How to accept yourself

One of the hardest things in life to do is trying to accept yourself for who you are. Unfortunately most people don’t get to the accepting themselves stage until they are older. There comes a certain time in your life when you just say ‘I can’t please everybody, so I am going to be myself’ and you accept yourself. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to do this, it’s just a pity we couldn’t do it when we were younger. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, there are a lot of younger people who have accepted themselves and don’t try and please everybody, but for the most part we are trying to gain the acceptance of others in our lives.

Remember the 4th November 2008, Barack Obama became the 44th US President. He won by taking 53% of the overall votes. 53%! that is great however it means that 47% of Americans who voted (all 58 million of them) did not want Barack Obama to win the presidential race. Do you think Obama is sitting in the corner of the Whitehouse berating himself that 58 Million people did not want him to be in the Whitehouse? No, he will get on with the job at hand and in so doing will win over some of the 58 million people by being himself and doing what he thinks is right for his country.

Accepting yourself

It’s all very well saying accept yourself but how do you go about accepting yourself?

You simply tell yourself that life will throw some crap at you and other people will dislike you, simply because they have different ideas from you or are jealous of you, or are envious, or just think or an idiot. Whatever the reason is that someone dislikes you, don’t try and win their vote, move on and strengthen the relationship you have with the people you care about.

If you concentrate on winning the votes of people you don’t like and who don’t like you, you are taking your power and energy away from the people that really matter.

The power of acceptance and honesty

When you are honest with others you will be honest with yourself!

Honesty is very under-rated in our society, it’s very rare you come across someone who is honest with you in a non aggressive way. Whenever someone asks my opinion on something about themselves I always ask if they really want me to be honest. Now that person will always come to me if they want a really honest answer about something but they will stop coming to me if they just want their ego stroked which is what a lot of people are doing when they are saying something like;

‘Do I look fat in this?’

‘Am I going bald?’

‘Am I as good looking as them?’

You know the types of question I mean. The thing is, if you have someone at work who does this all the time and asks you ‘Am I….’ questions and you pander to their ego and tell them what they want to hear they will keep asking you ‘Am I….?’ questions. Now when you interrupt this pattern and say to them ‘do you want the truth?’, this makes them step back and obviously they will say ‘yes!’, tell them the truth in a polite and caring way. Guaranteed they will never come back to you with ‘Am I …..?’ questions, however you will gain their trust and they will come back to you with ‘Can I get you opinion on this….’

By being honest with others you will start to develop honesty with yourself. When you develop honesty with yourself you will develop acceptance of yourself. For example unfit people know they are unfit because they never go to the gym and sit in front of the TV all day munching on a bag of fish and chips with a can of diet coke (that cracks me up!) , but they still have the gall to ask ‘Do you think I need to go to the gym?’ EH! YES YOU DO LARDY!!!!!! That person knows they need to go to the gym but they ask someone else they know will stroke their ego and say ‘No, you don’t need to go to the gym Lardy, you’re bones are just bigger than every else’s’ so Lardy is happy with this and dips the hand back into the fish and chips again. Lardy knows they need to go to the gym and when they realise this they will get up of their lardy bum and just go, no need for stroking of the lardy ego.

So, be honest with yourself.

Some questions to ask yourself:

Do you really like your job? (An energy and soul killer)

Do you really like your friends? (A lot of people say there is nothing they can do about this one, yes there is, drop them!, okay you’ve been friends for a while but if they put you down, make you feel horrible, and drain you energy, drop them).

Do you like your body? (The easiest thing in the world to change)

Do you like your personality? (If you met yourself on a night out would you like yourself?)

By being honest with yourself you will eventually gain acceptance of yourself and believe me when I say that your life will become much easier and you will enjoy it a hell of a lot more.

