Self-Esteem and Self-Acceptance

Many people are searching for acceptance outside of themselves when they haven’t yet learned to accept themselves. Self- acceptance means being O.K. with WHO you are and WHERE you are. It means being kind to yourself even when you make mistakes, fail, or do really stupid things. It requires developing some self-discipline and should be a parenting priority.

Self-acceptance is a close relative to self-esteem. It is difficult to have one without the other, and, if you have one, you will tend to have the other.

There may be many reasons why people have low self-acceptance but most fall into one or more of the following areas: a perceived desire to be perfect, a focus on imperfections rather than on blessings, the desire for approval and to be liked, a strong desire to please others, an extraordinary concern for other people’s opinions and views , feeling inadequate due to some perceived lack of ability or skill, and/or emotional immaturity.

To accept yourself fully is to recognize that not everyone you meet will like you and that you will never be perfect—excellent perhaps but not perfect. We are never finished making mistakes or doing foolish things. Falling is natural; not getting up is the problem. A happy and contented life is not about what happens or why, but rather about how you deal with situations.

The key to gaining self-acceptance is to recognize that you are engaged in a process of continual learning.

Former U.S. Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen once said, “I am a man of principle, and my first principle is a willingness to change my mind.” If your self-talk has not been one of fully accepting yourself, you have the option of changing the conversation.

It is your most important responsibility.