When you cultivate relationships with new people that forge a lifelong bond, it is doubtful that you are going to try to change that person. You’re not going to make them feel that they are any less of a person because of who they are, what they like, or what they pursue in life. We all know that this isn’t the right way to make connections with another human being.
Yet when we approach ourselves and continue our relationships with ourselves, there seems to be a desire to change, punish, or alter ourselves to meet certain expectations. If you were doing this to another person, this would be seen as unacceptable! We shouldn’t treat ourselves any differently.
The simple truth of life is that your only stable and lifelong relationship is with yourself. Because of this, it is the most important one you are going to have and, one that you will need to nurture if you want to lead a happy life. True, you will want to change some things but there is a massive benefit to simply accepting and moving forward from there.
If you have a hard time settling down with you, here are some tips on how to accept yourself so that you can start living a life that others dream of!
1. Take Some Time to Sit With Yourself and Discover Who You Are
The major problem that many people face when it comes to self-acceptance is that they have yet to engage in self-discovery. Many people may feel purposeless and lost, which is ultimately due to a lack of self and an unclear understanding of who you are and what you want.
Self-discovery is a necessary first step but it is one that comes with a lot of work and is ever-changing. Starting your own self-discovery journey may consist of the following:
Discovering Your Purpose
Each of us may feel like we are called to do something at some point in time that will help to grow others as well as ourselves.
What are you passionate about? What gets you fired up and makes you forget about everything else? What is something that you could picture doing for the rest of your life?
Sometimes, the best way to discover purpose is simply to go out and do until you learn more about where your passions lie.
Learning More About Your Values and Beliefs
Values and beliefs, which may stem from childhood or, may come from experience in recent years, help to set up structure in our lives and drive us towards the things that matter most to us.
Are you someone who has strong ties to family? Do you rely on honesty and integrity to live your life? What are your spiritual or religious beliefs? What type of community do you want to build or belong to?
These are some important questions to ask as these questions dictate what choices you make along your path.
Journal and Keep Track of the Day-to-Day
Even if you are unsure of who you are, what you do on a regular basis will certainly tell you everything you need to know.
What are some things that you like to do? What are things that are not necessarily fun for you? What are some habits that you have cultivated, healthy or otherwise? What are your dreams? Ambitions? Goals?
We all have things that make us unique. Take the time to learn more about those aspects of the self.
There’s this misconception that acceptance goes hand-in-hand with a refusal to change but that’s not true. Acceptance starts with recognition and embracing who that person is. You will then go on to nurture them and to change some of those unhealthy aspects, so that you can become who you want to be.
2. Accept What You Can’t Change
You are who you are. You love what you love. There are some things that you will be able to change in your life (for the better) and, there are some things that will simply be for the rest of your time here on earth.
Expending mental energy on wishing you can change things that are never going to change is a waste of your time and will inevitably lead to sadness. Whatever it is that you wish you could change, know that you are a worthy human being regardless of what it is you are insecure about.
Take time to be kind to yourself, let your guard down and embrace these things, and learn how to overcome that inner voice that tells you that you’re not good enough. In order to be happy with who we are, we must allow ourselves to be accepting of all aspects of the self.
The biggest barrier for most people, however, is learning how to cultivate acceptance of the self. If you are struggling at this point, here are some tips that will allow you to tackle the project easier:
- Practice positive self-talk and challenge any negative thoughts that come out of you as they are released.
- Choose to be loving towards yourself and your flaws, rather than trying to hide them away or ignore them.
- Accept that everything that has happened has led you to this point and will carry you to your goals as you work towards them.
- Spend some time with yourself engaging in enjoyable activities so that you can bond with yourself and fall in love with that person.
- Know that you will have easy days as well as hard days. Take them as they come.
It may take time but in the end, you are going to be grateful that you put in the effort to cultivate self-love.
3. Change What Needs to Be Changed for Your Benefit
Not all change is good change. Some change can be harmful and that change needs to be avoided.
However, some change can be beneficial and that change is the type that helps to grow you as a person and allows you to blossom into the person you want to be.
Acceptance and acknowledging of yourself and the world around you is great but, you need to understand that acceptance can be both a tool of dissatisfaction and happiness. Things you can’t change must be embraced and you need to love those things; but things that can and must be changed require your immediate attention.
You are a growing and constantly evolving person and, everything that you do needs to be done in your best interest. For example, let’s say that you have made a number of bad choices in your past that have impacted your social and financial life. While you need to accept that these choices have been made and accept the experience that got you there, you shouldn’t accept your situation.
Knowing what needs to be changed and what needs to be embraced boils down to one thing: does it allow you to live a happy life?
If it is (realistically) impacting you in a negative manner, it needs to go.
If it impacts you but it is a result of negative self-image and is not something that would need to be changed otherwise, embrace it.
If it is something that you are still going to change regardless, proceed with caution.
All paths should ultimately lead to happiness.
You are you and that is something that is never going to change. When you learn to accept yourself and work towards the best version of you that you can be, you set yourself up for a life that has an abundance of happiness and progress.
Need some extra help implementing the tips that you learned above? Take a look at these articles:
- How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life
- 30 Self Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit
- How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power)
- 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself
Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com
|The Odyssey: 12 Tips to Guide You on Your Journey of Self-Discovery
|PsychCentral: “Therapists Spill: 12 Ways to Accept Yourself
|Inc.: How to Accept Yourself, Your Life, And Your Reality