Self-acceptance is a lifetime journey that allows you to STOP trying to change yourself into the person you’re not and at the same time discovering the real and beautiful you.
Regardless of how your journey began, once it started, self-acceptance brings you lots of transformations, both emotional and physical, and indeed the result is true happiness.
After thinking about this for a while and doing some research, I’ve tried to create a ten simple steps journey of self-acceptance for you, which starts right now if you decide to accept the challenge!
First of all, answer this simple question that most of us can’t answer that quickly:
Do you accept yourself as you are?
Answer the question. Once you know where you are situated, start this adventure!
A 10 Steps Journey for Self-acceptance and Happiness
Step 1: Know Who You Are
To learn: The journey of self-acceptance starts when you realize that you don’t seem to know much about yourself.
To exercise: Self-acceptance is the process of understanding the Unconditioned Self—the part of you that is more than just your name, your history, your story, your failures or your successes. So, remember you are more than just your “failures,” how other people see you or the clothes you wear.
Step 2: Practice Self-Kindness
To learn: Self-acceptance teaches you that you are not who you think you are. You can discern between your ego and your Unconditioned Self.
To exercise: The more you judge yourself, the less you will see who you are. So, stop judging you. And remember that the most powerful way to undo the effects of self-denigration is kindness and forgiveness, which restore awareness of your innate self; so, say out loud, “I will not criticize myself today,” say it loud and repeat it every time you feel you’re judging yourself again.
Step 3: Love Yourself as You Are
To learn: In any given moment, you are either accepting yourself or rejecting yourself. Self-rejection is identifying with your ego more than with your true essence.
To exercise: Remember that Self-acceptance is love. Your capacity to love yourself determines your ability to love everyone else. So, start accepting yourself with all your “flaws, “ and you’ll see how you start loving yourself for who you are regardless of what you do and the results in all situations.
Step 4: Move Beyond Self-Improvement
To learn: Your real value goes beyond your skills (self-improvement).
To exercise: Identify at least one positive action you can take that is NOT related to what you do (self-improvement), for simply being the amazing person you already are and start practicing it from now on.
Step 5: Be True to Yourself
To learn: Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into who you wish were; thus as long as you refuse to love and accept yourself, you will think: I’m not beautiful enough, rich enough, loved enough, lucky enough, fortunate enough or anything else enough.
To exercise: Say this mantra as often as you can: “Please help me believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is!” Repeat it, feel it, internalize it, do it.
Step 6: Abandon Self-Defeating Behaviors
To learn: Your ego can keep you living in your head, feeling distant from your heart and disembodied from your true nature.
To exercise: Think about at least ten self-defeating attitudes you continuously repeat to yourself every time something happens. Write them down like this: “One self-defeating attitude I want to let go is…” Examine your answers carefully and commit to clearing at least one block from each list.
Step 7: Trust Yourself
To learn: Self-acceptance is where you return to find yourself again. When self-acceptance is low, you experience a persistent anxiety. You search outside yourself for validation, approval, and authority.
To exercise: Decide to trust yourself today and every other day. Trust your gut whenever you make a decision (as it is usually right). And remember: the more you accept yourself, the more you trust that life doesn’t just happen to you; it happens to you.
Step 8: Consider Yourself Blessed
To learn: True self-acceptance is the realization that you are what you seek. What you are looking for in the world—love, acceptance, joy, peace—are all qualities of your true nature. The more you accept yourself, the more abundant you will feel.
To exercise: Learn to accept all blessings you have received. Live with this thought starting this moment: “Happiness is here because I am here. AKA: I’m happy!”
Step 9: Know Your Strengths
To learn: To practice self-acceptance BE HONEST with yourself and with the people around you who care about you. Remember: self-acceptance is not only honesty but acceptance of your inner strengths, and weaknesses too. Deal with your weaknesses and transform them slowly them into strengths. Some of these can include: being vulnerable, owning your sensitivity, being less independent, listening to feedback, asking for help and opening your heart.
To exercise: Identify few of your strengths, weaknesses, and talents. Be honest & specific and ask a friend for some help if you want some objectivity (or you cannot figure it out what to include on the list). Next, score from 0 to 100%, how much you are using each one of these in your life right now. Then, imagine how good your life could get if you committed to these innate strengths and talents more fully and at the same time would work and accept your weaknesses.
Step 10: Find Your Essence and your Next Step
To learn: Self-acceptance is the key to find who you truly are, your essence. From the moment you give yourself permission to stand in your truth, you can find where you are and which will be the next step in your life. You can take the risk of being you for the first time and of course, find your dreams, find your path and follow it with no regrets.
To exercise: Start experiencing self-acceptance with this first yet profound love for yourself. Let this new find love help you learn to enjoy your life, and plan for the future. Make a list with all the things you always wanted to do, the places you wanted to visit, the life you wanted to get and write it down on a piece of paper. Ask yourself: Where will I go? What will I do? How will I get there? What will full fill me entirely? Write it down. Plan it. Do it!
Remember that with a new day, a new journey begins!
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