Open the Doors to Progress By Loving, Accepting, and Forgiving Yourself
Why Is It Important to Love and Accept Yourself?
Many people talk about the importance of loving and accepting yourself, but the truth is that it can be just plain difficult to do. After all, you know more about your flaws and weaknesses than anyone else does, so why wouldn't you be your harshest critic?
On top of that, there are a lot of people that believe that there is something inherently wrong about accepting yourself the way you are (which we will address a little bit later).
Getting back to the point though, there are many reasons that it is important to love and accept yourself. I will list a couple here, but truly the list could go on and on.
- You will experience an increase of joy when you can love and accept every part of yourself. I have a firm belief that one of our most important purposes here during this life experience is to have joy. I don't know anyone who feels joyful when they are experiencing negative emotions about themselves. When we are with the people that we love, we are joyful, and we are able to love them even knowing that they have weaknesses. when we are with people that we don't love or don't fully accept, we often feel uncomfortable or even unhappy. Since we have to be with ourselves all the time, doesn't it make sense to love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are.
- You will experience greater confidence and success when you love and accept yourself. This probably seems fairly obvious, but a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem is a natural result of being able to love and accept yourself. A lot of times building up the confidence and courage to try is one of the most difficult challenges people face when it comes to achieving goals and living their dreams. A healthy dose of confidence will give you the courage to keep trying even when things get difficult.
Do you find it more difficult to forgive yourself than others?
Accepting Yourself Does Not Mean You Are Lowering Your Standards for Yourself. It Means You Can Forgive Your Past
As I mentioned before, a lot of people think there is something inherently wrong with accepting themselves.
This is usually because they believe that if they accept the parts of themselves that they see as weaknesses, they won't have any motivation to improve themselves and reach their potential in the future.
Accepting yourself doesn't mean that you have lowered your standards or that you are never going to grow, learn, or improve upon the wonderful person that you already are.
In fact, many people who find themselves in a situation of feeling stuck discover that once they are able to accept and forgive their weaknesses and flaws, validating themselves in their current situation, they are better able to move on and make the improvements that they want to see in themselves.
Accepting yourself simply means that you can look at your weaknesses, see that you are human, and love yourself regardless of whether you have weaknesses or not.
Do you think it's possible that you can accept yourself and still feel motivated to improve yourself?
Loving and Accepting Yourself Gives You the Courage to Dig Deeper and Figure Out What's Holding You Back
When we don't love and accept ourselves, it can be really scary to dig deep and ask ourselves why we are the way that we are, but when we do accept ourselves, we can feel comfort in the fact that we aren't going to beat ourselves up over every little weakness that we discover.
This is where self acceptance can really open the doors to personal growth. Once we can fearlessly look at what is causing us to make poor choices or continue with habits and addictions that hinder our progress, we can more clearly see how to overcome those barriers.
Don't be afraid to let this be a really deep soul searching experience, and don't be surprised if there are some powerful thoughts and emotions that come up as you delve into what's really going on inside.
The emotions and memories that you experience are useful tools to help you understand what your triggers are and where you have room for personal growth.
Forgive Yourself for Your Weaknesses, and Move Forward
As I mentioned before, you are probably going to experience some powerful emotions as you strive to figure out what's really holding you back. Validate yourself in feeling those emotions and recognize that it was perfectly normal to feel that way in the situation that you were in.
Recognize that the negative choices, habits, addictions, etc that you turned to were merely mechanisms that you used to cope with a situation that you felt was emotionally too overwhelming for you to handle on your own, and forgive yourself for giving in during that weak moment.
Forgiveness is a very empowering tool.
You have probably experienced the feeling of a burden being lifted from your heart and mind when you forgave someone who you were upset with in the past. You've probably seen how forgiveness breaks down walls and makes room for progress.
You will have that same experience when you forgive yourself. Get ready to feel empowered and ready to move forward with life!
I have an additional step in this forgiveness process that is important to me, but I recognize that it might not jive well with those that don't share my Christian background, so I'm just throwing out a warning here that rest of this section will include my religious beliefs.
Now you can't say you weren't warned.
In addition to forgiving myself, I personally have a strong belief that it is important to ask my Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, healing, and help to overcome through the enabling power of his atonement.
In fact, I've come to recognize that for me, accepting my weaknesses and forgiving myself has a lot to do with accepting that I chose to turn to something else (a bad choice, habit, etc.) rather than my Savior in an emotional time of need.
As soon as I can recognize that, forgive myself, and ask for forgiveness from my Savior, I experience a miraculous amount of healing. After all, Christ can heal all wounds.
Celebrate Your Successes
As I mentioned before, once you have learned to love, accept, and forgive yourself, you are well on your way to some amazing progress and growth, and that's a great reason to celebrate!
That doesn't mean that you will never fall short, but now that you have the tools to deal with your weaknesses in a healthy manner, you can continue to treat yourself with tender love and care and encourage yourself along the way instead of beating yourself up over every little mistake.
Celebrate each time that you are able to love and forgive yourself! Celebrate the times when you can see that you have made progress and didn't give into a weakness at a time when you felt a bit triggered! Celebrate the new person that you are becoming!
By the way, celebrating the new person you are becoming doesn't mean that you don't love and accept the person that you used to be.
That person that you used to be has taught you some valuable lessons and you should treasure that. It is extremely important to your growth that you continue to love and accept every part of yourself (both past and present).