One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the gift of Self Acceptance – apologies if it sounds preachy or a cheesy – but I believe it’s true. I regularly discuss and develop the practice of Acceptance with the people I work with and I see the incredible changes it can bring about. I also practice what I preach! Everyday, I practice Self Acceptance even when my own internal criticism is going ballistic; I know how tough it can be and I also know how worthwhile it can be.
So why is Self Acceptance such a challenge?
There are factors in our life that are pre-determined, such as our genetics, character traits, family environment and wider culture. These factors are not in our control but can massively shape our internal self talk. For example, if a child is born into a family where emotions are ignored, repressed or even mocked it makes sense that when the child does feel emotions they’re unsure about how to respond to them. This can result in the child feeling confused and overwhelmed. The messages they received about emotions (they should be ignored/repressed/mocked) are then activated as internal self talk. Then throw some bullying, friendship difficulties, money worries, failed relationships into the mix, as well as the uncertainty of just being part of the modern world, and the process of negative self talk can be reactivated many, many times over many years resulting in feelings of sadness, anxiety and low self esteem. Negative self talk can range from a low level occasional disapproval to an ongoing toxic tirade of criticism.
I love this video from the School of Life, it highlights the process of critical internal self talk really well and introduces the importance of Self Acceptance brilliantly.
Enjoy, and if you’d like to begin to be more Self Accepting please get in touch.