How to accept yourself as you are now

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It’s an old adage that you must love yourself before you can love anyone else, but some people find this almost impossible. They think they need to find someone else to accept them first before they can believe that they’re a lovable and worthwhile human being. Self acceptance is the key to dating success but how can you achieve it?

How do you talk to yourself?

Many people are experts at beating themselves up. They criticise, complain, judge, condemn and berate themselves from morning until night. They talk to themselves in ways that are so harsh and cruel that they would never speak to anyone else that way. If that inner voice were a separate person from them they wouldn’t want to spend a single day together, let alone a lifetime!

We all have shortcomings, habits we want to change, difficulties we can’t seem to overcome or beliefs which hold us back. Beating ourselves up over them only makes matters worse, never better.

Become your own best friend

It will take a concerted effort to change that inner voice but one way of doing it is to imagine you’re your own best friend. What would your friend say when you made a mistake or didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning?

Your best friend will usually have your best interests at heart and will approach difficulties with kindness and compassion. Their aim will be to find ways to encourage and motivate you rather than make you feel worse about yourself.

Take action

Giving yourself a hard time for being overweight for example, will do nothing to solve the problem. If anything you’re more likely to over-indulge if you are living with the daily assault of a harsh inner critic. Self-blame gets in the way of constructive action. Only by becoming more compassionate and self-accepting will you ever be able to find the strength and motivation to tackle whatever problems are holding you back in life.

Get some balance

Most people are well versed in listing their own faults but seem blind to their assets. A helpful exercise can be to list your faults on one side of a page and then write the opposite of that fault on the other e.g. the opposite of irresponsible is responsible. If you think about it you’ll no doubt find many instances where you have been responsible.

You will possess both the positive and negative characteristic but often won’t recognise or focus as much on the positive. All of us have the full spectrum because we are all human. The characteristics that we focus on the most usually get out of balance. What you resist persists. If you’re constantly trying to stop being lazy it will probably make you lazier. If however you accept that you’re sometimes lazy and that it’s okay, the inner battle will stop and you’ll have more energy to do the things you want to do.

Focus on what you have to offer rather than what you want to get

When you begin dating it’s much easier to focus on all the qualities and attributes you want a new partner to have – they’re usually things that you feel are lacking in you.

A great short cut to self acceptance is to begin to focus on what you would bring to a new relationship and how these things could enhance someone’s life. Things like a love for cooking or decorating for example, are important assets which could enrich a relationship.

Write down these assets and if you get stuck ask your friends and family what they like about you. They may notice things that you are completely unaware of and it will boost your confidence to hear them.


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