self-acceptanceWhat’s wrong with you? We’ve all been asked that question. It’s one thing to be asked that question from someone when there seems to be a problem. However, a lot of us ask ourselves that same question nearly all the time. We walk around feeling as if there is, indeed, something wrong with us. We see other people as better than we are. We don’t say it out loud, but inside, we have this constant feeling of disapproval for ourselves.

Self-acceptance can be defined as satisfaction and happiness with oneself. We all go through times of lower self-acceptance. Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe we tried to do something and it didn’t work out. Maybe we made a bad decision. Taking a small hit to self-acceptance is rather normal in those times. However, some of us have a pervasive, enduring lack of self-acceptance.

Inside Out Comparisons

When we interact with others, we see their “outside.” We see what they want us to see. We don’t usually see their fears, worries, stressors, and other problems. We see their best self. At the same time, we know ourselves well. We know all of those little problems that no one else sees. This is where we can make dangerous comparisons.

Other people have problems. In all likelihood, they have many of the same problems you have. But you don’t see those. As a result, you compare your problem-ridden inside to their problem-free outside. You have come to believe that if everyone knew the real you, they wouldn’t accept you either. It creates a constant tension to perform, to please others at all cost, and to constantly struggle with the fear that you don’t measure up.

The real you is just fine. Work on what you can. Love yourself and others will too.

The Truth

Yes, there are some things you would like to change. Me too. You might want to lose weight. Maybe you want to be a better singer. Perhaps you would like to decorate the prettiest cakes. Maybe you would like to be more patient as a parent. Perhaps you would like a cleaner house. (Just a side note – if you have small children, wait about 15 years and this will happen on its own!) Having things to improve in your life doesn’t mean you don’t measure up. It means one thing and one thing only – you’re human!

If they’re paying attention to themselves, every human being on planet earth can improve something in their life. Further, there is something in their life that isn’t pleasing to someone else. Believing that you are unique in your struggles will smash your self-acceptance. It will leave you believing no one is as bad as you. The truth is, you are a unique individual but you basically have some of the same flaws as most other people. After all, we’re all human.

None of this is a license to not improve ourselves. We can all use change. By the way, if we see ourselves without a need to change anything, there’s a word for that as well – narcissism – but that’s not you.  Look at your flaws and weaknesses as a product of being human and move on. Improve yourself as you can and accept that you will never be perfect.

Here are 5 tips to improve your self-acceptance:

  1. Accept that you are human and have flaws like everyone else.
  2. Realize that you can never please everyone. It’s impossible.
  3. Face your difficulties head-on instead of avoiding them or trying to hide them.
  4. Be genuine. Stop trying to please everyone and just be you.
  5. Avoid, limit, or end relationships with toxic people.

The real you is just fine. Work on what you can. Love yourself and others will too.


What struggles have you had with self-acceptance? Feel free to comment. We would love to hear from you!