Part 1: The first and most important step in your journey towards self love.
So what is self acceptance?
Self acceptance is coming to a point in your life where you can physically and metaphorically look in the mirror and just say “yes, this is me” warts and all.
This takes a reasonably high level of self awareness because you have to be able to reflect on your life and the mistakes you’ve made while beginning to understand the reasons behind them.
If you can’t embrace your imperfections and fuck-ups then you have work to do,
But fear not, I will end this blog with some action steps you can take to begin to accept who you are.
Now why do so many of us struggle with self acceptance?
We are naturally emotional creatures and are hugely vulnerable to having our emotions controlled either by our subjective thoughts or even something as trivial as having to queue for a few minutes at the supermarket.
Just like anything in life responsibility is paramount and we have to take full responsibility for who we are and the things we’ve done wrong. For some people this can be the hardest part, all you narcissists out there are not ready to come crashing back down to earth and admit that they’ve ever been in the wrong so will live in denial and deflect all responsibility while seeking to point blame in someone else’s direction.
This can be a hard pill to swallow if you have overpowering narcissistic tendencies but what I want to throw into the mix now is insecurities…
Every single one of us has insecurities but some people let their insecurities control the majority of their lives,
Let me explain…
You’re in a relationship and your partner is getting ready to go out for a night with the lads/the girls, (wouldn’t want to be sexist to either of the TWO genders we have in the world ;)) you start to get a sudden sick feeling in your stomach as a result of your insecurity being triggered. This feels horrible to you but instead of being a mature adult and communicating with your partner openly you start ‘acting up,’ you know, how a 3 year old toddler does when they don’t know how to express themselves. You ignore your partner, go quiet and begin to sulk…
Now what someone who has got to that mirror stage of self acceptance will do is,
Feel the emotion and the sick feeling in their stomach, take responsibility for the fact that they are feeling insecure, accept that it is THEIR issue and either,
Option 1: Choose not to speak about it just before your partner goes out, say how amazing they look and that you hope they have a good night and promise yourself you’ll speak about how you feel tomorrow.
Option 2. Say to your partner “you look amazing, I sometimes wonder what I done to deserve you” you have given them a genuine compliment and also outlined the fact that sometimes you feel insecure which opens the door for your partner to reassure you.
Another very common insecurity is hating parts of your body,
Your mummy tummy,
Your beer belly,
Your double chin,
Cellulite on the back of your legs,
And this can have a huge negative impact on not only your own emotional well being but also your relationship.
Now someone who hasn’t reached the self acceptance stage in their life yet will wear clothes to hide their body, make excuses as to why they don’t want to go out, stop having sex with their partner, refuse to do anything about how they are feeling and look to blame.
Now someone who has reached the self acceptance stage in their life will take responsibility for how they feel about themselves and take the first step towards exercising regularly, embrace going out because they know that will improve their social confidence and speak to their partner about wanting to reignite their physical relationship.
Now you can see and possibly relate to how difficult it is to earn self acceptance, because it takes looking at all the things you want to change about who you are and instead of spiralling in to a self pitying mindset full of excuses, resentment and blame you use these things as motivation and inspiration to take action steps in becoming better, better than you were yesterday.
As always I want to reiterate the fact that I had to put a lot of work in over the years to earn this level of self acceptance I now have, it’s not something that you just have, the same as a confident person isn’t born confident they have to earn it.
So why is self acceptance the most important step towards self love?
In a nutshell, before you can address something first you have to recognise it’s there.
You are imperfect,
You have flaws,
You fuck up,
YOU ARE HUMAN!
My top 3 tips to achieve self acceptance:
- Exercise, particularly weight training because as you see and feel your body getting stronger this will massively boost your confidence and have a huge positive impact on your mental strength.
2. Set yourself goals, start off with goals that are smaller and easier to achieve and this will begin to open your eyes to what you’re capable of when you put the work in.
3. Journal, this is hugely beneficial. Buy yourself a little book, I like spending a few quid on one that looks a bit pretty (princess, I know) so you actually take a bit of pride in it, and at the end of each day write down how your day was in regards to your emotions, what triggered certain ones and reflect on why then finish it with writing down 1 thing that you’re grateful for, ending your day in gratitude is reaffirming the positives you have in your life.
Self acceptance is like a muscle, if you don’t train it then you will lose it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have for accepting yourself so please do get in touch :)!