Self-Acceptance Step 3 – Accepting Yourself as You Are
In my last blog Being Kind to Yourself I challenged you to stop criticising yourself and to be kind to yourself for a day, how did that go? In this post I will be focusing on loving and accepting yourself as you are. rather than waiting until you’ve lost weight, met the perfect partner or made lots of money.
Like most people you can probably list the things you don’t like about yourself much easier than the things you love about yourself. However when you regularly reject these parts, you become scared of being rejected by others. This results in you being less assertive and focused on pleasing others rather than yourself.
To help you start to accept yourself as you are try this exercise:
Make a list of things you like about your body, your personality and your achievements
Make a list of the things about yourself you are finding hard to accept
Then imagine you love the things about yourself you’ve listed in number 2. How would your life be easier and better as a result? What would you have to change to feel like that?
Good luck and please leave me a comment about how you’re getting on with these steps.
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Self-Acceptance Step 3, Accepting Yourself as You Are
Following on from my last blog Step 1, Knowing Yourself, I hope you have a clearer understanding of exactly who you are.
Step 2 is about being kind to yourself. I find that a lot of my clients have created a lot of standards and rules for themselves. As a result when they don’t achieve these standards and rules they are very hard on themselves.
I ask them if they would speak to their friends or children this way? If not then why would you treat yourself so harshly?
So I suggest that you make a pledge, that for the rest of the day you will not criticise yourself and will treat yourself with genuine kindness.
My next blog is Self acceptance – step 3 – Accepting yourself as you are
Self -acceptance is about trying to stop changing yourself into the person you would like to be or think you ‘should’ be, so that you can actually find out who you really are.
Do you accept yourself as you really are, even though you may not like everything about yourself? Or are you constantly comparing yourself to an ideal and falling short? Try rating your level of self-acceptance from 0 to 10, where 10 is full self-acceptance. Is that score a surprise?
In my next few blogs I am going to give you tips and ideas on how to increase your self-acceptance level and then you can see if there is a difference in your score.
Step 1, Know Yourself
This means more than just your job, your experiences, your successes or failures but actually who you are and what you want to be remembered for.
What qualities have you shown throughout your life so far and what qualities have people told you that you demonstrate?
What are the values that you hold strongly and that upset you when they aren’t met? Such as loyally, empathy, honesty, freedom or respect.
What are the things that you want to achieve in your life or that you have that are most important to you?
What are the parts of your personality that you find hardest to accept?
Reflect on these questions and if you are finding it difficult to answer them, imagine yourself in a job interview or writing a biography and think about how you would describe yourself.
Use your answers to get a clearer knowledge of exactly who you are.
January and February can feel like bleak months, with celebrations over, dreary weather and New Year resolutions. However a shift in your perception can make them months in which you can prepare your mind and body for the year ahead.
At the moment you may see this time of year as the period when you deprive yourself of the good things in life, these could be drinking, spending money, eating what you like and having time off work. Instead why not think of them as the months when you treat yourself kindly, by giving your body the healthy food and drink it needs, plenty of sleep and your mind a chance to relax. You could treat yourself with simple things like a home beauty treatment, long baths, reading, meditation, exercise or phone calls with friends.
Use January and February as a time to re-invigorate and pamper yourself, look after yourself in same the way you would for good friend who was feeling down or tired out. It’s a time to invest in your body and mind for the exciting opportunities to come.
Christmas happens every year and yet it is often rated 6th in surveys of the most stressful events in life. If you are a perfectionist it can be a nightmare. You may expect to buy the best presents, cook the best food, create the most fun and ensure everyone is happy.
So for this year at Christmas KISS ‘Keep It Simple‘, set yourself realistic standards and use these tips to ensure you enjoy it:
Don’t take too much on. You don’t have to do everything, let others help with dinner or, provide entertainment. Make sure you build in some downtime and aren’t constantly socialising or entertaining.
You aren’t responsible for everyone’s happiness. If members of the family argue or don’t join in or your Mum doesn’t like the way you cooked the pudding, that is their responsibility and not yours. You have provided the Christmas surroundings, it’s up to each person if they have a good time.
