April 11, 2016

The Art of Self-Acceptance.

woman umbrella

Talking about our self-worth can be one of the toughest conversations we have.

Have you ever been asked to list your strengths, talents, and virtues without thinking about your accomplishments and level of intelligence? Would you be able to write 10 great things about yourself? Remember, you can’t include work accomplishments, awards, or nominations…this is about you.

Modern society has taught us that having self-confidence appears arrogant. Madonna expressed this sentiment and embraced it in the following quote: “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a b*tch, okay.”

In her own words, Madonna was able to define her self-worth and accept the judgements others might make about her.

The social media platforms of today provide numerous examples of the capacity for judgement. Even though self-acceptance has become a regular talking point on social media, we encounter a variety of opinions that could make us stumble. We get stuck on the negatives; anxiously waiting for a verdict on small things, like how many likes and comments we receive minutes after posting pictures or an article. The process of forming an opinion about our inner selves becomes a nearly unattainable task because we dwell on the external appearances: money, success at work, relationships, and life in general.

How we change these old beliefs is a matter of nurturing our nature.

Stop running toward finding yourself—instead, create yourself. Somewhere deep inside, know what kind of person you are and who you want to be. By learning about our destructive behaviors and thoughts, we open the door to the possibilities of constructively transforming who we are. You can manage realistic goals instead of building dream castles without foundations.

I have found that the key to self-acceptance is immersing one’s self in the present moment. When we obsess about the future and the things we don’t have, the path of self-acceptance becomes rocky. We waste energy trying to fix situations and people instead of working on ourselves and practicing emotional intelligence. It is better to align our talents and skills with passion than become a mental slave of our external façade.

You don’t have to move to India to find inner peace; find inner peace within yourself without relying on your surroundings.

Self-acceptance means we must learn to love our shortcomings. There is a difference between fixing every single thing that goes wrong in your life and living with realistic situations in the world around you. Pay attention to your internal compass rather than following someone else’s opinion. Remember, even bad experiences help toughen up our resilience.

We become more driven if we allow awareness to settle in. I don’t believe you have to be extraordinary to shine. During my school years, I was driven to be the best student. I was taught that I was special because of my accomplishments; destined to follow my parent’s dreams. Every time I failed a test, I would immediately feel depressed. I now wish someone had told me, “You are special whether you have good grades or not because you are determined no matter the outcome.”

As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.”

It is important to nurture the seed of our humanity. Disconnect from the assertion that life should be measured by the images we see on Facebook.

My life is not easy. I’m a single mom with a heavy baggage of traumas and bad experiences; still, I love my life. Every day, I discover something about myself that can’t be obtained with money. It’s a matter of perspective. “My life is not easy, but I make it simple”—I repeat this to myself because, in order to build self- worth, I need to exercise my beliefs over and over again.

Don’t bail on yourself after the first attempt. Persist in the art of self-acceptance, because you deserve to be happy.


Author: Stephanie Ortez

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Edu Lauton/Unsplash

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