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Self-Acceptance - What Is It?

By Remez Sasson

We hear so much about self-acceptance from people, who study or teach personal growth methods.

What is self-acceptance?

Does it mean accepting your weaknesses or negative habits and doing nothing about them?

Does it mean accepting your behavior, attitude and life style, and doing nothing to change and improve?

It is so easy to give in to laziness and to find excuses for leaving everything as it is.

Accepting your behavior and weaknesses, and doing nothing to improve, is not the right kind of self acceptance. It does not contribute to real progress and improvement.

The term self-acceptance seems not to be well explained and well understood. Accepting yourself as you are is only the first step. It helps you realize your good, and not so good qualities, and can alleviate feelings of guilt, lack of self esteem and unhappiness.

Self-acceptance does not mean that you accept what you are and do nothing to change and improve. It does not mean accepting your fate and life as it is.

Becoming aware and acknowledging your behavior, habits and your personality, and not being afraid to look at yourself as you are, is an important step to self-acceptance.

When you accept yourself as you are, you put yourself in a better position to begin improving yourself.

It is not an excuse for saying, "This is what I am. I accept myself as I am. I accept my character, my failings and my fate, and this how it is. I can do nothing about it."

Knowing yourself affords you the possibility to see what you can do to improve yourself and your life.

Improvement requires that you understand and acknowledge your character and habits, stop comparing yourself and your achievements to others, and acknowledging your skills or the lack of them. This will bring some sort of inner peace, lightness and happiness, like getting rid of a burden.

Remember, acknowledging your good and bad habits and traits of charcter can alleviate feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, resentment or unhappiness, but it is not an excuse for staying as you are, it is only the first step on the road to improvement and empowerment.