Self-acceptance is the first step to self-confidence. You can imitate someone’s confidence but you’ll never truly embody it until you learn that you – all of you, is uniquely perfect and bursting with potential. And to be able to do that, you’ve got to accept who you are and like that person. By making peace with your flaws can help you achieve that self confidence that you have always wanted and deserve to have.
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So let’s start with a few things. Flaws aren’t always bad. Actually, a lot of the time the things you hate about yourself are important and a good thing. Flaws are only considered bad because we were taught somewhere along the line that this “problem” or “trait” that we have is somehow wrong. It’s not.
Reasons why flaws are a good thing
They make you special.
If everyone looked and acted like the popular kids from high school or the girls in magazines, the world would be pretty boring. Actually, depending on how it happened that everyone looked the same, it could be a freaky dystopian novel tbh.
Your flaws make you unique. Those things you hate about yourself, whether it be your laugh, your nose, your emotions, who you love, beliefs, or the scar you desperately try to hide, make you, you. They make you someone that your friends love, they can give you your passions, they give you your own unique perspective, and they make you set apart from the rest.
They are beautiful to someone else
I used to hate having curly hair. I wanted that flawless straight hair that was easy to maintain and didn’t fluff up like an electrocuted palm tree. But almost everyone I knew said that they wished they had any kind of curl in their hair. But when my family would tell me, “people spend hundreds to get hair that looks like yours”, I thought they were full of shit.
Now I like my hair. I mean, it still drives me nuts on bad hair days, but I have accepted it for what it is. The same principle goes for you. If you hate something about yourself, I can almost guarantee that someone out there dreams of having your flaw. It’s just a matter of perspective.
Beauty “flaws” come in and out of fashion
Remember when freckles were all the beauty rage? People we literally tattooing freckles on their faces. But before that, freckles were considered “bad skin”.
And you wanna talk about butts?? In the 90s and 00s being skinny as can be and shaped like a celery stick was the only acceptable body image. Now? Everyone wants a little extra booty behind them.
So, your “flaws” may not be what society thinks is the height of cool, but wait a week and it’ll probably change its mind.
Once you accept your flaws, no one can use them against you.
–George R R Martin
And while all that is all fine and dandy, that doesn’t get you closer to accepting yourself. So how do you learn some self-acceptance? There’s is no one answer because what is going to work for you will be unique to you. However, let’s look at some ways that will at least help you along the way to learning how to truly and completely love yourself.
Find things that flatter your flaws
This doesn’t just go for what looks nice on you. What do you feel good in? What food makes you feel good? Who do you surround yourself with that plays off of your humor, your compassion, your temper, or your rebelliousness well? In other words, who or what compliments your so called flaws?
Get rid of toxic relationships
You want to know what kills confidence and self -acceptance real quick? Being surrounded by people who are constantly criticizing, putting down, or pointing out your flaws.
To be fair, they only do this because they need everyone to feel as bad and self conscious as they do, but that neither makes it enjoyable or okay to deal with. Cut out those toxic relationships. You don’t need them.
You are in control
Remind yourself of this over and over. You are in control of your life, how you choose to live it, and how you choose to see it. You are in control of how you feel about yourself. What other people say only matters if you give it worth. You are in control of how you speak about yourself, how you think about yourself, and how you respond to your flaws. Your self-acceptance is within your reach. You just have to be ballsy enough to go for it.
We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond.L Lionel Kendrick
In a sense, remembering that you’re the one in control, you essentially are able to reprogram your mind to be kinder to yourself. Confidence isn’t something you can touch. Like happiness, it is something you create all inside your head, so mindset is key. Make your choices and remember your control.
Imagine the words you say to yourself directed at your best friend. Yeah, imagine speaking to your best friend and spewing all the nasty things you say to yourself to him/her. Or better yet, actually say some of them.
*note: I know you probably know this, but don’t surprise them with this, tell them it’s an exercise to help you accept yourself and ask them if they’re willing to participate. If you speak meanly to yourself and decide to aim it at your bestie out of no where, you may lose a friendship*
It is amazing how hurtful and critical we are to ourselves but it’s even more amazing how hard it is to realize how unreasonable we’re being.
Comparison is the killer of all beautiful things
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Yes, other people may be better than you at things. Some might be worse than you. Compare yourself (especially on social media) and your always going to feel like you’re coming up short. People don’t generally display their own doubts, fears, and negative internal monologue to the world. They show the highlights of their life on the ‘Gram and their wittiest comments through tweets. It’s never a true reflection of anyone.
Comparing yourself to anyone one else will just lead you down a rabbit hole of overwhelm, self-loathing, and misery. So stop following the people that make you feel like crap about yourself, stop thinking “I wish I looked like her” or “If only I had what she had”. It’s not benefiting you. Instead change how you speak about yourself in relation to others. Instead of “I wish I was funnier like her”, try something like, “she’s funny and I’m glad that she’s made me laugh”. Disconnect the comparison. Express gratitude or appreciation for them and move forward. If you’re struggling to move forward, try the next step.
You are someone completely unique and different from anyone else and you’ll be able to see that through some nice self-acceptance.
Start with listing 3 things every day (or every time you need it) that you love about yourself. No sarcasm, no self-deprecation. Just a genuine compliment. To actually achieve self-acceptance, it helps to actually like yourself. It can be as simple as…
- My makeup looks great today
- I am a kind person
- My knowledge of Harry Potter trivia is a bit Riddikulus (any Harry Potter fans? You get me, right?)
These are simple. They aren’t touch your soul and change the freaking world kind of compliments. And that’s okay. Starting simple makes this process easier and it makes it more genuine. Building a habit of complimenting yourself becomes a good foundation for your self-acceptance and compliments. There are so many wonderful qualities about you, I give you permission to express them. You’re not conceited for loving who you are.
There is nothing more rebellious and bad ass than to tell society that you like yourself and there’s nothing it can do.
Self-confidence isn’t easy. Women especially are told not to be. But it is something that leads you to a more fulfilling life. By working on your self-acceptance, you are opening up a world of possibilities and closing the doors to that bull shit that isn’t benefiting anyone. Your flaws are unique and are part of what make up who you are. So be nice to yourself and honestly, tell society that it can eff off with it’s expectations of you. Be you unapologetically and let the rest of the world catch up.
If you are looking for a useful guide to help you on your self-acceptance journey, I have found that journaling can help. If you feel lost on where to start, or you just don’t want to DIY it, you can find a super awesome journal from amazon here.