Let me ask you a few questions: Who are you? Do you like the woman that you are? Do you accept her—flaws and all—and show her love?
Change is good. It can constitute growth, a beneficial progression in life. But are you on a perpetual quest to change every aspect of your life to the detriment of knowing who you are right now?
We straddle the beam of emotions with feelings of love, rejection, envy, tolerance, spite, resentment, desire, and more. Intermingled with the tangle of emotions is how we feel about ourselves. Accepting the woman you are doesn’t mean that your life is complete and you now walk in the mystical land of perfection. Perfection is impossible, yet so many of us constantly strive for it.
At the beginning of this article, I asked “Who are you?” Most of us think we have a pretty good idea of who we are, but do we really? Do you know? Now it’s time for you to ask yourself that same question: Who am I?
In all its stark simplicity, it is a difficult question to answer. Many women don’t know who they really are because they’re in a constant state of flux, transitioning from one persona to the next (and perhaps being adversely influenced by the construct of perceived social norms and a desire to ‘fit in’). They never really latch onto the woman they truly are, choosing instead (and, in many cases, subconsciously so) to be driven by the sway of others.
When you accept yourself, it has little-or-nothing to do with judging the woman you have become. It does, however, entail forgiveness of self, understanding yourself and acknowledging that which is good and bad about yourself. Accepting yourself doesn’t preclude you from effecting change in your life. When you know and accept yourself, you can then move forward to improve yourself.
So what can you do to accept yourself?
Embrace your uniqueness.
While we may recognize distinctive traits in others, we often fail to identify what we possess and, in the process, we neglect ourselves and those qualities which make us unique. We see with our eyes, but sometimes we need to close our eyes and see with the fullness of our hearts. We need to be aware of our own special gifts and become intimately acquainted with them. They are, after all, an intrinsic part of what makes us the women we have become in life.
Quiet your inner critic.
Sometimes your inner critic can be your own worst enemy. It’s time to shut that nonsense down.
Celebrate your character strengths.
What are character strengths? They are the traits that everyone possesses. When we use our core personal attributes, we usually feel satisfied and energized. Strengths include things such as humor, kindness, leadership, etc. To find out what your character strengths are, take this free online questionnaire to measure 24 character strengths. (Scroll down to the VIA Survey of Character Strengths link – see image on the right) (While the questionnaire is free, you will first need to register on the site)
Be kind to yourself. accept yourself
You are important. You need to demonstrate to yourself just how important you are. You can start by putting yourself first. You do for everyone else; now do for you. And while you’re at it, stop comparing yourself to others. The more you build up others in your mind, the smaller you make yourself seem. Don’t do that. Be kind to yourself.
Be honest with yourself. accept yourself
Do you make excuses for yourself? Are you less than honest with yourself? Treat yourself with more compassion and kindness.
Self-love is more than how you feel about yourself. It also has to do with what you do for yourself. You need to love yourself in all your imperfections.
Understand that there is nothing wrong with you. It’s okay to accept the woman that you are right now . . . today . . . in this moment. However, don’t be afraid of change, if that’s what you want. But first, get a handle on the woman you are. You might be surprised to discover that you like yourself just the way you are.