How to Accept Yourself – 7 Ways

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There are certain things about you, which will always be unique to you. Perhaps you’re shorter in height or are taller. Maybe you just talk naturally fast. You might have long fingers. You might be a little slow at maths. Perhaps you have a particular dress style. OK, so you get the picture. Do you like the way you are? If so, then this is great.

Or do you find yourself disliking yourself, or perhaps even hating yourself because of the way you are? Such emotions never really help. If you’re experiencing such things, then the following 7 ways to accept yourself will help you:

1. Look to accept yourself first

If you’re finding it hard to accept yourself for whom you are, then you might engage in self-contempt, feel guilty or perhaps blame others. Instead, give an order to the commissioning part of your mind to always focus on acceptance, tolerance and flexibility of the way you are first.

2. Focus on what you can do

Rather than focusing on your own perceived flaws, emphasise on what you can do and what your strengths are. Even better is to write down your strengths, to help reinforce that they are characteristics about you that you can be proud of.

3. Find examples of other people

With their being 7 billion people in the world, it is guaranteed there will be someone else in the world who is totally comfortable with themselves. It could be someone as close as a really good friend of yours, to a famous person you often see on the TV. If that person can be happy with themselves, despite their particular characteristic(s), then so can you.

4. Practice acceptance from a position of power

Acceptance isn’t resigning to the fact that you are a certain way and staying down in the dumps about your life. When you do practice acceptance, do so from a position of empowerment. Accept yourself as the way you and decide to make the most of what you have in your life.

5. Do what you can to create change

There are certain things about you, which you can’t change. However, there a number of things you can change. A common one is your weight. If you’re currently overweight, then you can certainly exercise more to lose some pounds. If you don’t like your clothes, you can change your current threads with some updated outfits.

6. Tell yourself

The way you talk to yourself impacts how you feel. Create a habit then to make yourself feel better, by telling yourself that you accept yourself and love yourself unconditionally.

7. Be prepared to make effort

Practicing and developing self-acceptance will involve developing new behaviours. It will take some time for these to internalise. Be prepared for setbacks and expect your ego to want to destroy any progress you make, either through creating doubt, worry or negative self-talk. When this happens, become objective to any unhelpful thoughts and emotions and continue with the faith that these are just expected stumbling blocks, which are a part of the journey.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• In what other ways can we accept ourselves?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Lorraine Santana

29 Comments
  1. I must say this is another award winning article by Dr Hiten.
    People who can’t accept themselves are just getting it wrong. If you cant accept the person you are, how can you move forward in life?
    Everytime I look at myself in the mirror I always say something good to myself . I do this on a daily basis because our thoughts have the power to help us change the way we think. I say all good things to myself like Seun you are the best out there and you can make your dreams come true!
    Thanks for sharing.
    -Seun

    1. Hi Seun,

      You wrote a brilliant comment, my friend and thanks for sharing the great technique you use of saying something good to yourself, daily in the mirror. The words you say to yourself are just the types of ones that we need to tell ourselves again and again.

      We need to accept ourselves, our characteristics, our strengths and weaknesses, in order to do as you say, move forward in life.

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article, Seun. Thanks for leaving such an empowering comment, and for adding so much more to this article.

  2. Beautiful post, Hiten!

    This is a topic that I like to talk about to my children. Teenagers often have the apprehensive, complex, and insecurities about themselves and their appearances. I tell my children that they should accept themselves as they are – though there’s always scope for improvement and correction if need be, but there are certain basic characteristics that you have to live and fall in love with.

    To love others you need to love yourself, and to love yourself you need to accept yourself as you are – short or tall, thin or fat, black or white, rich or poor, dumb or intelligent. The real person is inside you and it is beautiful – all you need is to bring it out in the open.

    You’ve mentioned some really great ways to accept yourself that I’ll be reading out to my children.

    Thanks for this useful and wonderful post. 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you liked the post!

      Absolutely, for younger people and especially teenagers, the issue of acceptance is even more important, because of the need to fit in and be included in friends groups and of what they see and read in the media.

