Self-acceptance is defined as love and respect for one’s own person, regardless of achievements or failures. It is a prerequisite for feeling satisfaction with life and building relationships with those around you. How can it be achieved?
Self-acceptance – what is it?
What is self-acceptance? It is defined in several different ways. Sometimes it is defined as the acceptance of oneself along with flaws and lack of fear of revealing them to the world. Self-acceptance is the difference between the so-called Ideal Self and the Real Self.
In the simplest terms, it can be described as an attitude on which a person builds his or her self-esteem and self-confidence. It is also respect and confidence in oneself and the belief that one deserves the best.
In psychology, there are also other terms for the structure of the self. These include
- self-esteem (a person’s emotional reaction to himself or herself),
- self-knowledge (striving to gain true, accurate, reliable knowledge about oneself),
- self-validation (striving to maintain or enhance a good opinion of oneself),
- self-verification (striving for consistency and congruence between existing beliefs about oneself and new information about oneself),
- self-improvement (striving for actual improvement in traits, skills, health, or well-being),
- self-affirmation (affirming one’s self-worth as moral and appearing internally consistent).
Importantly, self-acceptance should not be confused with egoism. A person who is guided in life by self-care can be happy and bestow positive feelings on his or her surroundings. An egoist, on the other hand, is excessively self-centered. At the same time, he often does not fully accept himself, devoting all his energy to raising his self-esteem, and his environment suffers as a result.
Causes and consequences of lack of self-acceptance
What is the cause of low self-esteem? In most cases it is the result of negative beliefs about oneself. Each of us learns self-reflection as we grow older. In the first years of life, we learn a great deal from our parents. People who do not find acceptance and unconditional love there, are not able to bestow it on themselves. This may contribute to the perpetuation of the feeling of guilt and the conviction that the child has no right to show weakness and that his or her needs are less important than those of other people.
What can be the reasons for lack of self-acceptance? When people are unable to accept themselves unconditionally, their well-being becomes dependent on their professional success, wealth, or physical attractiveness. He is convinced that he must earn love (both his own and other people’s) by achieving certain goals. Constantly raising the bar higher and higher for himself, he feels neither good enough nor loved.
Proven ways to achieve self-acceptance
What kind of exercises can I do to achieve self-acceptance? Different types of exercises and activities can be very helpful. For example, writing down every little success you have achieved each day, giving yourself small gifts such as going out for coffee, taking care of your body by eating a healthy diet or going to the hairdresser. On the road to self-acceptance, it may also be necessary to break toxic relationships and surround yourself with kind people.
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