Sewanee was on the path to becoming a successful actress when an accident changed everything. Suddenly, she had a scar and patch covering one eye. Sewanee adjusted her professional life and relationship expectations. She became an audiobook narrator, a job she enjoyed as it utilized her acting skills in a different environment. And Sewanee nurtured relationships with people she loved, including her best friend, colleagues, and grandmother.
But, after the accident, Sewanee struggled to accept herself. She enjoyed her job but was embarrassed about the substance of the work and mired in the fact that it was a fallback career. And, when someone she liked showed genuine romantic interest in her, she didn’t believe him – thinking it unlikely that he loved someone who looked like her.
Sewanee lacked self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is acknowledging your strengths and imperfections without letting either define you. It’s being comfortable with making mistakes, having unique preferences, looking different, and evolving as you grow.
People who experience self-acceptance worry less. They are also happier and more resilient. In relationships, people who accept themselves are more authentic and open, enabling deeper and more meaningful connections.
Here are some tips to strengthen your self-acceptance:
Limit Negative Self-Talk: Stop bullying yourself, and be as kind in your thoughts as you would be to a stranger.
Focus on the Positive: Seek silver linings instead of dwelling on negatives. Try for three positive thoughts for every negative one.
Embrace a Growth Mindset: Reframe mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
Avoid Comparing: Instead of thinking about others, do things that make you feel proud.
Value your Priorities: Identify your principles and make decisions that reflect these ideals.