      I think it’s wonderful that you teach your children to accept themselves just the way they are. I’m sure such lessons will serve them well as their mature into adults. This area really is important because a lack of self-acceptance can have a big consequence on one’s self-esteem and as you quite rightly said, the way that we relate to others, will also be based upon how much love and acceptance we have of ourselves.

      I’m honoured that you will be sharing the tips in this post with your children, Harleena! Thank you! And thank you very much for leaving such a wonderful comment and sharing your views on this area. Much appreciated. 🙂

  3. Important topic, my friend! And, thank you very much for linking one of your points to my vulnerability article – honored! Self-acceptance ultimately comes down to ceasing judgment and self-hate, even if that’s unconscious. And, from my own experience, a key to doing so is a consistent spiritual practice to remind me that all judgment comes from fear and a sense of separation from wholeness and love. Judgment is ego’s domain, and acceptance comes from love. My spiritual practice helps me to ground in that love. Thanks again for this piece, Hiten!

    1. Hi Alice,

      Thank you for writing such a wonderful comment and you’re very welcome about the link to your post. When I was thinking of unconditional love, it reminded me of you and your post right away.

      Thanks for adding some further great ways to help us accept ourselves. Indeed, as you quite rightly pointed out, ultimate self-acceptance comes from the ceasing of judgement, both of ourselves and of others. As you also pointed out, a key way to do this is through spiritual practice. I totally agree with you about this. You said the following:

      “Judgment is ego’s domain, and acceptance comes from love.”

      This is brilliant Alice and so true.

      Many thanks for leaving such a great comment, Alice and for adding so much more value to this post.

  4. You make a great point that you have to accept yourself first before you can make any meaningful change. That doesn’t mean you have to like everything you find about yourself, but if you deny the truth of who you are, you will be unable to take the necessary steps to improve yourself.

    After all, how can you find your way out when you’re standing in the dark?

    Accept everything you find in yourself, good and bad, and you’ll know right where you stand. From there it’s just one small step at a time.

    Cheers!

    1. Hi Trevor,

      I’m really glad you could resonate with the point about accepting ourselves before we can make any change. With stuttering for instance, I used to do whatever I could to resist or deny I had a problem. It was only when I first accepted it that it allowed me to create some peace, which I could then use as framework to make improvements in my life.

      As you brilliantly stated, by accepting ourselves totally, we know who we are. We can then begin the journey to create change, doing it as you said one step at a time.

      Many thanks for leaving such a great comment, Trevor. I appreciate your support.

  5. Very key points, HIten. Be prepared to take (and make) the effort is essential. We all need to improve what we are good at and take it to the next level. A key ingredient to add to each of these is “never, ever give up.” We need to have that core of steel inside to keep doing and using our special gifts. Thanks. Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      I’m glad you enjoyed post.

      Indeed, self-acceptance like anything worth having, takes effort.

      I loved what you said – “never, ever give up.” Indeed, you’re so right. By having this at our very core, it allows us to be really grounded in who we are and have the strength to fight any self-created resistance that most likely will come our way.

      Thanks very much for commenting, Jon!

  6. Hi Hiten.

    The point mentioned like Look at yourself, what could you achieve are some of the kwy point mentioned in your blogpost in order to be successful.

    Regards
    Siddhartha SInha

    1. Hi Siddhartha,

      I just loved what you wrote in your comment. Indeed, by looking at ourselves and focusing on what we can achieve and what we already are, it really does help us to put things into perspective and accept who we are.

      Thanks very much for commenting and adding more value to this post.

  7. We all are different in some ways or the other and the trick to happiness is the ability to accept just the way you are. Otherwise lots of negative feelings can creep in. Thanks for these 7 tips and will try to implement in my life too.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      As you brilliantly stated, we are all different and have characteristics unique to us. We need to learn to be happy with ourselves flaws and all, in order to as you said, increase our happiness.

      I’m really glad you liked the tips, Shalu and many thanks for leaving your great comment.

  8. I will admit this was a toughie for me growing up. I was bullied through much of high school, so by the time I was out on my own I was a bit happier, but my self-esteem was pretty much shot. Work made the difference for me – as I began experiencing some success and growth in my career I was better able to deal with the other stuff.

