Three levels of acceptance of oneself

Accept yourself – what does it mean? Appreciate all your manifestations? Take care of the body? Stop pretending someone else? In fact, self -acceptance is a rejection of enmity with oneself. What facets of acceptance exist? And why do we need this skill so much?

First level

Be on your side, that is, to be for yourself

In the most fundamental sense, self -acceptance is associated with the installation of the self -worth, which is rooted in the fact that I live and realize. This is an act of self -affirmation, a kind of natural egoism, from birth given to everyone. But we are all powerful to act in spite of him.

Some people reach such an extent denial of themselves that work on personal growth becomes impossible. And while the problem has not been resolved, no treatment will give a long effect, no new knowledge will learn, no serious progress will occur. Psychotherapists who do not understand this will be lost in conjecture why the client has no significant improvements after so many years of therapy.

The basic installation for acceptance of himself is what a real psychotherapist seeks to arouse in a person even with a very low self -esteem. Such an attitude can inspire the awareness of the main inner problem so that the patient does not begin to hate himself, deny his value as a person or killing the will to life.

“I will appreciate myself, treat myself with respect and defend the right to exist”. This is the primary act of self -affirmation – the soil on which the idea of itself is growing and developing.

Self -esteem can sleep for a long time, and then suddenly wake up. She fights for our life when we fall into despair. When we are on the verge of suicide, she can make us pick up the phone and call for help. From the abyss of depression or anxieties, she can bring us to the psychotherapist’s office. After many years of humiliation, she suddenly makes us exclaim: “No!»This is the voice of life force. This is selfishness in the most noble sense of the word.

Second level

Take your feelings, thoughts, actions

Self -acceptance is connected with the will to realize thoughts, feelings, desires, actions, that is, to include them in their own reality without denying and not avoiding. We think what we think, feel what we feel, wish what we wish, did what we did, we are those who are we are.

This is a refusal to consider some part of yourself-the body, emotions, thoughts, actions, dreams-as something alien, “non-I”. This is the desire to test in practice, and not reject any facts of your existence at a particular moment: “think your thoughts”, own your feelings, and attend the reality of your behavior.

Today I am not in the mood to work, but I recognize my feelings, I accept them – and I’m going to work. The mind is clarified because I did not start the day with self -deception. Accepting negative feelings, we are often able to get rid of them. They said their word, and then left the center of attention.

Self -acceptance is a willingness to say about any emotion or manner of behavior: “This is an expression of me. I do not necessarily admire it, but still she shows me – at least at the moment. “. This is the advantage of being a realist, that is, respect reality in relation to itself.

If I think about what bothers me, then I really think about it – I am fully accepting the reality of my being. If I feel pain, anger, fear, incomprehensible passion, I feel them. What is true, it is true, and I do not rationalize, do not deny and do not try to make excuses. I feel what I feel, accepting the reality of my existence.

If I do actions for which it later becomes ashamed, the fact remains: I committed them.

This is a reality, and I do not try to deceive the mind in order to delete it out of my head: what is, that is,. “Accept” is more than just “allow” or “agree”. This means testing, to be in the face of reality, to closely consider it and introduce it into your own consciousness. I have to open and fully surrender to unwanted emotions, and not just superficially recognize their existence.

For example, my wife asks me: “How do you feel?”, And I answer coldly:” Terrible “. She sympathetically says: “I see, you are really some kind of depressed today”. Then I sigh, tension leaves the body.

And in a completely different tone of a person who has become real for himself, I say: “Yes, I feel unhappy, really miserable”. Then I start to talk about what worries me. When I uttered the word “terrible”, the body tensed to reproduce the adoption of sensations – I rejected emotions, at the same time admitting to them.

The experience of their sensations has a direct healing property. Self -acceptance is a prerequisite for changes and growth. Having accepted a perfect mistake, I am free to extract a lesson and not repeat it in the future. You cannot study on “unacceptable” mistakes.

I can not forgive myself for an act that I do not recognize my. If I refuse to accept the fact that he often live irresponsibly, then how can I learn responsibility? If I refuse to accept the fact that I often live passively, then how can I learn activity?

I can not overcome the fear whose reality I deny. I will not be able to correct the problem in relations with colleagues if I do not recognize its existence. I can not change bad character traits if I deny them. I can’t forgive myself for an act that I do not recognize my.

The word “accept” does not have to “feel sympathy”, “enjoy” or “approve”. I can accept what is, and resolutely abstract from what is happening. Moving forward is prevented by me, not accepting, but denial. I can’t honestly stand up for myself and build self -esteem if I do not accept myself.

The third level

Be a friend of oneself

Suppose I committed an act that I am sorry or I am ashamed, and now I reproach myself for this. Self -acceptance does not deny reality, but analyzes the context of the act. It wants to get an answer to the question “Why?”. He wants to know why something wrong or unworthy was felt as desirable, adequate or even necessary at the time of completion.

We do not understand another person if we only know that his act was wrong, evil, destructive. You need to take into account the internal prerequisites. There is always a certain context in which even the most hostile actions have its own meaning.

This has nothing to do with attempts to find excuses, to evade responsibility. Such an accepting, compassionate interest not only does not encourage undesirable behavior, but also reduces the likelihood of repetition.

Wanting to reproach others or encourage them to correct mistakes, we must strive to do it so as not to harm self -esteem. After all, further behavior of people will be determined by their idea of themselves. We must demonstrate the same benevolence against ourselves. This is the virtue of self -esteem.


Stand in front of a large mirror (preferably – completely exposed) and carefully examine the face and body. Mark what feelings you experience. Are you comfortable? It is difficult for most people to look at some parts of their body longer than a second, because what they saw is worried or upset.

Perhaps you are too fat or thin? Or see signs of aging that cause unbearable thoughts, emotions? Perhaps you want to escape from awareness, reject, reject, disown some aspects of your “I”.

And yet, as an experiment, I ask you for a few more moments not to look away from the reflection, saying to myself: “Whatever my shortcomings and imperfections, I accept myself entirely and unconditionally”.

Save concentration, breathe deeply and calmly repeat these words again and again for two minutes. Feel their deep meaning.

Perhaps the internal “I” protest: “But I don’t like my body! How can I accept it entirely and unconditionally?”

“Accept” does not mean “love”. Acceptance does not mean that we cannot imagine or desire changes and improvements. It only says that the fact is a fact, and it is not necessary to deny it and avoid it.

In our case, this means taking the face and body in the mirror. They are what they are. If you stop resisting reality, you will open up to awareness (namely, this, ultimately, means accepting), then you may feel a slight relaxation. You will be more comfortable with you.

Now you are able to say: “Here and now

– it’s me. And I do not deny this, I accept myself “. This is respect for reality. Performing this exercise for two minutes every morning and evening for two weeks, people soon begin to feel the relationship between acceptance of themselves and self -esteem. Is it possible to imagine that we love ourselves if we despise our reflection in the mirror?

Having accepted themselves, people make another important discovery. They not only establish more harmonious relations with themselves, feel the growth of their effectiveness and self -esteem, but also gain a strong motivation for changes. We have no incentive to change what we deny the reality. Having accepted an event or phenomenon, we become stronger and more concentrated. Cursing and resisting, we deprive ourselves.

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