In my latest book Out Of Fear Into Love I talk about the four specific limiting beliefs that cause life to be a struggle; beliefs such as I Need to Prove Myself which get in the way of a happy and successful life.
When we’re constantly in a state of needing to prove we’re doing the very opposite of accepting ourselves. Needing to prove means we:
- Put pressure on ourselves
- Speak to ourselves in harsh and unkind ways
- Blame ourselves personally for every little thing
- Run around trying to keep others happy
- Keep trying to be strong in the face of difficulties
- Try to do everything alone because we can’t accept we need help sometimes
On the other hand when we let go of the need to prove and start accepting ourselves we:
- Give ourselves a break
- Speak to ourselves in kind and loving ways
- Forgive ourselves and see the bigger picture
- Work effectively and without struggle
- Respect our own needs
- Allow ourselves to feel vulnerable
- Share our challenges with others and ask for help
Which of those two lists feels better to you? I’m guessing the second one!
The first list is all about living from a place of fear, the second is all about living from a place of self-love. And self-acceptance is one of the magical ingredients of the power of love. From the moment we start to practice self-acceptance we become stronger, happier and more confident because, well that’s what love does for people.
Let’s take a look at three ways self-acceptance can change your life
Practising Self-Acceptance Will Make Your Relationships Much Better
As I said in a recent post: The 90/10 Rule for a Happier Life the more focus we put on providing love for ourselves, instead of expecting others to provide it for us, the happier we can be.
If you wait for others to offer you their approval you can end up feeling rejected and unhappy; not because other people are mean but simply because they’re human beings who have good days and bad days and their own needs to focus on.
When you stop chasing after approval from others and start providing it for yourself you’ll feel much more confident and at ease– that means you’ll feel more confident and at ease with others, so your relationships will automatically improve.
Practising Self-Acceptance Helps With Your Work
The world of work very often requires creative solutions to challenges and problems. When you try to push and prove yourself, you put yourself under stress. The part of your brain (the Amygdala) that controls the fight, flight or freeze response, becomes activated because it thinks you’re at risk in some way— its primary concern is to get you out of some perceived danger, so your ability to think creatively will simply freeze up.
Have you ever had the experience of giving up trying so hard at something; then suddenly the answer seems to come out of nowhere? That’s your creative energy flowing because you’ve relaxed and accepted yourself more.
Practising Self-Acceptance Helps You Achieve Your Dreams
The psychologist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, once made a very wise point.
He said: ‘What you resist persists.’
When you try to resist those aspects of yourself you don’t like by judging and criticising yourself, saying ‘I’m no good,’ ‘I’m wrong,’ ‘I should do better,’ you’re just making those negative ideas about yourself seem bigger and more powerful, and therefore your sense of being able to achieve your dreams seems smaller. On the other hand, if you choose not to pay those ideas too much attention, they become less potent and so they simply can’t get in the way of your success.
Because self-acceptance gives you better relationships, you’ll have more support. And because self-acceptance enhances your creativity, you’ll be more successful, and all this means you’ll have more confidence to go ahead with your dreams. You’ll start to feel as though you’re master of your own destiny as you forge ahead with interesting choices and inspiring ideas.
So practicing self-acceptance is a really good thing—it can change your life from struggle to freedom and happiness in a very short time. So how do we go about practicing self-acceptance? It can be hard to just switch it on; sometimes we need to find some exercises to help get started. I’ll be sharing more with you on this in future posts. You can find some in Out Of Fear Into Love where I share a number of powerful self-acceptance exercises that have already helped hundreds of my clients.
I hope you’ve found this self-kindness tip helpful. I’d love to hear your experiences with this, you can join the conversation at the Into Love Community Facebook group