Creating a Safe Place for Self Exploration
Self Acceptance - Life’s Big Paradox
You know disapproving of yourself doesn’t work. Any real and lasting personal change only happens after you have truly accepted yourself first. But this presents us with a bit of a puzzle.
I’m not okay with this part of myself so I want to change it.
I can’t permanently change it unless I’m okay with it.
But if I’m okay with it, why would I change it?
At first glance these sentences seem like a contradiction. If you accepted yourself as is, why would you want to change? What would be your motivation? But when understood on a deeper level, the contradiction resolves itself.
Why Self-Acceptance Is Necessary
Putting yourself into the “acceptable zone” (especially those parts you’d like change) creates the perfect environment for personal growth. We’re not talking resignation here or just giving lip service to the word "accept", but to really truly believe that thing you’ve been rejecting is now okay. Self-approval is actually a necessary first step in the self-improvement process. If you understand that this, you will be more inclined to make modifications to your judgments and perspectives.
Here’s why it can be such a big catalyst for permanent improvements.
Feeling Good is Energizing:
When we are able to finally get to the point where we are okay with ourselves, even those parts we want to be different, we feel good. Our shoulders relax, we feel a sense of peace, and the inner turmoil begins to subside. This frees our minds and body to open our eyes wider and see things in a new way. Feeling good energizes us to take action.
Creates a Safe Environment for Self-Exploration:
When you accept all aspects of yourself, you will not longer feel compelled to push difficulties away. You will feel safe (the beatings have stopped) to closely investigate the reasons and beliefs that are fueling your actions. Removing the pain, in a sense, wipes the slate clean so you can approach an issue with a sense of curiosity and wonder.
Stop trying to change for a spell. The best thing to do is stop, pause, and listen. You want to understand the nature of what we are dealing with. When we stop judging and condemning it, amazing things will happen. Your eyes, arms, and minds open. You become more receptive and perceptive.
Because you have looked yourself square in the face and addressed why you are the way you are, the changes you make from here on out will be lasting. When you change a belief, all the thoughts, feelings and actions associated with that belief are permanently altered as well.
Self acceptance is being happy with who you are RIGHT NOW. It’s an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, accept and support who you are at this very moment. Especially those parts you’ve been judging as screwed up. Now let’s get busy getting rid of all those judgments.