YOUR 5 STEPS TO SELF ACCEPTANCE
I’ve learnt a lot of life lessons throughout the last couple of years. I’ve had incredible highs, and mighty lows. I’ve chased and achieved dreams that I thought I would carry me through to yesteryear, but then in an instant had them crashing back to beneath my feet.
And in that time, I’ve had to learn how to fully accept who I am as an ever-changing person, remain calm and ‘together’ in a tornado of life obstacles, re-evaluate paths and say goodbye to things I never thought I would be doing so soon.
And this is just one tiny (ish) person within a fast and furious world of so much opportunity.
Reading the options is like trying to read the kebab shop menu after a heavy night – you kinda just go for the one you know, pretending you were intently taking in the words and appearing intellectual.
& squinting never works either (lol)
Hmm I’ll just take the doner meat & chips with some garlic mayo please 🙂
(I’m a disgusting human)
It takes A LOT to escape our comfort zone and take a leap of faith with something that may be difficult, but be ridiculously rewarding if successful.
And while you are skipping along that long old deserted road with absolutely no destination in sight, occasionally tripping over some rocks or iguanas and narrowly missing that huge truck that is advancing behind you second by second; losing yourself can be the absurd thought that becomes way too accessible – yet only apparent when you’ve made it miles down the motorway.
But it’s never too late to turn back and collect yourself
I’ve condensed my journey of Self Acceptance into 5 Steps
I’m not going to put ‘easy’ or ‘instant’ in front of it to get more likes or shares because that would be a big fat lie.
Investing in yourself is a process that is different from one person to the next. Its NOT a ‘quick fix’ and for once it’s not a bloody life competition (hurrah!)
I’m going to stop being cynical now and let you read on…
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You could be having a great day. Not the best day, but a generally good one. No-one has shouted at you or sent sassy emails to you at work, the stocks you invested in have started to rise, you got more than 6 hours sleep, or your teenager hasn’t told you they hate you today.
Either way, you’re having a good day.
Suddenly *drumroll* Facebook decides to rear its ugly little demon head and rain all over your god damn parade. Because GUESS WHAT?!
Someone else is having a better day than you.
-The apparently mandatory ‘airport and destination check-in’ while you’re sitting at your office desk.
-A long-lost school friend posted a photo of their keys to their brand new home while you’re renting in a house share
-Your colleague was able to leave work an hour before you.
Besides the point, there is one fundamental idea that links all of these examples. Your sub conscious immediately identifies you as the latter because you’re not competing with those supposedly ‘ahead’ of you . You start re-evaluating yourself, doubting your decisions or questioning your mere existence in the world. Your mood suddenly plummets.
Its time to change that way of thinking. There is no end goal. There is no cash prize or trophy at the end of the obstacle course we call ‘life’.
Think back to the path you were on earlier in this post.
There was a reason you were walking that path alone.
YOU ARE WALKING YOUR OWN PATH
It doesn’t coincide with anyone elses. You might hit a crossroads along way, maybe stop at the same petrol station for a minute, but never exactly the same.
If you are facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking. This is your path and nobody elses. If they don’t understand, that’s fine. Just keep on walking.
Being hard on yourself isn’t going to catapult you ‘further’ in life. Comparing yourself to others won’t put you in their shoes. We all have our struggles and achievements on different scales. Doesn’t make them any better or worse than anyone elses.
And not all of us display our lives all over Facebook…
2. Don’t be Scared to be Selfish
As a girl who’s been in long-term relationships since she was 17, and only really been properly single the last year or so (I’m 26 now, so let that sink in a bit!) this one was completely alien to me, and one that took me a while to realise.
Throughout most of my adult life I’ve made informed decisions that had to be compromised with my other half at the time.
Not putting negative vibes on having a partner and compromising, but I believe having these small segments of selfishness and self-indulgence aid in the final outcome of self acceptance. Even if its only for a short time. Just the experience itself can do wonders.
After becoming single and suddenly walking into this fresh feeling like a spritzed lemon air freshener, I suddenly experienced this new sense of freedom. Thus became the newest addition to my path
Making decisions for me
**Warning – selfishness is something that shouldn’t be abused. You know how you are only supposed to take painkillers every 4 hours? Think of it that way, keep it in moderation. Basically, don’t be a dick**
So, back to your path.
You’ve begun to realise that the road you are walking down is your own. You have started to acknowledge, maybe even congratulate other people on their life achievements. Anything along those lines. It’s progression from you thinking; ‘what is my life?!’ with a side dish of bitterness.
Suddenly a swarm of birds start circling round your head and descending. Something along the lines of a classic Alfred Hitchcock, ready to stall your journey.
BIRD #1 – A pleasant man/woman/anyone in between asks you out on a date.
You may not feel ready to date, you may worry that starting a new relationship will halt your career or stop you enjoying the life you’re currently living. So you politely decline.. AND THAT’S OK
BIRD #2 – A friend is hosting a huge party for their birthday and invites you to get drunk beyond your wildest intentions
You say ‘sorry friend, I need to save as much money as possible to pay for my upcoming adventure on the other side of the world that I spontaneously booked. But I’ll make an appearance of course’ Probs better for your health too…
Guess what?? THAT’S OK TOO
Make time for yourself
You are allowed to say ‘no’
Put yourself first
One you are able to invest quality time in yourself, you can confidently invest time in others – knowing you have the self acceptance to move forward and build relationships
3. Learn to Ground Yourself
Amongst all the chaos, there needs to be at least a moment where you take that sweet time to yourself and regroup, re-ground and re-gravitate your mind, body and soul.
