The Road to Self-Acceptance

What if I told you that accepting yourself as you are right now is a powerful first step toward your success?

At JAIA, young adults like yourself show us every day the power of persisting with your life vision in spite of the obstacles you may be facing at home, at school, or with relationships. 

JAIA’s Life Principle of the month for September 2020 is ACCEPTANCE!

Let’s start with a few dictionary definitions

Acceptance

The act of accepting something or someone

Feelings of satisfaction with one’s self despite deficiencies and regardless of past behaviors and choices

Self- Acceptance

The act or state of understanding and recognizing one’s own abilities and limitations

JAIAnt Thoughts…

We asked our JAIAnts (JAIA YOUth Leaders) to share their thoughts on self-acceptance with the following three questions: 1) How do you define “Self Acceptance” for yourself? 2) In what situation have you applied “Self Acceptance,” and 3) What was your result?

Damian D, age 24

“Self-acceptance is standing in your truth with confidence no matter the pimple on your face, or the 15 pounds you gained during quarantine. Self-acceptance appears in my personal life most when writing music and I’m having to tell myself that if I’m connected to these lyrics so will the rest of the world. After that I woosah (exhale) and continue creating. It’s one of my most calming moments.”

Shawuana, age 21 

“Self acceptance means loving who I am in that moment of time. I’m always growing, learning, making mistakes, and through all of those phases, being able to love myself because of all of those aspects. 

I apply it mainly during the times when I feel like I could have done something differently; I used to beat myself up for my mistakes. Now I try to live with an open heart for myself, to take a breath and accept myself for those things. Besides, I have to live with myself for the rest of my life.

When I accept myself, I feel lighter and feel safe in my own body. I can now look in the mirror and love everything I see. I can also express myself in the many ways I do and not feel scared. I also have been able to inspire others as well.”

Takeaways… Do/Don’t 

DO learn to be comfortable with yourself as you are today, even if it feels awkward at first. With self-acceptance you have an advantage: you can choose what you want to believe about yourself, even in the face of negative self-talk. Say to yourself, you are a fine tuned creative being here for a purpose that is uniquely yours, and you can inspire others by being you.

Like learning a new language, the more you practice self- acceptance, 

the easier it gets. 

DON’T compare yourself to others. Consider comparison to be the most dangerous internal weapon of all. Each person’s experience is unique to them.  Rather than focusing on what’s outside of yourself, focus on the inside. Look at your talents and aspirations, the unique way you express yourself. Then ask yourself what kind of world you want to live in, and how you can use your talents to add your piece/peace to it.

Benefits of self- acceptance

Practicing self acceptance benefit’s you by:

  • Reducing your negative self-talk, 
  • Increasing your self-confidence and self-worth, 
  • Reminds you that you are fully human, and talented at the same time,
  • Helps you to see what you need and to ask for support

How else does self- acceptance benefit you? Feel free to add to the list in the comment box below.

Encouragement goes a long way

Encouragement from mentors and adults you trust can help you build your self-acceptance muscle. What do you need from them to support you in this part of your journey?

  • A listening ear when you are not feeling confident?
  • Quality time to brainstorm ideas?
  • Occasional tough love when you need to get moving again?

You are your most powerful when you can accept yourself fully, even through the missteps or so-called flaws. The combination makes you uniquely you and the world needs you for that. 

Let us know in the comments how you believe adults can support you with strengthening yourself-acceptance muscle. Your response may inspire someone today!

Gena Jefferson

Founder/CEO JAIAYouth

One thought on “The Road to Self-Acceptance

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