Do outside factors control your self-confidence? Do you find yourself standing in a room, unable to shut off all of that negative self-talk? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with their self-esteem, but not a lot of people talk openly about those struggles.
How you feel about yourself impacts every facet of your life. Learning unconditional self-acceptance may not come naturally, but it is easily one of the kindest and most influential things you can do for yourself.
Chiji is a brand born out of the desire to help people acknowledge how essential it is to put themselves first. We’re here to help you learn how to develop your self-acceptance and love yourself unconditionally. It’s never too late to get started.
What Is Self-Acceptance and How Does It Differ From Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence?
There are so many self-help buzzwords out there that it can make it hard to define and utilize them appropriately. Self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-confidence—how do they differ from each other? Are they all the same thing?
While those concepts revolve around the same basic idea, they approach it from slightly different angles.
Self-esteem, for instance, revolves around how you view yourself. It has nothing to do with how you portray yourself to others, and no one else can “see” it. Self-confidence, on the other hand, is how you project yourself to the outside world.
An excellent way to remember the difference between the two is that self-confidence can be built through skill sets, while self-esteem can only be built through developing belief in yourself.
Self-acceptance is different from both self-esteem and self-confidence, as well. It is the ability to accept yourself fully (both the good and the bad). That means both physical and emotional, the way you look and the qualities that you possess.
All of these factors are who you are, even the ones with which you’re not comfortable. Embracing them is a huge step forward.
That doesn’t mean you can’t work on changing, though. Developing self-acceptance means that you own who you are at that moment in time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do better. Acceptance isn’t the same thing as condoning your behavior, after all.
How Can Having Low Self-Acceptance Impact You?
Having a low sense of self-acceptance can impact you on both an emotional and a physical level. When you feel negative about yourself, whether your body, mind, or both, it naturally increases your stress level. Increased stress can lower your immune system, make you less resilient to stressful situations, and even lead to weight gain.
Stress and negativity also create more stress and negativity. It can be a difficult situation to get out of once you’re in the cycle. Self-acceptance starts with acknowledging that you have a problem and being willing to put the work into changing.
Remember, it is all about the baby steps. A significant change isn’t sustainable over the long haul and often puts you right back into the headspace you were in before.
Why Is Unconditional Self-Acceptance So Difficult To Obtain?
Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to tell you that you can just decide to accept yourself for who and what you are, it’s not that easy. Developing self-acceptance, especially unconditional self-acceptance, can be difficult. Just like most challenging things in life, it’s worth it. But what makes it so hard?
For so many of us, our initial reaction to being asked if we love ourselves or accept ourselves is to say “yes, of course,” immediately. However, when asked to elaborate, it becomes difficult and makes us second guess ourselves. That first reaction isn’t wrong, though. It’s just that, with more time, typical human behavior tends to focus on the negative.
People who had difficult childhoods may struggle the most with developing unconditional self-acceptance. So much of how we develop and how we cope with life has to do with how we grew up.
If you had a parent (or parents) who lacked empathy or were actively harmful, you might have never learned how to love yourself. It may take a lot more work for you to learn to accept the person you are, but it is still possible. Don’t give up.
How To Achieve Unconditional Self-Acceptance
Let’s just get this out of the way—developing unconditional self-acceptance is hard work. You’re going to feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back all of the time, but that’s just part of the process. Nothing that involves working on yourself is linear, so knowing that can make pushing through more challenging times more manageable.
Through dedication and extensive work, though, unconditional self-acceptance is possible. While we don’t claim to be experts, we’ve compiled some of the top tips you can use to work on your own self-acceptance.
Be Kind to Yourself
You might focus on how other people see you and what they may say to you, but the truth is that no one is more judgemental to yourself than you are.
If you stop and focus for a minute on how you talk to yourself, you’ll likely find that the vast majority of comments are negative. Negative self-talk can significantly hinder your ability to learn self-acceptance, but awareness is the first step toward change.
If you find yourself thinking, “I can’t do this,” change that to “I’m going to try my best.” It’s these minor tweaks that add up over time. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but there’s no such thing as perfect anyway.
Focusing on the positive instead of the negative is part of self-regulation, as is framing negative things in a more positive light. Being kind with yourself should also include time set aside for self-care.
It doesn’t have to be anything significant, like a vacation or a visit to a massage therapist. Even something minor, like lighting one of our Confidence Crystal Energy Candles and taking a bath, can help.
An essential part of growth and self-acceptance is figuring out how to forgive yourself. While that may sound silly, holding on to guilt and responsibility about all sorts of events in your past is often unconscious.
What’s something that’s happened to you that you still think about at night? What do you feel like you would have done differently if you could? Identify those things and forgive yourself.
They are in the past, and you were a different person then than you are now. You can’t change things now, but you can use them as a springboard to propel yourself forward.
Forgiving yourself may be one of the most challenging parts of the process. Forgiving other people is a lot easier but not nearly as powerful.
There aren’t many things in your emotional life that meditation can’t help with. Even if you aren’t actively struggling with anything, meditation and the mindfulness that it can produce really can change your life.
There are many different kinds of meditations out there, from transcendental to kundalini. One kind that may be the most beneficial on your path toward unconditional self-acceptance is loving-kindness meditation.
Research has shown that the practice, which involves directing love and goodwill inward, can change the brain for the better. Specifically, it has the potential to impact the regions of the brain that process and perceive emotions.
Interestingly enough, on a neurological level, people who struggle with self-acceptance have excessive activity in the right hemisphere of their brains. The same goes for depression. Practicing loving-kindness meditation on a regular, consistent basis can help to correct that.
Never Give Up on Yourself
You can’t learn to love and accept yourself if you give up. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. In the end, you’re the only one who can help make positive changes in your life. Even when things get hard, knowing that you have your own back goes a long way toward developing unconditional self-acceptance.
If you’re having a bad day, remember that you’re not the only one. There are countless other people on the planet at that exact moment going through similar things. Just because you stumble doesn’t mean you’re down forever.
When you can get yourself back up, you learn that you can rely on yourself. Little by little, this builds up your self-esteem, which gets you closer to true, unconditional self-acceptance.
Unconditional self-acceptance can be challenging to achieve, but it is possible for everyone. Learning to accept and love yourself for who and what you are can help you understand that you can rely on yourself, no matter what.
Start by working on how you talk to yourself and focusing more on quality self-care (Chiji is here for you in that department). Over time, you can truly develop a strong sense of self and love by sticking through the hard times. We believe in you; you just need to believe in yourself.