    1. Hi Marty,

      I can really appreciate what you wrote in your comment. Like you, this area was also tough for me when I was a kid. I think unless a child has good role models, who can help to instil the confidence in the youngster that he/she is already fine and encourage the child to engage in activities that can help to increase confidence, then it will be difficult. A lot of my own self-acceptance happened when I was an adult.

      It’s wonderful how something like getting into work can help a person to develop confidence, as happened through your experience.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences of this area, Marty. It’s wonderful to see you here.

  9. Hi Hiten,

    I enjoy your tip #4 very much. Absolutely! It is about accepting ourselves from an empowered state. Self-acceptance does not mean that we are no longer motivated to work on our weaknesses. Self-acceptance is key if we want the best for ourselves!

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      I’m really glad you could resonate with tip #4. I thought it was an important one to include because initially, when I was developing the capacity to accept myself more, I learnt that it was nothing to be ashamed of and instead I could use it as a basis to focus on my strengths and improve the areas which I could.

      Many thanks for leaving your brilliant comment, Evelyn. It’s wonderful to see you here.

  10. Hi Hilten. I really like your tips coz I can relate to them. I am a life coach and I have been through the most difficult situation in life. I was broke. But I managed to rise and move on. Yes you need to accept yourself. But it is also important to accept that you failed, and that you’re willing to push through.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Welcome to the blog and thanks for leaving your wonderful comment!

      Your story is indeed inspiring. As you quite rightly said, we need to accept our current position. It makes me sense to keep resisting it, as by doing so, we actually prevent the basis needed (that comes from acceptance) to make improvements in our lives.

  11. Good article Hiten,
    I think with regards to the 2nd point. It’s important not to make the mistake of comparing yourself with those people because they may very well end up alienating you and doubting your abilities along the way.

    I felt that way when I met a guy who at the time was 4 years younger than me yet seemed to have everything that I’ve been working hard to achieve. And so questions started popping up in my mind like

    “Why has it taken me this long?
    “Is it because i’m not capable?”
    “Am I even worthy of the same success?”

    I think the key thing is to let go. Once I did that, that’s when I started to see real improvement.

    1. Hi Onder,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend!

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article and appreciate you adding so much more to this post. You’re totally spot on about ensuring we don’t make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others. Indeed, as you quite rightly said, doing so can make us doubt ourselves even more.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of this area and for leaving your brilliant comment.

  12. I think the most important point was the first one. We have to be able to accept the way we have been uniquely created. Focusing on the good aspects about our self. Great post!

    1. Hi Dan,

      It’s wonderful to see you here, my friend!

      I’m so glad you could appreciate point 1. Knowing you the way I do, I knew this would be the one you would connect with the most. As you quite rightly said, we have been uniquely created. Let us use our own uniqueness to develop and grow and help others do the same.

      Thanks so much for leaving such a wonderful comment, Dan.

  13. Hello Hiten sir,
    Really nice post. I too believe in the same. We should try to accept things and also have the courage to accept the challenges. This will definitely boost up our confidence and also help us to have an optimistic approach in our life.

    1. Hi Ashish,

      I’m really glad you liked the post, my friend.

      Your attitude is great and thanks for sharing it with us all. As you said, by accepting ourselves, while also accepting challenges that come our way, will help to increase our confidence.

      Many thanks for commenting and for adding more to this post, Ashish.

  14. How are you Hiten, great article my friend. I think most people have trouble knowing who ther are.
    I’ve always know who I was and what I cen do in life for the most part.

    I’m always willing to try new things and take on challenges in life because if you don’t you’ll never know what you can and cannot accomplish in life.

    Thank you my friend for always having positive posts. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Hi Rob,

      It’s great to see you here!

      I’m doing very well, my friend. Thanks for asking! How are you? Hope you’re well.

      I just loved your comment. It sounds like you’ve always been comfortable with your core characteristics, which is great. Life is just so much more peaceful when we’re happy with the way we are.

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, taking on challenges is the only way to know what we can do in life. By not trying, we don’t even give ourselves a chance.

      Many thanks for leaving such a wise comment, Rob. I appreciate you adding so much more to this post. Thank you.

  15. It’s all on you. You are the one who makes every change!

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