. And in fact, it is one of the most important factors in our interpersonal relationships. But can we forgive ourselves? Forgiving others can be complicated, but it is even worse when it is our turn to forgive ourselves.

Forgiving and accepting yourself requires will. Therefore, below you can find some tips that can help you achieve it.

1. Make a list of negative self-judgments and let them go

The first step to ending  negative thoughts about yourself is to make them aware. Therefore, it is necessary to detect what it is that takes away the happiness of being yourself. You can do this with a thought journal. To do this, you must detect those thoughts and write them from self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, making a contract with yourself to let these thoughts pass and forgive yourself for what you have done. This is achieved from a non-judgmental attitude.

One idea to achieve this is to write the following:

I release myself and let go of all the suffering and guilt related to ……. (fill in the blank). I am willing to forgive myself for what happened. I did my best. I forgive myself and everyone else involved. I’m not going to torture myself anymore for this.

2. Learn to validate your emotions

When it comes to resolving interpersonal conflicts, acceptance, through emotional validation, is one of the best ways to do it. After all, certain prejudices and beliefs about our identity can make us falsely reject some feelings, causing us to doubt and feel bad about what we experience. A look free of prejudices towards ourselves is necessary.

Emotional self-validation consists of accepting and validating what we are feeling, whether we agree or not. Therefore, we do not need anyone’s permission to accept our emotions, because we give ourselves permission. To validate our emotions, first of all we must know them, label them and then accept them as they are, with a non-judgmental and non-critical attitude.

3. Cultivate a good relationship with uncertainty

Cultivate an attitude of courage and be authentic. Take risks and don’t fear uncertainty or being vulnerable. Get out of the comfort zone. Many people get caught in a spiral where failure fuels the “I’m not good enough” story.

Disconnect from this sense of failure and negative feeling that affects your self-esteem and connect to the wise experience that we are not all perfect and we can fail. Get out of your comfort zone, take risks and take life as a continuous learning.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

We often compare ourselves to others, because we live in a society that rewards people with money and success. If evaluating ourselves for money, possessions and job success is not good, it is worse to compare ourselves with others. When we do that, anxiety takes over and our self-esteem suffers. We must re-educate ourselves and stop thinking this way. 

5. Learn to accept your imperfections

Stop being a perfectionist and stop thinking that you are unworthy for having imperfections. Perfectionism negatively affects our emotional balance. Instead, when you accept your imperfections and see them as normal, then they were free! You are free to feel the anxiety to be who you are and you no longer need to waste that mental energy in these thoughts that in the long run cause you great emotional fatigue.

6. Practice Mindfulness

In recent years, a practice that is becoming really popular in psychology is Mindfulness or mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of life, although psychologists have adapted its principles and methods to therapeutic practice, aware of the great benefit it brings to mental health, to the point that it is used to treat cases of mild depression.

This philosophy is based on living the present experience in its entirety, and proposes that we find the essence of who we are. This is achieved through self-acceptance, compassion for oneself, and a non-judgmental mindset. 

Mindfulness allows us to be aware of the reality that surrounds us and helps us to live from freedom, self-knowledge and acceptance. As a therapeutic tool, Mindfulness makes us focus on the here and now, judging beliefs about the past for what they are, uncertain and imperfect ideas that may or may not be useful to us, depending on the case.

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