Benefits of Unconditionally Accepting Yourself

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Close your eyes and think about yourself for just a moment…head to toe, inside and out.

Do you accept yourself 100% as you are right now?

Or, do you feel you’d accept and love yourself more if you could justttt….lose those last 5 pounds, say ‘no’ more often, be a better wife/mom/daughter/friend/boss/employee/etc.?

It's typical for women to be hard on themselves and be their own worst critic.  But, the result of that overly harsh inner monologue is that those thoughts impact your sense of self-worth.

You see your imperfections as flaws, and as a result, you beat yourself up, think you’re not as good as others, and hold yourself back from change, growth or new opportunities.

You settle into your safe comfort zones and accept that being critical of yourself is the norm.  In fact, you may not even see it as being critical or harmful because you’re so used to those thoughts popping up throughout your day.

But, while it may be typical to have these thoughts, it’s not okay, and you don’t have to be a victim of your self-inflicted bullying.

When you unconditionally love yourself, you let go of the internal judgment.  You don’t ignore your flaws, but you don’t allow them to define you or hold you back.

You see the beauty of who you are and what you offer the world.  You also accept that no one is perfect and your imperfections are part of who you are and YOU have the choice to change them or accept and love them.

 

WHAT IS UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE

Unconditional acceptance is accepting yourself just as you are, flaws and all! It’s accepting everything without judgment or criticism.  It’s seeing all sides of yourself and loving yourself as-is.

Think of it like this: think of someone that you love completely and unconditionally.  Maybe it’s your spouse or partner, your kids, your nieces or nephews, your mom, your sister or brother, or your best friend.

You love that person no matter what, right?  But, are they perfect?  Do you love everything about them?  

Of course not!  In fact, I bet there are some things about them you don’t even like that much!

Maybe your child tends to throw a major temper tantrum right in the middle of the grocery store every time you run in to grab a few things for dinner.  I bet you don’t love that part of your wonderful kiddo and I bet if you could wave a magic wand, you’d change that in a hot flash!

But…does that mean you don’t love your child?  Of course not!  You love them in spite of their imperfection.

Or, perhaps your wonderful hubby has an annoying tendency always to leave his dirty dishes in the sink, even if he just witnessed you loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen.

You hate that trait, but you don’t hate him.

See where I’m going here?  You may not like certain characteristics or tendencies about those you love, but you don’t allow those imperfections to dilute the love you feel for them.

That, my friends, is unconditional acceptance.

While most people extend this to others in their lives, it’s rare for most folks to gift themselves with that level of self-love and respect.  

It’s time to change how you see yourself and treat yourself by extending the same compassion to yourself.  In fact, this should be at the top of your personal development project list.

Unconditionally loving and accepting yourself is the key to a joy-filled life.  Casting off the self-hate born from over-scrutinizing your flaws, allows your gifts to shine brighter.  It’s what ignites the light inside you that shines out for all the world to see.

The most significant piece of unconditional acceptance is self-respect.  It plays a huge role in your ability to see your flaws and accept them as-is.  In fact, I’d consider it the foundation of unconditional acceptance.

 

SELF-RESPECT IS THE GAME CHANGER

When you truly respect yourself, you create a foundation that is rock solid.  It’s unflappable.  It doesn’t come and go; it’s always present.  

Self-respect becomes your anchor.  It grounds you and supports you.  It’s your north star that guides you. It’s your inner mama that protects and loves you.

Where there is self-respect, there is no self-hate.

There’s just no room for it.

 

BENEFITS OF UNCONDITIONALLY ACCEPTING YOURSELF

There are so many benefits to learning to accept yourself unconditionally…

 

#1 | EASE

Unconditionally accepting yourself introduces ease.  The internal struggles you create for yourself are no longer present, and ease replaces the tension.  

You’re  no longer fighting with yourself; you work with yourself, and that brings a sense of ease which is truly magical to experience.  Life feels easier because you’re easier on yourself.

 

#2  |  QUIETS THE INNER CRITIC

I like to call my inner critic my Inner Bully.  When you unconditionally accept yourself, you start to let go of the power the bully holds over you.  

That critical voice will never go away, but it means you don’t listen to what it tells you.  When you don’t listen to your inner critic, its power over you diminishes, and you’re able to step outside your comfort zones.

 

#3  |  YOU CARE LESS WHAT OTHERS THINK

So many people hold themselves back because they’re afraid of what others might think of them.  When you build that rock-solid foundation of complete self-respect and, you unconditionally accept yourself, the opinions of others will matter a lot less.  

That’s not saying you won’t still care what others think…you will (to truly not care what others think about you would mean you're completely disconnected from society, which isn’t good either!).  But, while you may care what others think of you, it doesn’t determine your actions or your beliefs about yourself.

 

#4  |  YOU JUDGE YOURSELF LESS

When you respect, love, and accept yourself, you don’t judge yourself as harshly.  You see your imperfections, but they don’t define you.  It’s neither good nor bad; it’s just part of you.  

You start to see these as areas you can work on, but you drop the judgment of yourself.  This is one of the more freeing parts of unconditional acceptance and plays right into the ease part.

 

IT'S A CHOICE

When you unconditionally love and accept yourself, you let go of the inner bully, the judgment, the comparison, and the punishment for perceived failings.  

After a lifetime of telling yourself that your imperfections are the root of everything that’s wrong in your life, that’s not easy to do.

It’s choosing to tell yourself it’s okay when things get hard.

It’s deciding that you want things to become easier so you can be yourself.  It's understanding and compassionate about who you are, what’s going on in your life, and you want to be.

It’s not beating yourself up when you make a mistake.

Unconditionally accepting yourself is giving yourself permission to be imperfect.  

 But, it’s a choice.  You’re in control of your life, and you get to choose if you want to make it harder and more uncomfortable by not accepting who you are, or if you want to let all that go and embrace the imperfect you, as-is.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Unconditionally accepting and loving yourself does not mean that you never want to improve yourself or you never want to drop those last 5 pounds.  It means that you aren’t holding your value and self-worth hostage until you make those changes.  

Your motivation for changing and improving yourself shifts.  No longer are you coming from the place of ‘I will be happy if I could just ….’.  

When you love and accept yourself as-is, you are already happy with yourself.  If you choose to change something about yourself, it’s because of another benefit.  Losing those last 5 pounds is no longer because you will finally be happy and get the life of your dreams, but it’s because you’ll feel healthier.

Most people don’t love themselves, so to go on this path is a bit like swimming upstream.  But, with the rock-solid foundation of self-respect and a healthy dose of unconditional acceptance, you have more than enough strength to make it.


This was originally published in May 2016. Revamping it and freshening it up two years later because it still holds strong. Enjoy!