Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rita Grohowski. Rita is a writer, mentor, and angel investor. In addition to financial assistance, she also helps people find deeper meaning, and discover the “romance” in their careers, professional life, and businesses. When analyzing businesses, Rita asks people what they want to create, and contribute first, and then asks how they plan to make money because she believes hard work can’t be sustainable unless there’s passion. Here’s Rita on working towards self-acceptance…
For many people, having high levels of self-confidence is a great challenge and something we just can’t seem to come to terms with. Whether you’re unhappy with your body, your level of emotional connections in your life, or you don’t feel as though you’re doing things in your life that provide meaning and self-fulfillment, your self-confidence is going to take a hit.
When you have very low levels of self-esteem, your level of self-acceptance will also take a plunge, so taking steps to improve this will be important.
Here are some of the things to focus on to boost your level of self-acceptance.
Identify Your Self-Acceptance Problem Points
The very first thing you must do if you are going to get on a path towards self-acceptance is recognize the issues in yourself that you don’t accept. Unless you know what it is exactly that’s causing you to have negative feelings towards yourself, it will be difficult to create a positive path towards clearing these up.
Assess all the areas of your life: work, health, family and relationships, as well as your own interests and hobbies. Which are you comfortable with? Which make you feel uncertain of yourself or make you dislike who you are?
Remember that self-acceptance does not hinge on what other people think of you, strictly what you think of yourself. You are the most important person in your life so your goal is to get to a place where you love yourself. This may mean displeasing some people, but that’s a trade-off you have to make. You can’t make everyone like you but you must make yourself like who you are.
Identify Your Self-Acceptance Positive Points
Next, it’s also good to identify the areas of your life that you feel great about. What do you feel are your strengths? What makes you a good person?
Far too often we get very held up on all the negatives that we forget to consider the positives. Start considering those positives. When you can bring them out and into your attention, you’ll feel better about yourself and will kick-start the acceptance process.
Sometimes it takes getting out of a very negative self-perception hole you’ve dug for yourself to begin to see the light and make changes for the better. Sit down and try to come up with at least ten things you truly do love about yourself and that you feel makes you a great person.
Whenever you’re having a down moment where all you want to do is criticize yourself, bring these points back up into mind and remember all the positives you have going for yourself.
Create An Action Plan Towards Elimination
Finally, you must create your action plan towards elimination. This is a plan where you will identify the steps you will take to eliminate the behaviors that are causing you low self-esteem and that you don’t accept in yourself.
This will be a difficult thing to do since many of these will be strongly routed in your behavioral patterns right now, but with enough hard work you can definitely break free from them. Don’t expect perfection right off the bat – instead set small reachable goals that can accomplish within a week or two of work.
In some cases you may need to seek out professional help such as seeing a counselor to overcome the issues so do whatever is necessary. Self-acceptance is a very critical element to overall well being, so not something you can take lightly.
As you begin making progress towards behavioral change you’ll also notice that making those changes itself helps you feel better about yourself and boosts your self-confidence that you are capable of becoming who you want to be.
Little by little you’ll grow closer to the person you’re striving for and soon you will wonder what held you back from making the chances in the first place.
Each and every one of us has something about ourselves that we aren’t especially proud of. Most of us keep these things deeply covered, never letting others see that side of us. Despite it not being public however, it will still wear you out emotionally and will influence your day to day life.
Expect this self-acceptance process to be a lifelong journey because it is. As we continue to grow and evolve as human beings, you may find you want different things in your life and change who you want to be. That’s fine provided you can stay on top of things and take the steps you need to in order to become someone you can be proud of. When you do that, that’s when you will be living life to the fullest.
Photo by Tiago Ribeiro.