Self-Acceptance - What Is It?

By Remez Sasson

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

  • 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, find excuses for leaving everything as it is, and stay as you are and where you are.

What Is Self-Acceptance?

It means:

  • Loving yourself as you are.
  • Accepting your habits, skills and how you look.
  • Accepting your situation and circumstances and stop hating them or getting angry at them.
  • Having compassion for yourself.
  • Being less judgmental about yourself.
  • Self-accepatance means knowing that no one is perfect and accepting any failings you might have.
  • Stop dwelling on past mistakes.

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 or 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 toward self-acceptance.

When you accept yourself as you are, you put yourself in a better position to begin improving yourself. You understand your good and bad characteristics and and realize where you need to improve.

Do not say to yourself, "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 and I cannot improve myself or my fate."

Knowing yourself affords you the possibility to see what you can do to improve yourself and your life. Self-acceptance means that you see your failings, accept and acknowledge your present position, and then look for ways to improve.

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 character 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.

Start striving to accept yourself, so you can take the next step, to improve yourself and your life.

What techniques can help you in this respect? Watching and understanding your thoughts, behavior and actions, practicing positive thinking, and repeating affirmations.

"Change is possible, but it must start with self-acceptance."
- Alexander Lowen

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