Just the Way You Are
When we talk about ourselves, we often focus on the parts we would like to change. Instead of focusing on parts we may like, we look towards the changes we feel we need to make. Sometimes we even talk about how life may be easier if we lost ten pounds, had perfect skin, or different hair.
Many people aren't satisfied with what they see in the mirror. They may wish they had more education or made more money. There are many people who regret the decisions they may have made, especially if they are facing uncomfortable consequences. While there is nothing wrong with trying to make progress and improve yourself, there are many more benefits to learning to accept yourself as you are making those changes.
Accepting ourselves can be one of the hardest things we do.
Why Is It So Hard to Accept Ourselves?
We find it hard to accept ourselves because others shape how we see ourselves.
Early in our lives, our caregivers strongly influence who we become. They shape us, or at least our perception of ourselves, from the moment we're born.
The influence of our parents and the friends we make along the way plays a large role in how we feel about ourselves. We usually don't realize how deeply others are affecting us. While we may not always agree with perceptions others have of us, those opinions seem to matter. They can cause us to think negatively about ourselves, hide parts of ourselves, or make personal changes. This can bring negative emotions like sadness, guilt, or shame.
It's important to remember that others have the right to create their own opinions of us,
but that doesn’t mean their views are accurate.
What Can You Do About It?
Try these tips:
See yourself as a work-in-progress.
Everyone is growing and learning. Don't let anything keep you from moving forward if you make a mistake. Realizing that you're a work-in-progress rather than striving for perfection will give you the motivation you need to keep trying, no matter what happens.
Be compassionate with yourself.
As humans, we are flawed. It's important to understand our shortcomings so we can work to improve ourselves. Understanding these flaws will show us the areas of our lives where we need the most compassion.
- Try looking at yourself through someone else's eyes.
- Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend.
- Take a pen and paper and write down how you intend to help yourself.
These actions can help you focus on your positive qualities.
Talk to your friends.
If you’re hard on yourself, connect with someone who faces similar struggles. Knowing you are not alone and having someone who understands what you’re going through can be uplifting.
It’s important to find friends who love you and will encourage you to be yourself. It’s important to pay attention to the influence each friend has on us. We don't always notice it right away, but it can be easy to let someone else’s opinions overshadow our own. Make it a point to be compassionate with yourself, see yourself as a work-in-progress, and encourage yourself to be positive. Soon, you’ll notice that you have a much higher belief in yourself!