Six Reasons to Practice Self-Acceptance

What is self-acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the state of being at peace with every aspect of yourself. This means accepting things that you consider positive and negative. It’s accepting all exterior physical traits and interior personality traits. It also means recognizing that you have value in and of yourself, and not as a result of your actions or words. Self-acceptance is a celebration of the self.

Key Takeaways

  • Self-acceptance means accepting your positive and negative traits
  • People that accept themselves generally have good self-esteem and a high level of emotional intelligence
  • Practicing self-acceptance can lead to happiness, resilience, and personal development

What does self-acceptance look like?

People that accept themselves embrace their quirks and differences. They tend to be genuine since they are true to themselves. They play to their strengths and are aware of their weaknesses. Self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you accept your negative qualities and don’t bother with trying to improve. You can accept that you aren’t the best at math without giving up on every task that involves numbers. There are often more solutions to a problem than you think, if you only open your mind to the possibilities.

Self-esteem vs. self-acceptance

Self-esteem is your overall opinion, or how you feel about yourself. It’s how you feel about both the positive and negative aspects of your life. However, having good self-esteem doesn’t necessarily mean you accept yourself. In fact, holding yourself in too high a regard can actually be perceived as a negative. These people tend to not be able to recognize their own flaws. If you achieve self-acceptance though, you should have a healthy balance of self-esteem.

How do you achieve self-acceptance? 

Self-acceptance isn’t something you can achieve, like a gold star for completing an assignment. It’s more akin to inner peace, or happiness. How do you know when you achieve a feeling? I guess it’s either something you know, or something you’re always striving for. It’s hard to not be critical about something in your life. Whether it’s that 10lbs you’d like to lose, or the fact that you always take on too much. There’s probably something you wish you could change about yourself. However, being hard on yourself about these personality traits is what needs to be refocused, not the desire for change.

What is the key to self-acceptance?

One of the keys to self-acceptance is believing in yourself. Even in the face of failure, people that accept themselves are confident. It doesn’t mean that failing doesn’t sting, but they are capable of bouncing back. Self-acceptance an important skill to hone, because it may be the key to a happier life. 

self acceptance

Why is self-acceptance important?

  1. It’s Freeing. The most important reason to accept yourself may sound the simplest, but actually, may be the hardest. Be yourself. Why would you want to be anyone else? Sure, there may be people that have more money, or whom you revere as more successful than you. But, trying to be someone you aren’t is only going to be met with disappointment. If you want to be more successful, first define what that means to you, and then be successful in your own way. Being yourself is freeing.
  2. Increases Your Emotional Intelligence. Part of self-acceptance is understanding yourself. It’s pretty hard to accept something you don’t understand. That means being able to identify your own emotions and the emotions of others. Understanding your emotions is the first step, and from this, you will have better control over managing your emotions. Once you are able to recognize and analyze emotions, this will help you increase your emotional intelligence.
  3. Makes You Happy. People that are able to control their emotions, even in stressful situations, are generally happier. They don’t act impulsively on raw emotion. This doesn’t mean bottling up feelings and hiding them from others. Instead, you are aware of the reason you are experiencing that particular emotion and are able to take a moment to decide how to respond.
  4. Improves Your Self-Esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to a perpetual cycle of self-sabotage. How you view yourself is an important aspect of achieving self-acceptance. If you accept yourself, understand your emotions, and are happy, you will also be improving your self-esteem. People that accept themselves are confident in their abilities and mindful of their weaknesses. These are key characteristics of someone with healthy self-esteem.
  5. Makes You Resilient. People who accept themselves are more understanding when they fail. Making mistakes is part of being human. Being able to accept your mistakes can help you plan a better path forward. Pushing ahead despite adversity, or in the face of failure helps you to become resilient. Learning to cope in stressful situations is important for mental health.
  6. Personal Development. When you embrace self-acceptance, you are accepting your mistakes and failures as well. This is crucial because knowing your weaknesses is the first step towards personal development. After failure, it can sometimes take time before you’re ready to analyze the situation. That’s okay. When you’re ready, try to figure out where you went wrong and what you’re going to try instead next time.

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Self-acceptance daily exercises

  • Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and smile

Self-acceptance means accepting every part of yourself. Here’s an easy exercise: look at yourself every morning in the mirror, and smile. Tell yourself that you love yourself the way you are, and mean it. Positive affirmations can give you the power to change the negative thoughts in your head.

  • Do one thing every day that is just for you

If you accept yourself, that means accepting your limitations and understanding your needs. Everyone needs to practice self-care in their lives, whatever that may look like for you. It could be reading a book, going for a walk, or taking a nap.

  • Admit to yourself one thing every night that you are going to try differently tomorrow

Accepting yourself means accepting negative aspects as well. At night, it’s a good idea to let go of this guilt before going to sleep. Admit to yourself one thing that you wish you had done differently. Forgive yourself. Then commit to trying another approach tomorrow.

Famous quotes about self-acceptance

  • “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”Dalai Lama XIV
  • “Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”Siddhārtha Gautama
  • “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”Mark Twain
  • “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are”Kurt Cobain
  • “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”C.G. Jung
  • “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit”E.E. Cummings
  • “how you love yourself is how you teach others to love you”Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
  • “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”― Lao Tzu, philosopher
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