How Self-Acceptance Can Save Your Life

Jan 22, 2024

How much do you judge you? A little? A lot? Almost always? How many times just today have you felt badly about yourself or compared yourself to someone else and decided you did not measure up? For most of us, judging ourselves is something we do on a daily basis. Something we are very good at. 

Negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves are detrimental to our health, our relationships and the quality of our lives. A steady dose of focusing on what we have decided are our faults and flaws lead to stress, anxiety and sometimes severe depression. Changing this requires you to look from another perspective. It requires you to let go of self-judgment and choose to honor, trust and value you. 

Here are my top 4 tips designed to empower you to do just that. 

1. What’s right about me that I am not getting? 

When you wake up in the morning and all too quickly start to spiral down into familiar negative thoughts, ask, “What’s right about me that I am not getting?” When you are getting ready to start your day and you look in the mirror and immediately notice the parts of your body that you have decided are ugly or less than perfect, ask, “What’s right about me that I am not getting?” 

All through the day, whenever you notice that you are judging you, ask this question. The more you ask it, the more you will interrupt the negative thought patterns you have established which allows you to see the gift of you rather than the wrongness of you. 

2. Judgment isn’t real

This can be hard to grasp. When you are in the midst of feeling bad about yourself and judging yourself harshly, having someone tell you that judgment isn’t real will likely make you want to punch them. But if you knew judgment wasn’t real, if you knew that it was all made up, how free would you be? 

The question is, how do you get there? How do you go from being fully convinced that your judgments of you are real and true to recognizing that they are not?

A great tool to use is something called “interesting point of view.” Here’s how it works. Every time you start to judge you, every time you critique you for something you said or something you did or for how you look, say, “Interesting point of view I have that point of view.” Keep saying it until you feel lighter. 

3. Start a Gratitude Journal

What we acknowledge grows bigger. When you start to focus on the things that you are grateful for, more of those things show up so start practicing gratitude for you.

Every day, write down 2 – 3 things that you are grateful for about you. This might be tricky at first since judging you is way easier than being thankful for you. Do it anyway! Start with something small if you have to and then keep going. You are a gift and a contribution to the planet. Time to acknowledge it. 

4. Perfection is a lie

One of the lies that keeps us stuck in self-judgment is the idea that we should be right, do right and always get it right. In other words, we should be perfect. Seeking perfection keeps us in the self-perpetuating cycle of never enough; never right enough, never good enough, never successful enough. No matter how good you are, it’s never enough. 

 Perfection is a lie. It doesn’t actually exist. Every time you buy the lie of perfection, you limit you. Are there places in your life that you say, “When this happens, then I can do this…”? For example, “When I lose weight, then I can date.” Or, “When I get my college degree, then I can have the career I desire.” 

When you leave your house, do you wait for all of the stop lights to turn green before you go?” No! You leave the house, you get in the car, you drive, and you navigate as you go. 

Start to live your life this way. All of the lights may not be green but don’t let that keep you from starting. Start now! You are the gift, the change and the contribution that the world requires. 

Living in constant judgment of you is not living. No matter how much you currently judge you, you can choose something else. YOU can save your life. Give up the lie of perfection. Recognize that judgments are not real. Focus on the things about you that you are grateful for and continuously ask, “What’s right about me that I am not getting?” Choosing these things and saving YOU is exactly what you will do. 

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