I remember a situation at work when my boss – a 65 year old Tin-Tin, rushed into my office and blurred at me: “I am paying you a lot of money. You are the psychologist here. We lost the proposal because of you. The way you put it together! So unprofessional!”
I felt between angry and helpless. The way you feel when someone blames you for things you are not responsible for but want to push it on to you?
So I rushed up from my chair and responded: “If I had been so bad, why I got always very good in the audits of the last of 5 years?”
Inside I felt very vulnerabel, but could I have shown this to my boss and lay down? In this fight-flight-freeze situation?
I had to defend myself. I had to show my abilities and confidence in them. The alternative would had been anxiety and freezing or running away.
After the meeting I felt drained and exhausted. I looked for my mistakes!
Was it the documents I put? Was it the handling of the case?
Then it stroke me:
I know that I am not a legal expert!
I know that I get easily defensive when people question my abilities.
I know that I wanted to leave that company much ealier and still stayed.
I know that I am good in therapy and healing.
Accepting who I am, with my your shortcomings, character, strengths, habits, and tendencies. shifted my inner state.
Accepting yourself is a process. It’s a habit. The little things you do, or fail to do, each day determine your level of self-acceptance. Developing these useful habits and dropping the negative habits is a huge step in the right direction. It’s hard to accept yourself any other way.
Be accepting of yourself each and every day by making these actions habits:
- Let go of your mistakes and failures. Take the necessary time to learn from your negative experiences. Once you’ve done that, there’s nothing else to be gained by them. Let them go.
○ Decide how you can avoid making the same error in the future. Then move on.
- Only compare yourself to yourself. Comparing yourself to someone else is like comparing a tree to a loaf of bread. There’s no comparison. However, you can compare yourself to your previous results.
○ If you’re doing “better,” you have every right to be excited.
○ If you’re coming up short, be excited that you know you can easily rectify the situation.
- Separate yourself from your emotions. Your emotions are separate from you. They are something that you’re experiencing, just like someone stepping on your toe. Observe them as a feeling in your body, or as a piece of paper blowing down the street. Just observe them.
○ A piece of paper blowing by doesn’t have any control over you. Your emotions don't have to control you either.
- Be aware of what makes you unique and embrace it. It might be your flaming red hair, your incredible IQ, or your compassion for animals. Maybe you’re in the bottom 5th percentile for height. You’re not exactly the same as anyone else.
○ It’s your uniqueness that potentially provides the most value to you and the world.
- Let go of the things you can’t change or control. You’re not accepting of your life or your limitations if you worry about those things beyond your influence.
○ Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do about this?” If not, there’s no reason to dwell on it.
- Do something that you’ve always wanted to do. Avoid denying your impulses. If you’ve always want to learn how to play the bagpipes or write a sappy screenplay, now is the time. When you deny your healthy impulses, you’re not accepting yourself.
- Be more assertive. Let people know what you think. Give your opinion. Allow your voice to be heard. Do the things you want to do. Assertiveness is a form of honesty - about you and your own desires.
- Recognize your thoughts and feelings. Examine your self-talk. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and take a good look at yourself. Notice your thoughts throughout the day. Acknowledge how you judge yourself.
○ Most people distract themselves with TV, the internet, food, their smartphone, or some other strategy. This is to avoid spending time with themselves. Turn off the distractions and notice what happens.
- Continue evolving. Those with little self-acceptance tend to be stuck. They can’t move toward anything positive. Be honest with yourself about what you like and dislike and allow your life to evolve.
Treat each day as a new opportunity to practice self-acceptance. You must choose self-acceptance if you want to experience it firsthand. It won’t happen by accident. Develop self-acceptance habits and drop your tendency to judge yourself harshly. Free yourself from your emotions.
“I think happiness comes from self-acceptance. We all try different things, and we find some comfortable sense of who we are. We look at our parents and learn and grow and move on. We change.”
– Jamie Lee Curtis