4 Ways to Accept Yourself

Find the good in you and learn to appreciate the not-so-good in you.

We live in a culture that constantly tells us to be someone we’re not. Constantly comparing ourselves to unrealistic ideals, both in the media and among our peers. We try so hard to fit in and be liked that we often forget who we really are. But learning to be yourself is key to happiness and fulfillment. Here’s how you can get there.

1. Call out unrealistic expectations

The media often depicts models, actors, and even friends on social media as being photoshopped to perfection. As a result, we may feel unattractive in comparison. But because the media sets the bar impossibly high, no matter how hard we try to improve ourselves we always feel like we’re falling short. When we start to see media for what it really is—a show—then we can stop comparing ourselves to it and accept ourselves for who we are.

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2. Identify negative self-talk

If you want to accept yourself, challenge your negative self-talk. We all have these inner monologues chirping away at us. If this self-talk is mostly negative, it will be hard for you to accept yourself. For example, you might say to yourself, “I’m ugly” or “My life sucks.” To stop ruminating so much on these negative thoughts, limit your media and social media time but also practice noticing and saying “no” to the negative self-talk that runs through your head. Start replacing these negative thoughts with positive affirmations such as: “I am beautiful” or “My life is wonderful.” Affirmations have been proven to lighten moods exponentially.

3. Express yourself

Our fear of what other people might think about us if we showed our true selves is what stops us from being ourselves. For example, if we have different opinions about a political topic, we might decide not to share them with friends who share the same opinion. Or if we like a particular genre of music, but our friends like another genre, then maybe we won’t talk about the music we enjoy. Or if we enjoy dining at fancy restaurants while our friends prefer cozy dinners at home, then we might not invite them over for dinner. We hold back because we’re afraid of them thinking we’re weird or ditching us.

Group of young people on the beach having party. Taking selfie and dancing. They are happy and joyful. Sunny day.

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It’s human nature to want to put our best foot forward. And it can be helpful to hold back our opinions occasionally–it can even make our relationships a bit easier and more enjoyable. But when self-expression becomes a performance designed to evoke some kind of response in others, we get into trouble. The result? Few of the people in our lives know who we really are deep down, and others aren’t given the opportunity to accept you as you are. And you don’t give yourself the opportunity to accept yourself as you are.

4. Celebrate your strengths

Accepting yourself is all about perspective. It’s sometimes easier to focus on our weaknesses instead of celebrating our strengths, but if we get down on ourselves regularly for the things we’re not good at, it’s going to be hard to like ourselves as much as we could. So celebrate your strengths, and discover that accepting yourself is all about perspective.

How to love yourself

I started my Self-Awareness Coaching career to help women create lives they love. I hope to assist you on your path toward greater self-awareness by teaching you how to understand yourself better and make decisions based on an understanding of what you want. With an expert strategy and tailored development plan, we will set realistic goals that you can achieve and use to continue working toward reaching your full potential.

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