Like any other skill, self-acceptance is something that we build up over time across all areas – personal, professional, academic, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, etc. For instance, if we are not at our goal weight, do you fat shame yourself or do you honour and accept your body as is, even if you are working on having a healthier body? If your relationship with god is weak and not where you want it to be, do you shame yourself and damn yourself to hell, or do you surrender and accept your spirituality is work in progress and that’s okay? Do you accept that you are not married by a certain age or do you shame yourself for not having a partner? Self acceptance is a key to happier living and improving your overall well-being. (Also read: Yoga asanas for self-acceptance: Expert shares tips )
Popular psychologist, Dr. Ketam Hamdan, suggested five things to do for boosting self- acceptance in her recent Instagram post.
1. Forgive yourself: The first step in self-acceptance is showing compassion to yourself, which is accepting your humanness and imperfections. Talk to yourself as you would a friend. Think of your past self as a different person, what can you change right now about yourself in the present. Look at all areas of life mental, spiritual, emotional, relational, physical. What part or parts do you need to forgive and show self compassion. Do you forgive your self for not having perfect body, forgive your mistakes, expectations, etc.
2. Mindfulness: Much of our negative self-talk happens in our subconscious, which means most of us are not even aware of our negative self-talk. Try to quiet your mind and hear or notice your inner thoughts and feelings. What makes you anxious? What are you ashamed of? Which parts of yourself Which do you try to avoid thinking about? Try to quiet your mind and hear or notice your inner thoughts and feelings.
3. Inner Critic: Another way to help generate acceptance for yourself is to notice your inner critic, which is that voice inside that is constantly telling you aren’t good enough and setting expectations. It tells you that you’re ugly, a loser, etc.
4. Strengths: Write down your 3 strengths and water those. Energy goes where attention is. This does not mean you don’t grow, it means you focus more on what is right, instead of what is wrong and accept yourself.
5. Stop comparing yourself: One reason self-acceptance is challenging is because we constantly compare ourselves to others. When you stop comparing yourself to others, you begin to look inside. External validation matters less and you feel better about yours.