Most of us know the things we like. We spot traits in other people that we admire and we notice strengths in others we respect. It is easy to tell someone else what you like about them. Words come much harder when it comes to our own personalities. Yet self-acceptance is the best foundation for so much else in our lives. To know ourselves, to understand who we are inside and to accept our own talents and abilities as having value allows us to be more confident and accepting of others. Self-acceptance breeds self-confidence, a quality which enables us to accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves. It is the foundation on which we build a happy and successful life.
So Why Isn’t Loving Yourself Easier?
In spite of how important accepting and loving who you are can be to a life of true joy, the trap of self-criticism is a far easier one to fall into. The old adage about familiarity breeding contempt speaks volumes to the fact that many of us find much to complain about when it comes to our own personalities. After all, we know what is going on inside us, we know how scared we are, how inept we feel, how hard it is to believe in someone who seems so weak and vulnerable to our inner perceptions.
The truth is there is a way to begin to love ourselves the way we should, the way we need to in order to grow into the person we truly want to be. It involves a simple change in attitude which can make all the difference in the world. By accepting our own hand of friendship, we begin to foster the inner dialogue which will bring the self-acceptance we long for and need.
Treating Yourself Like a Friend
When we meet someone whose company we enjoy, we do certain things to encourage the friendship we hope will blossom. Taking a look at how we respond to those we consider friends, or those we wish to have as friends, can help us understand how to foster that same acceptance and friendship with ourselves. When we seek friendship we make sure that we:
- are kind and encouraging
- speak with respect and affection
- compliment others on what they accomplish
- respect other peoples’ struggles and aid them when we can
By applying these actions to ourselves, we find the acceptance we long for.
Simple Actions Can Bring Profound Results
Taking some simple steps will increase your ability to love yourself:
- Congratulate yourself on every accomplishment, no matter how simple
- Never allow your inner voice to speak with anything less than respect and affection
- Honor where you are instead of criticizing where you haven’t gotten to
- Cut yourself some slack. Treat every mistake or failure as a learning experience, knowing that you will use that experience to make a better choice next time.