Your brain is a constant wheel of mayhem containing your dreams, aspirations, life choices, family plan, goals, to do lists, ideas, gym workouts, food cravings and financial evaluation – to name a few.
Last year I wanted to start back at hot yoga classes, but alas I couldn’t afford them at the time. So I started working at the reception of my local studio and I was able to practise at least 2-3 times a week. I’ve done a lot of yoga before but I never really focused that much on the meditation side of things. And as soon as I did, I hit a whole new level of yoga practise and life that I never thought possible.
Meditation is like an emotional shower. That grey, overcast cloud of pollution that floats around your brain and body, is suddenly parted and a clear blue sky with beaming sunshine pierces through. It’s like all the unnecessary thoughts have been lost down the drain. And you realise how much you didn’t need them. They were just clouding your vision and dragging you back like a ball and chain. But because of your determination, you would carry on trying down that long road, however heavy that chain was and however foggy the path.
I could go on and on about meditation, but I’m going to leave you with the link to 8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life and you can let me know how you get on after you start meditating 😉
The Self Acceptance comes with the gratitude you feel for your life so far. Meditation takes you on a journey of your inner self and suddenly the light switch of your mind is flicked ‘on’ and you’ll learn things about yourself that you may never have thought possible. Or these feelings may have been there the whole time, they were just clouded by hundreds upon hundreds of other corrupted thoughts.
Start with 5 minutes in the morning. A silent space, a silent mind. Be aware of your breath and tune into yourself. Only you can ever understand your own body and mind. Take advantage of that
4. Look Past your reflection
I don’t think anyone would be able to remember how many times they’ve looked at themselves in the mirror and managed to pick out something they don’t like.
It’s one of them objects that you like to have in the house, yet it just fills you with self-doubt, insecurity and the wish to see someone else looking back at you.
Its crazy how many emotions and demons a simple piece of reflective glass can hold; then just chuck them out at you like chinese throwing stars at any given moment.
The amount of times I’ve put on a fabulous Saturday night outfit that I’ve planned all week, only to look in the mirror 5 minutes before leaving and suddenly loathed my entire human exterior and had to change…
SO as you are walking down this lovely path again (remember it’s still YOUR path) there’s a little town you pass by.
But this is a little different because all the houses have mirrors on the front.
Yeah I know, weird right? It’s like one of them creepy fairground mazes where you end up walking face first into glass because its ‘fun’
A modern-day nightmare for the insecure among us, or a field day for the narcissists.
Pretty sure 99% of us would be the first.
But we catch our reflections all the time. Bedroom mirrors, bathroom mirrors, lift mirrors, even reflections you weren’t expecting; like a fridge door, your car wing mirror or turning your phone camera on and it still being in selfie mode (always a lovely one)
Even if you try to avoid seeing yourself, you almost always end up stumbling across it.
So we are going to learn to look PAST your reflection.
When you wake up tomorrow morning, make looking in the mirror a part of your routine. Start by smiling at yourself. Doesn’t have to be huge, even a small smirk can awaken your blood vessels, illuminate your skin and set off that lovely little glisten in your eye.
Next find something that you can actually smile about to start off your day. If you struggle with this, go for the easiest and really the most obvious one.
You woke up today.
As morbid as that sounds, it’s the genuine truth. You may not have had the 8 hours sleep you wanted, you might have a dirty hangover or you’re crapping your pants about your upcoming work presentation…but you’re alive. Simple.
And lastly, look into your own eyes. Really look into them.
Decipher all them tiny, crazy details within your iris that you’d normally never take time to look at – and tell yourself ONE THING that you love about yourself.
The sad thing about this one, is many people just go for something on the exterior and frantically worry because most of the time they are insanely critical about themselves and only see the negative.
But this is about looking PAST the reflection.
And while you’re working on that one here are some of my examples:
– I love how ambitious you are
– I love how strong you’ve become
– I love how much you value your friendships
And with that, you’ve walked past the mirrored houses, you’ve ignored the exterior that aimed to interrupt your journey and looked past your reflection into a glorious new day.
5. Celebrate Life!
We are all way too busy being ambitious, setting new goals, trying to buy new things, getting lost within the 21st century rollercoaster world to realise our own achievements.
Back in the day of Performing Arts College, a teacher asked everyone in acting class what our biggest fears were
My biggest fear is getting to a certain point in life and regretting a decision that I made or didn’t make.
I chose a profession that makes me self-employed with no perks of a ‘normal job’, which is regularly underpaid, is basically seasonal and doesn’t set me up with any form of assets.
But I Love What I Do
And the last thing I want is to look back in 10 years time and think; ‘I wish I had done that. I wish I had tried that’
At this point in my life, I have no hope in hell of getting a mortgage on my own, I spend most of my money attempting to travel the world and I literally have no idea what the next week will bring let alone the next 5 years!
But that’s ok. My celebration of life is that I took the risk of an unstable career. I went and did it. And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.
But that’s MY PATH
I can always go back to my Plan B of being an accountant and rack some serious wage there.
Plus there’s always 24 more letters in the alphabet…
Dig deep and find your achievements, your proudest moments.
Fitting into an old dress again?
Saving up for a holiday?
Learning a new skill?
Passing your driving test?
It literally could be ANYTHING. Anything that made you smile at the time and made you feel good about yourself.
Your life’s path will never end. It’s always going to contain an endless destination. Life will throw all the obstacles while you’re travelling down it, but your new-found Self Acceptance is going to be the bat that knocks them all out of the park.
It’s time for you to take the almighty swing at hit that home run.
Celebrate life now, because when the hell are you supposed to do it otherwise?
Stay Beautiful <3