Learning how to accept yourself? 7 gentle reminders to make your self-love journey last
A self-love journey might be one the most wonderful journeys you can undertake in life. The intriguing uncertainty of reinventing yourself will provide an abundance of insights. Through determination and curiosity, you are destined to come out empowered. Learning how to accept yourself means dealing with a myriad of new perspectives – and trying to make sense of all the new and old. To help you along in this sometimes-conflicting journey, I share 7 gentle reminders that will help you to persevere and to stay empowered and strong.
1. Don’t be too hard on your ‘previous’ self
For me, self-acceptance meant changing my direction in life. Until I realized what I am truly here for, I tried to meet our society’s standards for success. The material things I accumulated in my earlier life don’t always make sense to me anymore. But that doesn’t mean I should judge myself for who I was. And neither should you 🙂 Because it is exactly that past that has led you to this new chapter in your life. Thus, your life choices up until now are actually something to be grateful for.
How to accept yourself if you hear your inner critic
Somewhere along my transformational journey, I started to judge myself for having been so needy. My inner critic started to become very present in my life, and shame built up because of that. I am not saying that you shouldn’t be reflective. But I am encouraging a more positive point of view. Try to look back with tolerance. And above all, with a whole lot of awe for all the courage, it takes you to change. Try to accept who you were, who you are, and who you will be every step of the way.
2. Show compassion to your ‘new’ self, too
Your journey to self-love will most probably look like a whole lot of searching; at least, that’s how it worked for me 🙂 Sometimes I was exceptionally determined and convinced of my path; other times, I simply had no clue. Before you arrive at the point where the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, you might take some side turns along the way. But changing your direction doesn’t mean you took a wrong turn. Anything but – you just broadened your frame of reference. Even if you have no idea where life is headed, admire your courage, stay curious, and keep the faith.
3. Stay kind to other people
If you are on the path toward self-acceptance, it could very well be that you start to feel a bit dissociated from the people around you. You feel an urgency to invoke change, sooner rather than later. But that doesn’t mean that the people around you now want to change, too. Try to accept that each individual is responsible for his or her own happiness. This state of acceptance helps you to cherish the beauty of all in the relationships that you maintain.
4. Liberate yourself by letting go
Maybe you will maintain all the relationships your ‘former’ you established, and maybe you will keep only a few. What’s most important is being true to yourself. If a relationship still brings you joy, that could be enough reason to maintain it. Also, if you don’t agree on everything in life. But if you feel judged, limited, or not taken seriously continuously, love yourself enough to let go. Because learning how to accept yourself also means learning to set boundaries and learning to speak up. There is nothing wrong with saying goodbye. Honesty can be very liberating if you navigate the goodbyes in a loving and mindful way.
5. Know that you are not alone
On the road to transformation, it might feel a tad lonely sometimes. Not only are you learning how to accept yourself and trying your best to be happy, but you also accumulate heaps of new perspectives, opinions, and thoughts. If no one in your close circle has gone through the same, it might feel more difficult to connect. As exchanging thoughts and fervid discussion definitely helps sort things out, don’t ignore that inner longing to converse. You might be surprised by the unconditional love that comes your way when you seek solace with the ones you trust.
How to connect to like-minded people
Read about others’ experiences, listen to their stories, or find online groups where you can connect. Research professor Brené Brown wrote several books that are extremely relevant to your self-love journey. If you’re new to her work, start with The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Another touchpoint for connecting on self-love is Offline, the podcast by Alison Rice, with honest conversations about the true self. More in need of some peer support? You might want to follow Wetheurban on Instagram, a community that spreads self-love and inclusivity in a kind and mindful way.
6. Allow yourself all the time in the world
If you ever feel like you are in a rush – shift back your gears. Your self-love journey deserves all the time it needs. Don’t try to meet a deadline but aspire to enjoy every bit of the ride. Because learning how to accept yourself is as much about the process as it is about life on the self-love side. Allowing yourself as much time as you need for your journey is a genuine sign of self-love if you ask me.
7. Read up on self-love
If you want to feel understood, reading a good self-love book can be just the way to go. Luckily, there is a legion of books to choose from 🙂 Brené Brown is in great company, of Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne W. Dyer, and Elizabeth Gilbert, to name a few. Pro tip: don’t just look for books about self-love or self-acceptance. Instead, broaden your search to include topics such as overcoming negative self-talk or perfectionism, or read up on positive affirmations and building confidence.
More books and blogs on learning how to accept yourself
For more tips on self-acceptance, head over to Goodreads and check out their Self-Love Shelf, which I predict will keep you occupied for a while. You might also want to read this post on 20 ways to overcome self-doubt. For more on overcoming shame, try reading this post on how to shed your shame in 7 steps.
Checklist: learning how to accept yourself
- Don’t be too hard on who you used to be and the decisions you used to make: you are here right now because of them.
- Show compassion for who you are right now: understanding self-love is a lifelong journey, for most of us.
- Instead of judging or comparing, stay in your own lane, and stay kind to others.
- Liberate yourself by letting go of whatever is holding you back to be your true self.
- Know that you are not alone; stay connected to the ones you trust. They can support you, even if they haven’t gone through the same.
- Self-love is not a race; there is no finish line. Take all the time you need; the gentle way will do wonders for your mind.
- Read up on self-love and gain new perspectives on how to accept yourself.
- How to accept yourself in nine words: be compassionate, stay kind, let go, take your time.
Did you enjoy reading this post?
I sure hope you did 🙂 If you have any questions, recommendations, or experiences you want to share, I’d be more than happy to read your thoughts! You can leave your comment in the field below. Do you know someone who could benefit from these thoughts on learning how to accept yourself? Feel free to share this post (via the URL bar or any of the social share buttons) and get the positive energy flowing!