Phaytea’s Pulse is participating in the #AtoZChallenge for 2017. The Theme is ‘Awakening of Self’ and ‘Acceptance’ is our entry for letter A. The theme focuses on character traits that will gear us towards Meaningful Living and will run for 26 days in April except sundays. Please stop by the blog everyday for subsequent posts as we read the 26 letters of the alphabet together. Enjoy!!☺☺
At one point or the other in our life, we have sort for some kind of validation from friends, our partner, colleagues, parents and even social groups.
We have thought for a tiny second- Am i good enough for the job?, Will my acne deter my dream of becoming a face model?, Will I feel out of place if I dress this way to the event?, No one complimented my dress today, does that mean it isn’t nice?. We like to feel accepted by the people we admire or look up to and this is normal to an extent.
Seeking validation tends to boost our ego in some type of way and we sometimes unconsciously set other people’s opinion as a standard while measuring our progress.
The only problem with this method of measurement is – We will not always get the validation we need. We will not always hear what we want, the people we seek validation from might not think of us as ‘good enough’. Sad right? But it happens.
Our reaction to statements in the line of ‘No new friends’ or ‘You can’t sit with us’ can either make or mar the plans we have set aside to find our purpose and reach our goal. I will explain how.
When we make it a habit to seek validation from others before making personal decisions, it affects our goal to live a Meaningful Life and takes us two steps backwards. For instance, Do you feel insecure when you are rejected?
The way we handle rejection goes a long way to determine if we will move forward or if we will remain stagnant and this where Acceptance comes into play. Not just Acceptance from others, but ‘Acceptance of Self’.
Acceptance of Self is the ability to ‘soak it all in’, embracing everything about yourself (negative and positive) in order to forge ahead and retain happiness.
For the purpose of living a meaningful life and reaching our goal, we will focus on:
- Reasons why we do not accept ourself.
- Adverse effects of not accepting ourself.
- How we can eventually practice self acceptance.
- Why do we find it difficult to accept ourself?
Life hands us a reality where there will always be cases of bullying, social class issues and the need for validation from others. This is why we sometimes get involved in actions that compromise our values and goals. We shift from being ourselves to being what society thinks is a standard.
When the need to be accepted by others becomes greater than the need to pursue our goals, it means we are gradually steering away from living a Meaningful Life.
Here are some reasons why we may find it difficult to accept ourself:
- Being criticised or bullied: Issues like this date back to childhood. When you grow up in an environment that encourages bullying, it affects your mindset about yourself. This is worse for kids who are not being monitored. They turn out to become aggressive or insecure.
- Lack of confidence: When we do not believe in ourself it is difficult to exude confidence no matter how much we try.
- Trapped traumatic memories: When a traumatic experience is trapped in our memory, we tend to dwell on it and blame ourself.
- The need to feel loved: We all need some form of attention and when there is no human figure to fill the space, it could make us think less of ourselves.
- The need for Validation/Commendable Remarks: Like I mentioned earlier, there is a level of validation that can be accepted. When we do a good job, we like to be appreciated and if this doesn’t happen, we tend to question our processes.
- Desire to be part of a group or social class.
- Strong desire to be someone else.
These are just a few reasons and you will be surprised how these things slows down our pace while trying to live a Meaningful life. It gradually steals our voice and we lose direction.
2. Adverse effects of not accepting ourself.
Not embracing ourselves in ALL totality effects every step we take towards achieving our goals. It also affects our ability to remain focused because there is no emotional stability to give us the balance we need. The following are some of the negative effects of not practising self acceptance:
- Unstable emotions: You are hot this minute and the next you are cold as ice. You allow other people determine when you should be happy.
- Low self esteem: You just always feel you are not good enough.
- Back bencher: You always want to take the back seat and allow others do the work.
- Locked up ideas: Loosing your voice and not being able to speak up even when you have great ideas.
- Depression: This is actually an extreme cases that is taken lightly. There have been cases were people get depressed because of the way they get treated or spoken to.
- People pleasing: This is a dicey one because you may or may not know when you cross the line. When you haven’t learnt to embrace yourself, you tend to ‘kiss ass’ (pardon my french) so that you can be accepted. Not good at all.
- You question your faith: Once it gets to the stage where you start to ask your creator why he made you a certain way, that’s the lowest level of esteem issues. We are all beautifully created and that should be our mantra.
- You get your friends and family worried: Our friends and loved ones will start to worry because of our insecurity.
The impact of these adverse effects definitely gives off a lot of bad vibes and creates a barrier that hinder us from finding our purpose.
3. How to practice Self Acceptance
To practice Self Acceptance we must realize that we have the power to be in control of our actions. Here are some things we can do to meet this course:
- Be in control of your actions: Be responsible for the decisions you make. Do things because you are ready to do them and not because the society thinks it is time.
- Love yourself: Accept your flaws too.
- Learn to forgive: Forgive yourself and the mistakes you have made, forgive those who spoke badly to you.
- Find closure: Confront your fears, accept past occurrences, choose the lessons, allow the transition process and finally move into a new space. You cannot move forward if you continue to dwell on the past.
- Speak positively: Be practical if you have. Look into the mirror and appreciate the beauty that you are.
- Find resources that boost your confidence level: Read books, listen to interviews, talk to a counsellor etc
- Think about your best qualities: Dwell on the skills that you handle well.
- Manage your expectations: This is important so that you do not get to excited and then disappointed.
- Develop yourself: Make the necessary changes that will help you grow and be better.
- Give yourself a treat: Do things that will make you really happy.
- Avoid Negativity: Stay away from jealousy and being judgemental.
- Be your biggest critic as well as your biggest fan: Learn to criticise yourself when you do something wrong and pat yourself on the back when you do well.
Learning to accept ourself is a conscious and continuous process. When we are comfortable with our own skin and with our choices, it is easier to overcome any setback that poses as a threat while trying to live a Meaningful Life.
Completely accepting ourselves mean our voices matter, we will speak to be heard and understood, people’s opinions will be a means to develop ourselves rather than a means to validate ourselves. If it is just one thing, Acceptance of Self gives us confidence and that is something we need when trying to find our purpose.
Have you had experiences with insecurity or rejection?
How did you eventually learn to accept yourself?
If you have enjoyed reading this, do share your opinion in the comment section and be sure to check in tomorrow for the second entry.
I’ll love to converse with you.
Love, Peace and Cupcakes