Many self-help, wellness and psychology articles talk about steps towards personal development. But in my experience only one is the key. And it is usually ignored and underestimated. What is this?
The unconditional acceptance of ourselves
Substantial change and personal development is not easy because we have learned that in order to change we must first deny who we really are. To compare, to find mistakes, to reprimand ourselves, to deprive us of pleasure, to push us, to squeeze us, in a few words, to have us in a splint in order to develop as we should and as it should and according to with a model of beauty, success, wealth, and so on.
And you wonder now .. How will I change if I accept who I am?
My answer: Why not fully accept yourself as you are and at the same time dedicate yourself to lifelong growth? You can enjoy both.
In order to achieve substantial change and personal growth we need to detach our situation (performance) from our identity (who we are).
Self-acceptance contributes to substantial change because we know who we are regardless of the performance. We accept ourselves for who we are, we accept that unique combination of strengths and weaknesses, our history and experience, the good, the not so good and the bad, our thoughts and feelings. Self-acceptance means seeing that in all this complex combination, we have value, we are worthy, we are good enough and we have all we need in order to change.
In this article, I will share with you four habits you need to stop for radical self-acceptance, laying the groundwork for substantial change and personal growth.
1. Stop shaming yourself
Shame is the feeling with which we internalize our mistakes, flaws and imperfections, making us believe that we are unworthy of love for who we are. We experience shame on a personal level every day and our culture constantly sends us messages of shame. Shame is constantly used to “motivate” us to conform to a prevailing model. For example, body-shaming is one of the innumerable ways we are made to feel ashamed, believing we are unworthy because our body does not meet social criteria.
Ask yourself: Where does shame come from? How much do I want to conform to the prevailing model?
2. Stop negative self-talk
I am “incompetent”, “idiot”, “ugly”, “lazy”, “old” and other judgmental names are addressed to ourselves, every day, with the intention to beat ourselves up. This behavior learned from our childhood, gets in the way of our personal growth. The voice of the inner critic sometimes functions as a “motivational tool” to (not) do something or even as a preparation of ourselves for the negative comments we think we will hear by others.
Ask yourself: What do I need to hear now to show love and understanding to myself?
3. Stop internalized limiting beliefs
“My body is ugly”, “my job is not high profile”, “I am old” .. every day, every hour we are being conditioned to believe that parts of you are unworthy of love. We have been conditioned to believe that our lives are much like smart phones that need constant upgrading… that we are somehow defective, that our mistakes and failures define us as human beings.
Ask yourself: If I addressed my conditioning (i.e., internalized limiting beliefs), how would my life be?
4. Stop self-abandonment
We often complain that others betray our needs, but if one takes a closer look one will discover that we are the first to betray ourselves. We betray ourselves when we consciously or unconsciously do not pay attention to our needs, our values, our desires. When we shrink emotionally and spiritually so as not to discomfort others. When we give our decision-making power and let other decide on our behalf. When we are afraid to protect ourselves and defend our opinion.
Ask yourself: What will happen if I start supporting my needs and choices?
Whenever you feel ready, I can help you in the following ways:
1. With my coaching program “Discover your purpose in life”.
This is a four-week 1:1 coaching program. It has a specific structure and is based on scientifically proven practices, utilizing the best possible knowledge provided by scientific research in coaching psychology (coaching psychology), in accordance with your profile.
2. Follow me on social media
3. Contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org | Cell: 6980481821
and ask me about individual coaching sessions, seminars and corporate training programs.
Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash