Accepting ourselves as we are is one of the great challenges we humans will undertake. We’ve been given a long list of reasons why we should not accept ourselves: we’re either not enough or we’re too much of something.  We think we need what someone else has in order to be able to accept ourselves and be happy. It’s exhausting and fruitless work that will never produce the desired result.

“The idea of perfectionism is a trap….nobody is perfect; nobody has it all together.”        Kathie Donovan

I have great news. Accepting ourselves as we are is an ongoing process because as human beings, we are always changing and hopefully growing. At some points on our life adventure, we’re wrapped up in our work lives, often defining ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. The truth is that who we are is the underpinning of how we operate in our work lives, so it’s important that we learn about self-acceptance, so we don’t fall into the trap of judging ourselves as not enough or comparing ourselves with other people instead of appreciating the value we bring to a situation.

Often, trauma can leave us feeling unsure of ourselves. Unexpected experiences in our personal and professional lives can undermine our confidence and prevent us from embracing change. I know in my own experience when I’ve been sidelined by a life event, I’ve felt completely unmoored but over time, I found my way often with a little more wisdom to add to the pile, which ultimately made me feel more confident in myself.  

I’ve come to really appreciate how resilient I am and I want to encourage you to do the same. In fact, I want to encourage you to see all the good in you, so you take the focus off of all the things you “think” are wrong. Indeed there’s no such thing as anything wrong with you and learning to accept yourself as you are is the superpower that will help reinforce that truth. 

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”  -Dr. Seuss

There is only one of you; only one with your style, your shade of beautiful, your gifts and your personality. Isn’t that a cool concept to consider? Yes, we’re one of millions on the planet but there is only one you and that’s pretty special.

Too many people mourn the loss of their youth instead of appreciating the gift of getting older. There are challenges in every phase of life but there are so many gifts in this stage of life and I want you to encourage you to embrace them because not everyone has the opportunity to experience growing older.

Learning to appreciate that other people’s opinions are a reflection of them and have nothing to do with us really frees us to choose what we really want. Letting go of situations we have no control over frees up bandwidth in our mind to focus on what we can be in charge of and that comes back to our thoughts about ourselves and the values we want to uphold in our life choices.

As our body ages, one aspect remains ageless and that’s our character; that’s the driving force we should focus on because age doesn’t define who we are, our character does. When we’re clear about our values and make choices that are aligned with them, we can feel confident that our life is a reflection of what we truly want. I celebrate, educate on and promote ageless living because I believe that is truly freedom living. Out of this mindset comes compassion and kindness toward ourselves and others instead of judgment and we become powerful in the best possible way. We’re available to see that we have good qualities and we see the good in others too. It’s true that we’re so ready to accept our weaknesses and flaws but we’re not taught to accept our greatness, which includes our intellect, emotional intelligence, our capacity to be compassionate and kind as well as recognizing our physical beauty, flaws and all.

“You are the only person you can count on to make you happy.”  -Kathie Donovan

Happiness and self-acceptance go together because we can only experience as much happiness as we feel worthy of having.  Remember that experiences happen in all of our lives both positive and challenging but none of them defines us; it’s how we respond to the situations that happen and how we handle them that will determine how we feel: whether we feel powerless or empowered.

I want to encourage you, as I encourage myself to celebrate being perfectly imperfect. Don’t let anything from your past inhibit your life today. Every new day is an opportunity to begin again with a fresh approach that will bring great reward.

Here are a few pointers to help you accept your greatness:

1-Challenge the limiting beliefs you have about yourself and your possibilities.

2- Recognize your strengths and play to them every day because they’re uniquely yours.

3- There is only one you. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else.

4- Forgive yourself for any misunderstandings you may have about situations in the past.

 5- Always be kind.

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