6 practices for anyone who has ever struggled to accept who they are

1. The practice of self-compassion.

I believe that you are loving and beautiful. Yet when you believe the words that you (or others) say, it can be easy to see differently.

To practice self-compassion, you must understand that a perception of you does not make it true.

A perception is only a reflection of one’s unique beliefs and experiences, and so no 2 people will ever perceive the “same” thing about you in the exact same way.

Some examples:

  • Someone says you are impulsive; another says you are spontaneous.
  • Someone says you are always too quiet; another says you are an excellent listener.
  • You say you are unattractive; another says that you are beautiful.

Self-compassion is seeing who you are in this moment with a loving perspective.

Even if it differs from what somebody else – including yourself – may have told you is true.

2. The practice of authenticity.

Your feelings and beliefs are an important part of who you are, and hiding them a recipe for grief, anxiety and self-loathing over time.

To practice authenticity, you need to accept the fear and risk that comes with exposing yourself to what others may think.

To help you to do this, consider:

  • Being inauthentic directly harms your body and mind.
  • Praise, when you are not being you, can not make you feel better about yourself.
  • You appear more charismatic, courageous and authentic to others when you share your true self.
  • You admire authenticity in others, so why wouldn’t others admire the authenticity in you?

Authenticity is having the courage to live in alignment to your true self.

Even if it means being judged by another.

3. The practice of failing forward.

We all make mistakes. And mistakes often lead to despair, feelings of failure and giving up.

Yet mistakes are not only OK, they are essential for your personal growth and development.

This practice requires you to stop saying, “I am a failure because of my mistakes”, and to start saying, “I am grateful for my mistakes, because I have learnt and grown from them”.

Failing forward is trusting your past has been exactly right for you.

Even if you think that you have failed.

4. The practice of worthiness.

We’re surrounded with images of “perfect” bodies, millionaire celebrities and people living in fancy houses or going on luxurious holidays. Constantly comparing can leave us feeling inadequate, especially if we perceive their position as unattainable.

When you next compare, it is important to remember:

  • Comparison is a game you (and every single other person!) can never win. Everyone can find someone who appears more successful, attractive or intelligent if they look.
  • The images you see never tell the whole story. For example, that person with the expensive new house may also work 12 hours a day, and sacrificed their health, relationships and happiness for it.
  • No comparison is ever valid, as that person is on a different journey with different experiences, opportunities and genetics to you.

Worthiness is affirming your self-worth can never be diminished by somebody else.

Even somebody who appears to have it much better than you do.

5. The practice of embracing all of you.

There are so many things that make you the unique person that you are.

But whenever you become fixated on just one, your self-acceptance becomes highly fragile.

Some examples:

  • A leading executive attached to this identity struggles with self-acceptance after their redundancy.
  • A model attached to this identity struggles with self-acceptance as they grow old.
  • A housewife (or househusband) attached to this identity struggles with self-acceptance when their partner leaves them.

We play many different roles in life (a son, a brother, a friend, a pet-owner, an amateur chef, a soccer player, a blog writer, …), and each of them contributes to our growth and fulfilment.

Embracing all of you is loving all of the qualities that lie within you.

Even when you feel pressured to focus on just one.

6. The practice of being the creator.

The final practice is knowing that you are responsible for the life that you are living right now.

It is understanding:

  • You are the sum of your choices, and
  • If you are unhappy with where you are today, you can go and change that by making a new choice.

Being the creator is feeling empowered that you can create your world to be an even better one.

Even though it’s easier to tell us why you can’t.

2 responses

  1. A topic that resonates, stings a bit, and inspires! Interestingly, Tim, I recently enrolled in a seven-day program that will engage and enable me (as well as other attendees) to do more deep work specific to self-love and worthiness. I am looking forward to this October experience, held at a secluded retreat in California’s (wine country) Napa Valley. I suspect we’ll delve deeply into the significant foci that you surface here. Thanks for your affirming words.

    Liked by 1 person

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