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About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
If you want to learn more about my products you can check out Steven Aitchison's Products or check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon

Comments

  1. sally watts says:

    Do you like your body? (The easiest thing in the world to change)

    I am trying to figure out how I can accept myself more as a person and the one statement that you listed about your body being the easiest thing in the world to change, I totally disagree. I deal with eating disorders and have for the past 10+ years and especially today when I am having issues this statement really hurt. If I didn’t spend every day of my life trying to make my body what I wanted I would probably be happier. I have tried for over 10 years to get my body to do what I want and this is NOT the easiest thing in the world to change.

    Just my thoughts.

  2. “Tom says:
    June 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    I think this is all absolutely terrible advice. What you are advocating is not self acceptance (accepting yourself whatever you are, not based on positive or negative qualities) but self esteem. If you place a condition on self acceptance (in this case, that some people like you) then you will never be secure because you will always know that if thats taken away from you then your worth will disappear. Genuine self acceptance is still there whatever happens to you in life, even if you lose absolutely everything, your friends, your talents etc.

    If you make your happiness dependent on something else, as you suggest in the second half of the article, by changing your job, your body, your friends then you will never be happy, because acceptance can only come from within. It sounds corny, but outside causes of happiness are fleeting and can make you more insecure than ever, since your happiness and security becomes dependent on this object ”

    I think you have a point in one sense that you cannot rely on external things to give you self esteem, but I don’t think this article was trying to say that you should obtain your self esteem from external factore, I think it is trying to say that in order to honor your self and act the way you would act if you had self esteem, you would honor the voice inside you that says you hate your job or you deserve to have good relationships with other people. By no means is it saying that those external things are the source of your self esteem or self acceptance, but that they are a reflection of them.

  3. Rupinder Singh says:

    I think the guy Steven Aitchison just wants to sell his books.

  4. Discordian says:

    Part of being honest with myself is accepting I have dishonest aspects, and I think for me, accepting that I will, might or wont change my dishonest aspects, brings me to accept my dishonest aspects inline with my current self honesty. Accepting what I am is accepting who I am not also. It is all self acceptance.

  5. Accepting yourself is nothing but starting to live life ….else life is just following a routine not living….
    As said by all acceptance is first stage needed for improvement in ourself….

  6. I like the honesty emphasis. For me I’m trying to rearragne my misplaced perspectives. There are a few gifts that God gave me of some I am aware. Yet instead of developing those gifts i’m trying to develop gifts that other people have. I admire certain people so much that I falsly believe I can be just like them. IN other words I need to be much more aware and admit what are both my strengths or gifts and my limitations.

  7. in aword ” pray !!” to accept God.

  8. did yu sell any of those books before

  9. I think this is all absolutely terrible advice. What you are advocating is not self acceptance (accepting yourself whatever you are, not based on positive or negative qualities) but self esteem. If you place a condition on self acceptance (in this case, that some people like you) then you will never be secure because you will always know that if thats taken away from you then your worth will disappear. Genuine self acceptance is still there whatever happens to you in life, even if you lose absolutely everything, your friends, your talents etc.

    If you make your happiness dependent on something else, as you suggest in the second half of the article, by changing your job, your body, your friends then you will never be happy, because acceptance can only come from within. It sounds corny, but outside causes of happiness are fleeting and can make you more insecure than ever, since your happiness and security becomes dependent on this object or relationship.

    • I agree with what Tom is saying but how do you accept yourself? How do you get it to come from within?

  10. To this!! I can only say : think you, and good job, you are really a very inspired person, with yours words you convainced me to make some changes in my life.

  11. This was an Amazing Post. Being Only 16 It makes me think to not worry about the people that i have been waisting and trying to impress the most. Family and good friends first. and what other people thing thats there opinion,, not mine because i know the truth and what are lies.

  12. Maria Gretchen ALcaraz says:

    Wow!!! what a great post.
    Very inspiring, I hope I could read a lot more of your postings.

