How to Accept Yourself and Live More Happily

Self-acceptance is the key to solve various psychological problems, from low self-esteem to body image issues.

Learning how to accept yourself is difficult, and we often feel self-conscious for our perceived flaws. It becomes harder for people with negative experiences, such as abuse and bullying. However, it does not mean that you cannot learn it.

Why Self-acceptance Is Important

Developing self-acceptance will bring you long-term benefits. Some of them are:

  • Physical and emotional health

Do you know that chronic stress causes tons of physical and mental problems? Self-acceptance reduces the possibility of developing chronic stress, giving you a healthier life.

  • Better social relationship

Self-acceptance teaches you to be more humble, open-minded, and flexible when dealing with people. It will nurture your social relationship and overall positive environment.

  • Free from rumination

Rumination is when you keep negative things and memories in your mind, even long after the actual situation passes. It also makes you analyze things constantly, resulting in stress. Self-acceptance free you from this bad habit, because you learn to think that positive and negative things are parts of this world.

  • Better problem-solving skill

You cannot solve a problem if you keep being denial about what just happened. Self-acceptance helps you to see a problem with a clearer mind, because you acknowledge the faults or mistakes.

Self-acceptance also demands you to reevaluate your mind and view, which makes it a difficult thing to do for many people. Learning to accept yourself needs a long time, but you can do it with the right steps.

Steps to Accept Yourself

Psychotherapists have unique ways to help their clients to accept themselves, but their strategies share common grounds. Here are things you can do to accept yourself:

  1. Start with a strong intention

This sounds simple, but intention determines you will be successful or not. Having an intention means you are ready to reevaluate your mind, view, even prejudice to get better. Knowing that self-acceptance can cure is the first stage of positive chain reaction.

  1. List your strength

You must know your potentials to start a self-accepting journey. Make a list of things that you are proud of (don’t be bashful about them!). For example, you may be generous when helping people. You listen well when others share their problems. You always make the best of all situations. Make this list on a paper for more realistic “punch.”

  1. Choose your friends and families

Some friends and even family members can become toxic if they keep making you feel low and unworthy. Think about people in your life, especially those that surround you. Do they keep bringing down? Do they lift your spirit when you feel negative? Once you pinpoint the negative people, you can reduce the meeting frequency.

  1. Get closer with a support system

Once you identify the positive people, get closer to them. Be more open and share your stories with the most reliable one(s). Ask for their supports and nurture good relationships with them in return. These people will become your beacons and supporters for a long time.

  1. Reconcile with your mistakes and lost dreams

Many people cannot accept themselves because they still pine to past mistakes and lost dreams. Try to slowly release these past burdens. Think all the good things that happen in your present life, and how they matter more than woes from the past. Say to yourself: “that was the best thing I could do with my limited information, views, and experiences.”

  1. Get involved with charitable or social activities

Shifting your perspectives is great to feel more positive and not blaming self. Charity or social activities will “force” you to see other realities, which may be more unpleasant than yours. You can also experience joy from giving and taking care of others. Find manageable activities near your house, such as shelter volunteering, blood drive, homeless service, and such.

  1. Take care of yourself

The lack of self-acceptance can lead to harmful behaviors toward self. For example, you may not eat and sleep well, or abuse drugs and alcohol. Taking care of yourself is a way to feel better, which makes accepting yourself easier. Continue a hobby you neglect, such as playing instruments, gardening, or painting. Read, listen to music, do yoga, and play with pets to feel better.

  1. Channel your best inner self

Visualize your most ideal self. Is he a generous but wise person? Does she have more confidence and assertiveness than you right now? Now, imagine that ideal person talks to you. What he/she will say so you can follow the step? This mental exercise is great to create an inner perspective, guiding you to become a better person and stop blaming yourself.

Constantly blaming and criticizing yourself is exhausting, frustrating, and sink you to the deepest despair.

Learning how to accept yourself is the best way to live your fullest, with all your potentials. Combine internal and external supports to finally free your mind from vicious blame and critics.

