Why we need self acceptance & self compassion
Do you know the saying that you need to love yourself first before anybody else can love you? I call bullshit on that. You don‘t have to love yourself, you have to accept yourself. BIG difference.
Self Love is a hard thing to master. When it comes to your appearance it can be quite easy to develop with the right inner work, but I rarely hear people talk about self love when it comes to the thought process about yourself and your environment.
That‘s because you need self compassion and self acceptance there first. I‘m sure you have felt guilty about something super small before that affected nobody but you. For example, when you had a lazy day or lazy week. Instead of beating yourself up over that, wouldn‘t it be easier to accept that it happened, that you needed it, that it served a purpose? Yes.
That also works on the larger scale with any feeling. If you can‘t accept your current emotion it will just build up. This lack of self-acceptance can turn into mild depression actually. Accepting that you are feeling a certain way and letting yourself go through the emotion with self compassion actually makes your bad feelings go away faster. It‘s like fear, the only way out is through. Take it from someone that had anxiety for 7 years.
Self compassion is a habit. A habit of speaking to yourself like a good friend or a good parent would. When you fail at something, you stop yourself from spiraling and say to yourself „I can‘t change that this happened, I can only try again or accept it as it is.“ and then let yourself feel any feelings left after rationalizing it.
It also helps to tell yourself that no matter what happens in your life, you are inherently worthy and nothing can take away from that worthiness. You are always enough, even when others tell you or make you feel like you aren‘t. There are some things you just ARE and that doesn‘t ever change.
Another BIG thing is letting go of perfectionism. Nothing is perfect. No, not even your celeb crush. Not even your favorite recipe. Not even your favorite movie. They are perfect to YOU, because you accept their flaws and that‘s what you should do with yourself. Accept your flaws, because without them you would be kinda boring.
Flaws & Superpowers
You could even make flaws and weaknesses your superpowers. Look at me, I‘ve dealt with mental health problems my entire life and now you‘re listening to me and get the advice I have to give. Maybe you‘ve gotten very good at writing because you‘re such an introvert and should put your writing out there even if it‘s not perfect. Maybe you are bad at languages but good at mathematical stuff and could help other people with it. This is just surface level examples, this can go so much deeper.
It also is sure as hell easier to make a jump out of your comfort zone and to believe in yourself when you have developed self acceptance. Look at me starting this podcast. I‘m scared shitless doing this because I‘m afraid it might fail, but I‘m doing it anyway, because even if it does fail, YOU will have heard this (and read it) and it will have impacted you somehow. No impact is too little. That goes for self acceptance, self compassion, habits, putting yourself out there, ANYTHING.
Let‘s get into a few things you can do to cultivate that sweet sweet self acceptance.
You will hear me talk about this quite a lot on the show because it is such an essential part to staying sane in this weird world. Through meditation you come back to the here and now and you learn to see your thoughts from a neutral perspective. It takes a little bit of practice and might not be for people that have problems with focusing, but grounding techniques overall will always help. They will always help put you back into the here and now instead of panicking over outcomes or what has already happened and is out of your control.
Now grab a journal
That‘s also something you‘ll hear a lot in my solo episodes. Write down if this situation right now will take away any of your good qualities? Does it make sense to feel hopeless because this one thing happened? Is there a guarantee it will affect life in ten years? There is a 99,9% chance the answer to all of these are No. At least if you answer with your rational mind. I dropped out of school twice and while that has definitely impacted my life, that doesn‘t mean that impact was bad. I just learned different things through going a different path. Maybe you just ended a friendship or relationship and feel like it DOES have an impact on where you would be in 10 years. I doubt it. Some things that are hard to go through are meant to happen to make place for better things.
Another practice I recommend are affirmations. Vague or specific, doesn‘t matter. What matters is how they sound best to you. When I was 11 or 12 I learned that smiling at your reflection, smiling and complimenting yourself in your mind improved body-confidence. I just did it from then on and I‘d like to think I have it.
I think my favorite affirmation for self acceptance is „I‘m not stupid for acting stupidly. Rather, I am a non-stupid person who sometimes produces stupid behavior, because I am human and imperfection is part of the human experience.“ I also love „It may be better to succeed, but success does not make me a better person.“ or „It may be worse to fail, but failure does not make me a bad person.“ You get the idea.
Another thing you can do is thanking your inner critic.It sometimes really just wants to protect you and therefore holds you back. Thank it for trying to protect you, but tell it that you are still the driver of this vehicle. If you‘ve read Elizabeth Gilbert‘s „Big Magic“ you‘ll know this reference of sitting your emotions into a car and only letting them make suggestions and nothing more. It‘s an amazing read for creatives like you.
A harder practice to start is the practice of forgiving yourself for things you did. Like forgiving yourself for talking to yourself badly, judging yourself and treating yourself badly in the past. This feels weird to do in the beginning, but has a big effect long term. By forgiving yourself for your own mistakes, you let go of weight that‘s on your heart. You‘ll only notice it once it‘s gone.
There is also radical acceptance and shadow work. They sound more new age than they actually are. I can talk about these in future episodes if you would like me to.
Overall I‘d just suggest starting a mindfulness habit. Being in the here and now already does a lot for acceptance and compassion towards yourself. If you need help with that there are tons of guided meditations on Youtube for this.
I’m glas you enjoyed this post about why we need self acceptance & self compassion. If you want self care freebies to help you with making it a habit, sign up for my newsletter so you can check out my habit trackers and other freebies:
Liked the post? Share it on Pinterest!
Why we need self acceptance & self compassion by Rabea