You may be aware of the term “self esteem” how we view our appearance and personality. But have you thought about the term “self acceptance” ? These two terms are completely different to each other. To develop a better self esteem we have to learn to accept ourselves first.
So, what does self acceptance require:
To accept ourselves, we must also look at our faults, mistakes and weaknesses. We must forgive ourselves for this and embrace them. Making mistakes is a part of life and we would not be human if we did not. It is important that we look at our mistakes as learning curves rather than what defines us.
From children, acceptance of ourselves is based on what parents/ caregivers accept from us. This continues through our lives as we enter education and employment. As a consequence, we learn to consider ourselves in negative ways. However, to truly accept ourselves we must step away from this. You must break the habit of judging yourself, by accepting your flaws and mistakes. Look at yourself as the human you are, and show yourself love and compassion. You understand that others make mistakes, grow and learn from them, so you must understand that you will too. We can take responsibility for our actions and ask for forgiveness, but we must also forgive ourselves too in order to move on.
As humans, we respond in ways which we feel appropriate at that time. We do the best we can. You must remember that, forgive yourself, and love yourself in order to accept yourself.
By Bethany Swan
Right Resolution Youth Support Worker