Why You Must Develop an Abundance Mentality

“The world is big enough for us.”

“When others achieve something great, I feel happy for them.”

“I won’t grow if I don’t try, but I also know when I should feel enough.”

If you say “amen” to these phrases and even apply them in real life, you may have an abundance mentality. As the name suggests, it is a mental state that perceives the world as big, rich, and full of possibilities, which means there is something for everyone.

In the world where many are busy comparing themselves with others, having this mentality will make you a mature and wise person. Here is everything you need to know about this positive mental state, and how you can achieve it.

Abundance VS Scarcity Mentality

Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, compared “abundance” with “scarcity” in mentality. According to him, people with a scarcity mentality always think that there are just enough things in this world, which means we must compete, trample, and be selfish to gain what we want. Abundance mentality is the complete opposite.

If you have an abundance mentality, you view the world as a big place, where everyone may get the same “slice of pie.” You think large and believe that there is a place for everyone. It stops you from feeling bitter and negative when someone else achieves success.

Abundance mentality also stops you from putting priorities at wrong places. Since you don’t view the world as a “scarce” place, you avoid the burden of competing or comparing yourself with others. You know what you want to achieve in life, and you don’t have a problem with others being successful in different things.

Differences between Abundance and Scarcity Mentality

Several key traits distinguish abundance from a scarcity mentality. Here are seven main differences between them:

  • Welcoming vs avoiding change

Abundance mentality allows you to embrace change as an integral part of life. You understand that change is inevitable, and always get ready to face the challenges it brings. You always try to achieve the best outcome from changes.

Scarcity mentality makes you fear change. You feel that the world doesn’t offer anything worthwhile. Therefore, you spend time trying to avoid changes, perhaps whining or complaining all the time.

  • Survivor vs victim mentality

When you think that the world is wide, abundant, and full of possibilities, you will never give up. Every failure or disaster is an opportunity to prove that you are resilient. Survivor mentality has helped many people to go through difficult situations.

If you have a scarcity mentality, you will always think of yourself as a victim. You view the world as an eternal negative place, without hopes and possibilities.

  • “Student of life” vs “know-it-all.”

Abundance mentality urges people to always learn. You will never feel that you know everything. You always want the opportunity to learn, understand, and make yourself a better person. You also don’t want to act arrogant, because other people know something you don’t.

People with a scarcity mentality don’t like to think that others might know more. They always want to top everyone else, even boasting their knowledge. This trait stunts their ability to learn and grow, limiting their view.

  • Active vs passive-reactive

People with an abundance mentality has a proactive approach in life. Because they perceive the world as full of possibilities, they are not afraid to take initiative and try new things. They also plan and strategize life plans, to get ready when facing sudden challenges.

Scarcity mentality makes people act more passively because they tend to have a more pessimistic view toward the future. They only react when something negative happens, which does not help much.

People with abundant mentality feel genuinely happy when others achieve something great. On the contrary, people with a scarcity mentality feel bitter when this happens, and even compare themselves to others.

How to Develop an Abundance Mentality

You can train your mind to develop an abundance mentality. Here are several tips:

  • Appreciate your positive points

Make a list of positive qualities that you have. Writing them on a paper make them look more realistic. Repeat them in front of the mirror every morning to remind yourself.

  • Express positivity for others’ fortunes/achievements

When someone you know experiences something good, don’t hold back your positive expressions. Congratulating or praising people may feel weird at first, but you will experience positive feelings.

  • Surround yourself with positive people

Your mind can get influenced by people you interact with. Surround your life with people that bring positivity. Even if one or two have the tendency of a scarcity mentality, having a lot of positive friends can counterbalance the effect.

  • See misfortunes as opportunities

When misfortunes or bad things happen, switch the way you perceive them. Think about the possible opportunities you can take to grow and get stronger from experience.

Finally, think the world as a bigger place than what you perceive. Everyone gets his or her opportunities in life, and so do you.

Having an abundance mentality will help you to be more optimistic and less bitter. Try developing the characteristics, and see how much better your world perception is!