In the realm of personal development, there comes a point in life when you must accept yourself as you are and ask, “Do I want to change?” Oftentimes, we get lost in the sea of well-intentioned creators who promise transformative power through books or courses, while neglecting our own innate creative potential.
Over the past two decades, I’ve consumed a vast amount of self-help literature, each one dangling the idealized promise of self-improvement if only I endured. It’s easy to become a self-help addict, constantly seeking the next podcast or course as the missing piece to unlock the life I’ve always dreamed of. However, my own journey of reinvention, following a challenging period in college, left me feeling like a fixer-upper house in desperate need of repair. I searched tirelessly for the magic routine that could make me more charming, beautiful, and deserving of the lives that others seemed to enter with grace.
Self-Acceptance Over Self-Fixation
Returning to blogging after a year-long hiatus and numerous attempts at entrepreneurship, I found myself in a unique position. What I like to call my “spiritual hermit phase” – devoid of friends and social engagements – allowed me to scrutinize myself without the need to conform to societal standards. It was in this solitude that I came to a profound realization: I wasn’t broken, and I didn’t need continuous fixing.
When we believe that we must constantly correct ourselves, we subconsciously reject who we are. Consider how you interact with someone who merely tolerates your existence. Your behavior may range from avoidance to transactional exchanges, and some may overexert themselves, leading to emotional burnout. Constantly rejecting yourself sends a message that you are not acceptable, making it difficult to attract the life you desire.
The morning I woke up to the idea that I wasn’t broken was a sobering one. I had to acknowledge the remarkable person I’ve always been and shed the image of the defective girl society projected onto me. I had to embrace my power and take responsibility for my life. It’s often easier to invest in fixing something rather than engaging in deep self-contemplation.
No number of books, courses, or videos can fix you because you are not broken. The most significant moment in your life is when you allow yourself to be and accept your whole self. While self-improvement and upskilling are valuable, the constant need to reinvent yourself is not necessary. Just as restricting the use of one hand can lead to overworking and breakdown, rejecting parts of yourself as less than or bad prevents integration.
Embrace Self-Acceptance in 2024
As we look to 2024, let’s abandon the need to fix ourselves and begin to accept what we might consider flaws based on arbitrary standards. Many of those we strive to emulate are often mere illusions, masterfully manipulating specific images to capitalize on people’s insecurities.
I wouldn’t end a post without offering a few ways to foster self-acceptance:
- Take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself what you dislike about yourself.
- Explore who told you these things are wrong.
- Imagine who you could be if you allowed yourself to see yourself clearly.
After this exercise, you may experience a surge of emotions. Embrace them, as they are your cues to dig deeper. You deserve a full life without needing external validation to define your existence.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment and share your own experiences or thoughts on self-acceptance.