5 Ways to Self-Acceptance – Robert Holden

“Do you accept yourself as you are – yes or no?” It’s a simple question that many people find difficult to answer. I’m told that the Yes/No option feels too limited, and that more options like “sometimes,” “mostly,” or “rarely” would be helpful. I understand where people are coming from, but I persist with the original question. Why? Because self-acceptance – at the deepest level – is either total or not at all. That’s why when you say a wholehearted “YES” to self-acceptance – even if it’s only once in your life – you open yourself up to a lifetime of miracles.

This miracle is something you experience after you say “YES” to self-acceptance. For some, the miracle happens instantly, like a magnificent sun that bursts through the clouds. For others, the miracle appears gradually, more like a rising sun on a brand new day. Either way, the presence of this miracle is unmistakable. The sun is out now, and from this moment onwards your life can only get better and better and better.

Here are five principles and exercises to help you focus on Self-Acceptance. I wish you every success with this very important journey.

1. Knowing Who I Am

The journey of self-acceptance starts with the acceptance that we don’t seem to know much about ourselves. Our personality finds it difficult to answer questions like “Who am I?’ and “What do I want?” Being asked to “describe yourself” at a job interview or for a dating agency profile, for instance, can feel excruciating and practically impossible. It’s like we haven’t really been paying attention to ourselves. That said, true self-acceptance is motivated by a genuine knowing that it is possible to know what our true essence – the Unconditioned Self – is really like.

Self-acceptance is the process of befriending the Unconditioned Self that is more than just your name, your self-image, your history, your story, your failures, or your successes. You are more than just your experiences or how other people see you.

Reflect on this question: “Who am I without my self-image?” Be still, and really listen to yourself. Use this inquiry to help you identify with all the beautiful soul qualities that make up your true nature. Also, try this affirmation today, “I see myself through the eyes of love.”

2. Practicing Self-Kindness

Self-acceptance teaches you that you are not who you think you are. Specifically, it helps you to discern between your personality and your Unconditioned Self. This discernment is essential for your growth and happiness. Early on, every child starts to construct a “persona” to help cope with the demands of being in a family, going to school, and facing the world. On close inspection you find that your persona is made up of judgments about who you are, what is possible, what you deserve, and what you don’t. These judgments build a self-image, which is the lens through which you see yourself and the world.

Judgment is not vision. Judgment is not seeing. That’s why the more you judge yourself the less you see who you really are. The habit of self-judgment causes self-denigration in which you belittle yourself, criticise yourself, punish yourself, and treat yourself without kindness. The most powerful way to undo the effects of self-denigration is forgiveness. Forgiveness restores awareness of your innate goodness.

Declare today, “I forgive myself for my judgments.” Affirm, “I will not harm myself today” Trust in your goodness. Relax into your wholeness. Resolve to treat yourself with kindness. Be open to miracles.

3. Loving Myself as I am

In any given moment, you are either accepting yourself or rejecting yourself. To put it another way, if you do not practice self-acceptance you must practice self-rejection. In essence, self-rejection is identifying with your personality more than with your essence. In practice, this means you often say “No” to yourself. For instance: “No” to your real desires, “No” to having any needs, “No” to stopping and relaxing, “No” to making time for yourself, “No” to letting yourself be helped, and “No” to loving yourself more.

For as long as you keep rejecting yourself; you will live in constant fear of being rejected by others. Out of necessity, you will fashion a persona that tries to be good, not to ask for anything, not to be a burden, to please people, and to ingratiate itself wherever possible. Sadly, this persona will feel “unlovable”, no matter how hard it tries to love others. The self-rejection causes you to be mean to yourself – no attention, no care, no appreciation, no self-love. This isn’t how your Unconditioned Self feels about you. Your Unconditioned Self loves you.

4. Being True To Myself

When you lack self-acceptance the personality begins to compare itself negatively with six billion other people on the planet. For as long as you refuse to love and accept yourself you will judge that you are not beautiful enough, rich enough, loved enough, lucky enough, successful enough, or anything-else enough. No amount of makeovers or reinvention or new beauty secrets seems to do the trick. Deep down you still feel like a nobody, but that’s only because you are identifying with a self-image instead of with the authentic you. Nothing really changes until you see the real you.

Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into who you wish were for long enough to find out who you really are. The miracle of self-acceptance is that it reveals your authentic beauty – a beauty that is not just skin deep.

5. I Trust Myself

Self-acceptance is solid ground. It is your home. It is where you return to, to find yourself again. When self-acceptance is low, your personality experiences a ceaseless anxiety that causes you to doubt yourself, to be indecisive, to wobble, to question everything, and to play safe. Feeling shaky and off-center, your personality searches outside of you for validation, approval and authority. This outer referencing starts early as young children learn mostly by imitation and mirroring.

Self-acceptance helps you to experience a “basic trust” in you and in life overall. The more you accept yourself, the more you trust your inborn goodness, wise heart, and natural intuition. Deep within yourself, you discover your inner guidance, and a direct line to the Divine. Self-trust invokes the highest in you. Also, the more you accept yourself, the more you trust that, life doesn’t just happen to you; it happens for you. In other words, life loves you. This is what self-acceptance is trying to show you.

Decide to trust in your goodness today. Commit 100 percent of your trust to this. Try it, and see what good comes.

Robert Holden is the author of Happiness Now! and Be Happy among other works. He will be in Sydney and Melbourne for I Can Do It! 2011. For more details and tickets CLICK HERE.

3 Responses to “5 Ways to Self-Acceptance – Robert Holden”
  1. Ornella says:

    This is exactly why you write books! I don’t know how you did it; but you have incapsulated self acceptance in this blog. That’s incrediable!
    I am sometimes confused by what self acceptance really means. I thought I did have self acceptance because i’m a pretty confident person (so I think). I try to accept others without judgement most times. I don’t think I fear rejection because I have in recent years felt that everyone has a right to their opinion which isn’t rejection towards you , it’s just their opinion, so that dosen’t bother me; but having read this and especially number three where it talks about accepting help, making time for yourself ,not being a burden, not making time to relax. Well that is me. I never thought that meant I didn’t appreciate or essentially love myself. That is something I struggle with (making time for myself). Although when I do, I feel I try to get it all in at once. I’m married with three great kids so life is pretty wonderful but hectic, and I can definitely see that as they are getting older I have different pockets of time now.My husband and I also have our date nights which is great, they only last two hours but that’s okay,LOL. I think I always rack it up to be “NO” time for me because I make them my main priority right now! Shouldn’t we be doing that anyway? I feel so many kids are left at the waist side and are being taking care of with electronics and that sort of thing. So for me the nature walks, movies and just hanging out together is what I want for them, and I feel so fortunate (even in my exhaustion) that they want to be around me! Maybe that’s where I want to be LOVABLE! LOL
    Thanks for a great read and something to definitely revisit. I have to tell you this is something I was determined to do for myself and I did. The WE CAN DO IT CONFERENCE 2011 in Toronto Canada, and I will be there on the 14th of May. I can’t wait!
    Thanks again have a great day!

  2. Marjorie says:

    Please can share this valueable information.

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