‘Good enough is good enough’. You don’t need to light up the whole street with your Christmas decorations or have a gourmet buffet prepared at all times. Save time and money by ‘Keeping it Simple‘ and consider giving some of either to charity instead.
Get some fresh air. Not only will this help burn off the extra calories but will also refresh everyone’s mood.
Think back to last year. What was it that made Christmas great?Was it the most expensive present or the excess of gourmet food? It’s more likely to have been the company, the festive spirit and the smiles on faces.
So this time KISS at Christmas and have a Confident New Year.
Have you ever felt like you and your partner are not communicating in the same language? Well that could be exactly the case. There are 5 different love languages that men and women use, so no wonder you maybe confused. It is also true that people often choose a partner who expresses love in a different language to them.
‘The 5 Love Languages’ according to Dr Gary Chapman are;
Tactile. The giving and/or receiving of physical affection
Acts of Service. Showing love through favors, jobs or doing things for the loved one
Quality Time. Sharing time doing things together or talking
Gifts. By giving presents or physical tokens of affection
Words. Expressing the feelings of affection and love verbally
So next time you feel your partner never tells you they love you, then maybe you should check they aren’t saying it in a different language!
I have a problem with the word ‘Happiness’, it means such different things to different people and is therefore very hard to describe. Also happiness tends to be very illusive it comes and it goes and it comes and goes again. Whatever you do to make yourself happy it will still come and go, so maybe we should a word more personal to ourselves? perhaps excitement or contentment, energised or peaceful?
Another interesting thing about happiness is where it comes from. Recent scientific research has shown that 50% of our happiness levels are pre-determined by our DNa, so we’re stuck with it. Only 10% of our happiness levels come from the things we spend our time and energy on. These are our job, our family, material things and even our health. The remaining 40% is achieved by how we choose to see the world and our attitude to life’s events. Which explains how some people are more resilient than others and can be happy despite misfortune.
It also suggests that if we want to calm our restless and dissatisfied mind then we need to focus more on our emotions and feelings. This would give us the greatest chance of being truly happy (or another word for it!)
In today’s society most women could be described as striving for perfection physically and in their careers, families and homes. American author Deborah Spar, in her new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power And The Quest For Perfectionism, says we should be ‘satisficing’ instead. Her word, which is a combination of satisfactory and suffice, is another way of saying ‘good enough is good enough’.
So why do women insist on pushing themselves to do everything to 100%? What would happen if you chose not to do overtime, not to ferry your kids to every after school club, not to worry about those extra pounds you weigh? Would your friends and family no longer approve of you or love you, or would you feel empowered and relaxed? Instead of trying to be the best mum, top career woman, sexy model wife and have a magazine style home, why not accept that you’ve done your bit and that is good enough.
Many of us feel low at points in our lives and experience sadness, hopelessness and fatigue, but are we actually depressed or just in a temporary state of sadness?
If you have experienced a sad event such as bereavement, redundancy, divorce or high stress, you may suffer from the following symptoms:
A need to cry and to isolate yourself from others for short periods
A need to share emotions with friends and family
Changes in your usual behaviors
These are generally temporary feelings of sadness and will pass, but if you find they have persisted for several weeks or months you may want to seek professional help.
Depression itself is a mental health disorder and is characterised by a variety of symptoms in patients such as:
Low self-esteem and confidence
Ongoing negative thoughts
A feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness
Feelings of sadness and despair
Inaction and inertia
Isolation from others
Irritability and impatience
It also tends to be a long term condition that affects all areas of a persons life and again it is recommended to seek professional help.
For mild to moderate depression a GP has a variety of treatments available such as talking therapies and medication. In addition to this treatment depression coaching can prevent the dip into more severe depression and fight back against the existing symptoms.
As a depression coach I would help you:
Become aware of your symptoms and the areas of your life that need to change
By supporting and motivating you to have hope for your future
By using specialist techniques to explore and change your thinking patterns, which would lead to appropriate changes in your behaviour.
Drop or change the areas of your life that are dragging you down and incorporate more of what brings you joy
To find out more about my depression coaching programme please contact me