"Can you look in the mirror & truly accept the unique, wonderful work-in-progress person starting back at you?" (Marquita Herald, Emotionally Resilient Living)
What does self-acceptance look like, though? It looks different for each of us, depending on what we have struggled with and which pieces of ourselves we’d rather not think about. Here are some examples of what self-acceptance might look like for a variety of people:
An employee who struggles to meet the goals set by a demanding boss may accept themselves by accepting that sometimes they will fail to deliver, but that they can still be a good person even when they fail.
Someone struggling with anorexia may accept themselves as a human being with an imperfect body, acknowledge that they approach their imperfection from a harmful perspective & commit to working on this perspective.
A student who works hard only to receive Cs could reach a point of self-acceptance in which they realise that studying & taking tests is not their strong suit & that this is okay because they have other strengths.
Someone going through a divorce who feels like a failure because of it might experience self-acceptance as acknowledging that they have made mistakes & that the marriage failed, but that it does not make them a failure in themselves.
A young person with low self-esteem who actively ignores facing their own self-doubt & self-defeating beliefs might experience self-acceptance through acknowledging and confronting their negative beliefs & cognitive distortions, realizing that not everything they think is actually true.
What could you achieve if you got out of your own way and started to thrive in every way possible?
What dreams would you work towards? What giant leaps would you take? What would you walk away from?
It’s impossible to live authentically without first discovering who you are. Self-awareness is crucial!