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Self-Acceptance: Why You Can’t Accept Yourself

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Can you accept yourself? Can you accept every part of yourself – even your flaws?

If you can, you have the ability to recognize your own personal weaknesses. You also have the capacity to rationally evaluate your own actions and determine when and where you’ve been in the wrong. A self-accepting person doesn’t dwell on shortcomings and mistakes; he or she is able to use this information to strive for personal development and self-improvement.

But perhaps you feel differently. Are you constantly down on yourself? Do you have trouble focusing on anything other than mistakes you’ve made or problems you’ve had? If you feel like you’re always angry with yourself from inside, perhaps you don’t really know how to nurture self-acceptance.

Why do people feel this way? Essentially, a lack of self-acceptance can result from one or more of the following reasons:

  1. You have residual guilt. Is there something you’ve done in the past that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? When you don’t forgive yourself, guilt can accumulate over time, causing you to feel down on yourself. Gradually, this guilt causes you to question your every action, and you have trouble accepting anything you do as the right thing. If you’ve erred in the past – we all have, we’re human – you need to forgive yourself in order to move forward with your life.    
  2. Your expectations are too high. Some people grow up with parents who aren’t very accepting of what they do. They have the feeling that nothing they do is ever good enough, and that they won’t ever please their parents. These feelings will usually transfer from parent to child, and as the person grows up they create expectations for themselves that are too high. Someone whose expectations are too high will undoubtedly be unable to find self-acceptance, as no matter what they do they will be unhappy.
  3. Accepting the whole package. Many people have difficulty accepting one or more of their own flaws. They may be thankful for the good qualities they have been blessed with, but unable to recognize that flaws are part of being human. You cannot accept yourself fully until you are able to accept your whole self – flaws included! If you keep focusing on one thing in particular, you miss out on understanding yourself as a complex person.

Self-acceptance is so important if you want your life to be enjoyable. Those who are able to lovingly accept themselves have a greater capacity to enjoy the world. 

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About Jill Magso