  13. This one is a biggie. It’s important to escape the “That’s just who I am” trap. If you become your traits, like saying “I am a procrastinator”, “I am always late”, etc, you will never be able to change it. You need to realize that those are personality traits and that they don’ t define you in any way more than the kind of clothes you wear or the brand of chewing gum you like. Simply put, it is not who you are but how you acted on an specific set of occasions under an specific set of factors that happened to align against you ;)
    .-= Job Self @ Goal Setting´s last blog ..Basic Goal Setting Worksheet =-.

  14. How are you? I have been browsing your blog and reading a few articles. I got a referral from http://www.caroline-middlebrook.com/blog/. It’s interesting i have someone in my field i can read and learn from.
    This post is spot on. The key area would have to be ‘If you concentrate on winning the votes of people you don’t like and who don’t like you, you are taking your power and energy away from the people that really matter.’

    This is an area were we as humans try too hard. We all can’t be liked and we are definitely good at cerain things which is acceptable to specific people. we just need to harness our strengths and feel comfortable/confident in ourselves.

    Great post!!! once again.

  15. People who can’t accept themselves are douche bags.

  16. Haley Jageilsky says:

    A marvelously written article. I couldn’t agree more than to accept yourself for who you are. Many people say, ‘you must love yourself’. But how could you do that with people making fun of you? I’ve had my run of negative comments behind my back and even in front of me. The thing is, my head keep telling me patience – be patient and smile. But my instincts felt like ripping the other person’s ego apart. I have come to terms with the fact that people tease you and make you doubt yourself because they are not confident of themselves or they just want to see other people going down with them. Over the last few weeks, I have accepted myself for who I am. Let them say what they want. But in the end, let them say – hey, it’s getting old.

  17. Yup it’s the old if you can’t take yourself seriously, how can anyone else problem. I just figure i am what i am, and work every day to try and better myself.

  18. I have suffered a lot because of this.. it created lots of problems for me in life but i have learned one more thing from life and that is if we try to find out the similarities and respect the differences in between our partner, then this make it more easier to keep going with life :)

    Regards,
    Leif

  19. i went through a stage of wanting to be someone else, then one day woke up and thought well you no what screw them im me and thats it and have never looked back since. accepting yourself is the best confidence booster any1 can have

    so go out there and be yourself and not a clone!!!!

    the gosble word from the blob

  20. This is a little too broad of a statement for me. For example, you might hate your job but need it to support your family. You need to make the best of that. You can’t just quit and follow your dreams at the expense of your family. Sacrifices must be made.

  21. You can accept where you are today but choose to improve. Accepting yourself is the first and most important part of improving yourself.

  22. So if you don’t like your body should you accept it or change it? Im confused

  23. “Do you like your body? (The easiest thing in the world to change)”, I am going bald and have tried several remedies, any suggestions for me. LOL

  24. Being brief which is something I dont like to do on a blog comment,

    Acceptance comes with age.

  25. You better had accept yourself, as you are the only person that you can be sure of, who will !

  26. Accepting yourself doesn’t mean you can’t change anything about yourself, it means recognising who and what you are, and then making the most of it.

    • Balance is the answer. I’m trying to learn/accept WHO I am, and add into the equation WHY I am that way, and then move into a balance between acceptance and growth. Gosh, words are so much easier than actually doing it. But I’m hoping it is worth the effort.

  27. It’s ok to accept yourself as you are but on the other hand is a little bit risky. There are people who say: “this is me, i can’t change it” and even if they can, they don’t change anything… I really think this this is a wrong approach.

    Anelly’s great blog post..When 9-5 Just Isn’t Working for your Business

  28. Brad Blanton has a great book called ‘Radical Honesty’ which I highly recommend to all my self improvement junkie friends. Maybe a bit extreme for most people but the idea of developing an honest personality and making decisions based on not “pandering to people’s ego’s” is one of the bravest positions you can take in life. great post.

    -Chris

  29. Nicely put Steve,

    You made some excellent points here that I really appreciate. I have had this experience of being honest(and tactful) to those “am I” questions and it worked out exactly as you described.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills’s great blog post..Friday with Friends – May 15

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