Why is it so hard to accept ourselves exactly as we are? Why do we get so down on ourselves for not being better, for not looking better, for not being where we “should” be?
We look at other people’s lives and think “Why can’t I be like that?”
I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone in your suffering. We all struggle with self-acceptance and the desire to have/be more.
Now I ask you this…If you were the only person in the world, would you still care what you looked like?…Would you care about your not so slender figure, the house you lived in, the car you drove, the clothes you wore or the money you made?
Probably not right? Because you wouldn’t have anyone to compare to or to compete with. The actions you would take and the beliefs you chose would be purely based off of your unique desires and wants.
You may be thinking, “Well this is the kind of society we live in and we need to conform to feel accepted.” And as much as you are right on societal standards that have been put in place of what is acceptable and what is not, the idea of having to conform to these standards only bring us further away from who we are, therefore causing even more suffering.
It’s why the number of psychological disorders are growing at an exponential rate, because so many of us are falling out of touch with who we are in order to be who we think we should be.
I saw this so much while working as a Mental Health Therapist…Clients coming in who suffered from depression and anxiety because of how out of touch with who they were and what they wanted. And to top it off, they were in mass need of forgiving themselves for living in this way for so long.
This need for approval and validation from the world is killing us. How do we change this? How do we shift the need of gaining acceptance from the world to accepting ourselves as we are?
First, by practicing Mindfulness, the ancient Buddhist teaching of being merely the observer of our thoughts, feelings and experiences…Of not reminiscing on who we were 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 1 month ago, or just yesterday…Of being present only of this very moment and seeing the possibilities that living in the NOW have to offer…And most importantly, of understanding that everyone will have an opinion of you based off of their unique life experiences.
Trying to gain acceptance of the world will be an endless game. Why? Because everyone has a different opinion and opinions are always changing. Therefore, you will constantly have to modify yourself just to keep up, and that tiring as fuck.
Mindfulness awareness is just the tip of the iceberg. In order to begin shifting your mindset from external validation to internal validation, we must affirm to ourselves that we are enough, EVERY SINGLY DAY, A MILLION TIMES A DAY.
Why so much?
Because it took us 10000000000000 times of us affirming to ourselves that we are “not enough” in order to form the belief systems we currently have, therefore we need to rewire our brains to believe a different story about ourselves.
Here are a few affirmations you can begin telling yourself:
“I accept myself as I am”
“I am enough”
“I am worthy”
“I love myself as I am”
“I am the creator of my life”
“The past does not define me and the future does not scare me”
“I am in charge of how I feel”
“ I am …”
If saying these “I am” affirmations are hard, you can change your language to “I am learning to accept myself” (for example).
Lastly, be kind to yourself during this process. This shifting experience requires patience, consistence and love. Whenever we try to change ourselves, our ego (aka our identity) fights back because it doesn’t like newness…It likes what it knows, even if it keeps us in pain. Therefore, consoling ourselves during challenging times, like we would console someone we love that’s in, is vital in our transformation process.
You can do it! I believe in you.