“We are not moved to change, those things whose reality we deny. And for those things we cannot change when we accept them we grow stronger and more centered: when we curse and protest them, we disempower ourselves”. Nathaniel Branden.
Self -acceptance is the intentional acknowledgement and compassionate reaction to our feelings, thoughts and emotions. When we make ourselves willing to experience whatever aspect of ourselves that emerges at any moment without a reproach to ourselves then we are in the state of self acceptance. However, self acceptance is not the same thing as being submissive to your feelings, thoughts, and emotions. So self-acceptance does not mean that we pay no attention to the way we behave and the impact of our actions; it simply means we let go of blanket self-judgments. Why would we do this? Because judging ourselves does not help us in any way; it does not work to make our life richer and fuller..
We all need in our individual life but this cannot happen if we do not know and accept where and what we are now. We need to accept who we are in order to set achievable goals for ourselves. See life as a process that you have to pass through rather than an event that will happen in the near future to make you happy for the rest of your life.
Practicing self acceptance holds so many sources of joy such as good relationships with yourself and others, good communication, self respect, clarity of mind and wisdom, and good understanding of life. Practicing self acceptance is not forging things about yourself neither is it rationalizing and explaining things not to be part of you. It is observing and not being attach to anything good or bad in your life. At this moment of your life whatever may be your problem allow it to take its course without been controlled by it to judge yourself harshly or rationalize that it is normal to have it.
The negative voices in your head need to be neutralized so that you can have the joy of accepting yourself. You have to accept that the negative voices in your head are not the real you therefore you have to change them to your benefits by countering them with a more powerful positive statements.
The following are some of the most common voices underrating our real value.
1. I’m a rotten mother.
2. I’m an addict and I’ve wasted my life.
3. I’m not nearly as smart and successful as other people. I’ve never accomplished anything really outstanding.
4. I’m a phony and I’m dishonest with people.
5. I’m a loser and I have no friends.
6. I’m fat and I have no willpower.
7. I’m unattractive.
8. I’m unlovable.
9. I’m too slow.
10. I’m not good enough.
Now you have to counter all the above negative voices (only those in your head) with a positive one using a method called externalizing the voices. You do it by saying the positive statement aloud to neutralize the negative one. For example negative voice statement: I am unlovable. The positive statement: I am lovable and I make new friends every day. You can practice with a friend where your friend represents the self criticism and you representing the positive statement. So when your friend says the negative then you counter with a powerful positive. You can practice for one week or more. This method will help you realize that the negative voices are not the real you but they are outside standards that you learnt in the past so you can unlearn them now.
You can also use the Emotional freedom technique I copied from Andreas Steve’s book: Help with negative self talk volume 1
This exact sentence “Even though I (critical self–evaluation) I deeply and completely accept myself” is widely used in a method called “Emotional Freedom Technique” (EFT) (14) and also appears less prominently in other approaches. However, “even though” can be used in many other ways to join apparent opposites.
“Even though I have failed repeatedly, I can learn to succeed.”
“Even though I don’t like healthy food, I can lose weight.”
“Even though I’m lazy, I can satisfy my boss.”
The general pattern is the following:
“Even though I (statement of problem or difficulty) I (statement of a positive outcome). Try this yourself. First think of a personal lack, or something about you that you criticize, and then think of a future goal or outcome — to be happier, calmer, smarter, more perceptive, etc. and link them together using the sentence above, and notice how you experience that….