What is Self-acceptance? How to Accept Yourself As You Are?


meaning of self-acceptance

Meaning of Self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is when you are okay with who you are, just as you are. It means understanding and embracing yourself without trying to be someone else or wishing you were different.

It’s like giving yourself a big, warm hug and saying, “I’m okay just as I am.”

1. Accepting Your Flaws – Self-acceptance means acknowledging your imperfections and not beating yourself up about them. For example, if you’re not the best at math, you don’t constantly criticize yourself for it. You realize it’s okay to have weaknesses.

2. Being Kind to Yourself – It’s like being a good friend to yourself. You wouldn’t be mean or overly critical of your friends, right? So, don’t be harsh on yourself. For example, if you make a mistake at work, instead of saying, “I’m so stupid,” you might say, “I made a mistake, but I can learn from it.”

3. Loving Your Body – Self-acceptance includes being comfortable in your own skin. It’s not about having the “perfect” body but loving your body for what it is. For instance, if you have freckles, you don’t try to hide them or feel bad about them; you embrace them as a part of you.

4. Accepting Your Emotions – It’s okay to feel all kinds of emotions, whether it’s happiness, sadness, anger, or fear. Self-acceptance means not judging yourself for your feelings. You might say, “It’s okay to be sad sometimes; it’s a part of being human.”

5. Setting Realistic Goals – Instead of setting goals that are too demanding and impossible to achieve, self-acceptance means setting realistic goals that match your abilities and circumstances. For instance, if you’re not a morning person, you don’t force yourself to wake up super early.

6. Respecting Your Boundaries – You recognize your limits and say ‘no’ when needed. For example, if a friend asks you to help them move on a day when you’re already busy, you kindly say, “I can’t do it that day, but I can help on another day.”

7. Forgiving Yourself – It’s about letting go of past mistakes and not dwelling on them. For example, if you miss an important deadline, you don’t keep punishing yourself for it. You learn from it and move forward.

Self-acceptance is like being your own biggest supporter and being kind to yourself, just as you would be to a dear friend. It’s about recognizing that you’re unique and valuable just as you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses, quirks, and qualities.

It’s a key ingredient in living a happier and more content life.

a happy self loving person
Photo by Brooke Cagle

Example of Self-acceptance

Let me give you a simple example of self-acceptance.

Imagine there’s a person named Murugan. Murugan isn’t very good at drawing, and every time they try to make a nice picture, it doesn’t turn out the way they want. Other people around them are really talented at drawing, and Murugan feels like they’re not as good.

Now, self-acceptance for Murugan would mean this – Instead of feeling bad and saying, “I’m terrible at drawing; I should give up,” they might say, “I’m not the best at drawing, but that’s okay. I enjoy doing it, and I can get better with practice.”

So, self-acceptance for Murugan is about understanding their skill and not comparing themselves to others. It’s about appreciating their effort and enjoying what they do, even if they’re not the best at it. That’s how self-acceptance can make Murugan feel better about themselves and their abilities.

How to Accept Yourself as You Are?

Accepting as you are can be a journey, but it’s worth it.

Let’s see a simple guide on how to do it.

  1. First, it’s important to understand that self-acceptance is about embracing all of you, including your strengths and weaknesses. It’s like being your own best friend.
  2. Take some time to think about yourself. What are your good qualities? What are the things you’re not so good at? It’s okay to have both. Recognize your uniqueness.
  3. Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you’d give to a friend. If you make a mistake or don’t do something perfectly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Tell yourself it’s okay, and that everyone makes mistakes.
  4. Nobody is perfect, and that’s what makes each of us special. Embrace your imperfections as a part of what makes you, you.
  5. Instead of aiming for perfection, set achievable goals. This way, you won’t constantly feel like you’re falling short of your own expectations.
  6. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, don’t hold onto them. Forgive yourself and let go. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
  7. Every day, think about the things you like about yourself and your life. Gratitude can help you focus on the positives.
  8. Spend time with people who support and encourage you. Avoid those who bring you down or make you feel like you need to be someone you’re not.
  9. Eat well, exercise, and get enough rest. When you treat your body well, you’ll feel better about yourself.
  10. When you face challenges or difficulties, be gentle with yourself. Imagine what you’d say to a friend in the same situation, and say those kind words to yourself.
  11. Recognize that you can always improve and grow, but that doesn’t mean you’re not good enough as you are right now.

    image showing a successful person
    Photo by Zac Durant

Remember, self-acceptance is a process. It’s something you work on over time. Be patient with yourself, and don’t expect to change overnight. As you practice self-acceptance, you’ll find that you become more comfortable with who you are, and you’ll be happier and more content with yourself and your life.