Self-acceptance is the foundation that allows us to grow and move towards well-being. The turning point that leads us to see and look at each other from humility to love ourselves as we are.
- 1 What is self-acceptance?
- 2 The faces of rejection
- 3 How to encourage acceptance by ourselves?
What is self-acceptance?
Living consciously can be complicated when what we have to face has to do with us. Facing the compendium of which we are participants without deceiving ourselves, puts the challenge of self-acceptance into play. It is not so easy to take off your clothes when the spectator who observes is ourselves.
Accepting ourselves implies detracting from all judgment to treat us with love, embrace our broken parts and recognize our value.It means detaching ourselves from the demands, ideals, criticisms and perfection to love us as we are.
Albert Ellis, psychologist of Emotional Rational Therapy (TRE) defined self-acceptance like this: "Self-acceptance means that the person accepts himself fully and unconditionally, whether he behaves or does not behave intelligently, correctly or competently, and whether others grant him or her approval, respect and love".
So, self-acceptance implies finding inner peace and get rid of the psychological and social barriers that prevent us from doing so. Such as rejection for our physical characteristics or personality traits. We are much more than all that, even if it costs us to be aware of it.
Now, accepting ourselves does not imply clinging and not changing, evolving or improving, quite the opposite. As the great Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung said what we accept transforms us, being self-acceptance therefore the previous step for change. Because if we accept what we are and what we feel at any moment of our existence, we allow ourselves to be aware of our choices and actions, enhancing our development.
The faces of rejection
When we do not accept ourselves to some extent we are not giving ourselves permission to see each other. It is as if we put ourselves in front of a mirror and hide part of who we are because we don't like it, we are ashamed or we don't consider it appropriate. We even mistreat ourselves with derogatory comments and destructive criticism.
Other times, rejecting us implies that we hide under a mask pretending to be another person or that we live pending the approval of others. Having as consequence enslave us to an image that is not ours that over time will generate an unease that behind it conceals a void. Well, others do not know us and everything they feel is directed towards that character we play.
We all make mistakes, we have pieces that do not fit and wounds that cost healing, but It is a mistake to hold a grudge because we are not perfect. Beating us for our failures and defects stagnates us in discomfort and blocks us. Forgiving us frees us and allows us to begin to love ourselves unconditionally.
How to encourage acceptance by ourselves?
Forgiving the people around us can be complicated, but when it comes to ourselves it is even more difficult. How to forgive and accept ourselves unconditionally and without reservation?
The Canadian psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden suggests that to encourage self-acceptance we say ourselves every morning the following phrase "Whatever my defects or imperfections, I accept myself without reservation and completely"In this way, we can begin to believe it.
It is true that our fears, insecurities and reproaches will not disappear, but shouting at them we have never advanced anything. The question is to accept them to meet us and treat us with love. Our imperfections also have their beauty.
We are much bigger than any isolated thought or emotion and recognizing them will allow us to transcend them so that they gradually fade over time.
On the other hand, It is important that we cultivate a good relationship with uncertainty with the aim of converting each experience into a new learning and we are not trapped in our comfort zone. It is also important that we abandon that vice of comparing ourselves to others, since it is an unfair practice because each one of us has his own story.
Finally, let's not forget that mistreating us is not the option but looking at us from the earnest sincerity to meet because if we practice self-acceptance, our self-esteem will be enhanced and we will relate from our authenticity to others. Free of masks, reproaches and fears.