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Becoming more self-accepting

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

As life does, it recently threw something that had me worrying. Quite concerned actually. This caused my mind to frequently throw up negative thoughts – rationalising them. Treating them like they were real, as though they deserved attention. I’d find myself getting drawn into the thoughts. When I say frequently, I mean it was distracting me at work, at home, everywhere.   My mind was definitely not at peace. Life does that. We can be struggling, or cruising along and suddenly something else comes along. “Oh, why now? Not again!” We get drawn into a negative space, however slightly or significantly that may be. In my case, this time, I was better equipped to deal with it than I would have been even a month ago, yet still it was a struggle.

I talked recently about peace of mind being more important than happiness. I’ve been thinking more on having a peaceful mind, especially with this recent concern. Looking back on my recent experience, I think a peaceful mind comes from accepting yourself. If you truly accept yourself (I think few people fully, completely, accept themselves. Maybe.) you can better handle the challenges life throws at you. I’ll explain my rationale later.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Being better equipped with new tools was so helpful to stay in a good space. I know that often I learn stuff and then when reality bites and I need to apply it to a real situation, I struggle. This time was different. Each time the issue, which became a negative thought, entered my head – I consciously became aware of what was happening and used my little question – “Is this thought helping me get to where I want to be?” Of course it wasn’t, so I would give a little chuckle to myself and dismiss it. I got better and better at it by recognising the negative thought much faster and going “Aha, you’re not helping me” and then dismissing it. It really did help. In the end I came to a level of acceptance around my concerns. I accepted that there was nothing I could do about it – it was out of my hands.

Certainly the technique I’ve been learning, which I mentioned in my conversation on self-doubt, and have subsequently been practicing helps a lot in many situations. It is getting better. Easier. Practise and perseverance really does work. Action! It helped pull me through to a new level of self-acceptance. So the concern became a kind of blessing. How can we appreciate light, without darkness?

It is quite often like that in life. Change is hard. We don’t change unless we’re absolutely compelled to. Something invalidates our status quo in some way. And even then we’ll resist. Self-acceptance is an on-going journey.

This issue I had helped me more than I realised. I have an increased level of acceptance of myself, which I never had before – and this is important. The greatest way to peace of mind is self-acceptance. Coming to a place where you accept yourself as you are, wherever you are, right now. It doesn’t matter where that is. Please don’t judge or be harsh on yourself.

The beauty of consciously addressing each thought as it comes in, and then moving on, is that I don’t waste time on it, and instead what I find is that I am replacing that time with more positive thinking. The vacuum it creates is replaced with positive stuff. This created a sort of virtuous upward spiral for me. The more I get better at dealing with negative thoughts flowing in, the more positive thinking time, thinking and feelings I get.

Don’t confuse arrogance and conceit with self-acceptance. They’re completely different things. You can be self-accepting and humble, or self-accepting and conceited and arrogant. Different places on the same spectrum.

Why is self-acceptance so important? Think about it. It is the foundation for your growth and your journey. You really don’t have a platform to move forward on if you’re questioning yourself – about yourself.

“No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.” – Robert Holden

I used to think “I’m not happy with how I am”. “I need to change to become the happy person I want to be.” I’m finding it doesn’t seem to work like that – at least for me. Sure I want to be better, more confident, assured in certain things. However I’ve discovered that I need to be accepting of myself right now. I’m ok. That’s my starting point. That’s your starting point.

How accepting of yourself are you? What do you need to be able to accept yourself today, so you can continue on your journey with more confidence and self-assurance?

All the best,

Mike

 

  • Mike Overwater

Mike's an ordinary bloke who had a dream, and wouldn't give up. As the founder of EKO Group, and co-creator of ekoyou.com, he thought it was time to share his truths and personal life lessons. Mike hopes to inspire you to always keep it real, to go for your dreams, and to let nothing stop you! Above all BE YOURSELF.


One Comment


Ange Wilcock

Mike, I enjoyed your writing this week. One thing I would say it’s not about self-acceptance, it’s about total acceptance. Self-acceptance is still the ego being very subtle, it has a great way of ‘allowing’ us to think we have ‘cracked it’. Real acceptance, accept the life ‘we live’ is an illusion. When we accept this then we are truly on the spiritual path, as on the path to real happiness is the path to God, not religion, which can be mistaken for God, as there is too much dogma in religion. Ego still has a great hold if we let it, strategies and techniques are great depending where you are at on the path, however, they are still the ego speaking. We can only find truth in God. Thank you for being ‘You’. Keep up the great work. Look forward to the next installment. May God bless you and all that you are x

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