Accepting ourselves is very hard to do. We often have an unrealistic view of ourselves because the world has set high expectations that we can never reach. This creates stress, anxiety or depression for many people.
We keep trying to become what others expect of us and don’t even realize what an amazing person we are. Sometimes we don’t even know all our good qualities, our skills and our strengths and we focus on our imperfections, flaws and weaknesses.
In order to accept ourselves:
- we need to realize that everyone has a unique worth and value
- we have to stop criticizing our imperfections
- we have to be aware of our strengths and weaknesses
- we need to work on building confidence and increasing esteem
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that is okay. The world tells us that we have to be good at everything and be the ‘super-person’ who can multi-task and do 20 things at a time. This just makes us feel bad about ourselves and it is not true. We aren’t super heroes and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. This is because we are supposed to work together. Our strengths will help with someone else’s weakness and their strengths will help with our weaknesses. We just need to use our strengths to our best ability and accept our weaknesses. We can certainly work on improving our weaknesses, but this shouldn’t hold us back in life. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down 5 of your strengths and 5 of your weaknesses. If you have any trouble, ask others to help you.
Read these statements and circle the ones that you feel are true about yourself:
- I am a unique and valuable person.
- I accept myself as I am and am happy with who I am.
- I can accept criticism from others without feeling bad.
- I openly admit that I make mistakes.
- I don’t need approval from others to feel good.
- I don’t feel guilty when I say or do something I feel is right.
- If I do something wrong, I try to make amends.
- I am willing to step out the box and try new things.
- I believe that change can be good.
- I love myself (not in a vain or egotistical way).
Now back to that question about your strengths and weaknesses. Did you make a list? Did you write down your strengths or weaknesses first? Many people will find it easy to write their weaknesses and difficult to think about their strengths because we focus on the negatives. This is what I used to do. I could quickly write down my weaknesses and then I couldn’t think about any strengths. I had to ask people what my strengths were and this just indicates a poor self-esteem. Now that I have built good esteem, I can easily write down my strengths and I have to think really hard about my weaknesses. I’ve had this happen in my workshops when there are people with varying degrees of esteem.
So if you have trouble accepting who you are, focus on your strengths and tell yourself that you are an awesome person, because you are!!