In 2016 “How to accept myself for who I am” was one of the most commonly searched terms on Google. So if you’re feeling isolated on this issue, think again. This topic isn’t covered in schools; like many life lessons it takes experience and is a very personal journey. This article is here to help you understand why so many are struggling to accept themselves and look at what the experts say about symptoms and remedies.
The Era of ‘Transparency’
“We are able to see more than ever before what people are doing. We see an edited view of people’s lives on social media,” – Jessica Chivers, coaching psychologist and author
Ever had the feeling that everyone’s having a better life than you? This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has been amplified since the emergence of social media. Companies spend billions on exploiting these emotions, which is why the biggest social media celebs are paid so well to present the ‘dream life’ and why many go to unimaginable lengths to aspire to it.
Check out this clip by Ditch The Label, a pro-equality and anti-bullying charity. It shows a girl faking a ‘just woke up’ selfie and a guy trying on multiple outfits and pretending he ‘effortlessly’ got dressed that day. Another guy takes a shot of his ‘healthy breakfast’ then throws it straight in the bin.
We're all guilty of twisting the truth a little bit on social media, but at which point has it gone too far? We've partnered with boohoo.com to expose the most common lies that people tell on social media. Tag a friend who is most likely to relate and enjoy the video! 😲😂😳* If you're impacted by any of the issues shown in the video visit www.DitchtheLabel.org for help and support.
Posted by Ditch the Label on Monday, February 20, 2017
You may think this might be OTT but they definitely get the message across.
Here’s another example from model Imre Çeçen, she reveals the shocking reality behind some of her picture-perfect Instagram bikini shots. She also stated that the reason why it seems like all “Insta models” look amazing all the time is because they only post pictures with decent lighting.
So it’s important to understand that not everything is how its seems on social media, you may already know this, but I too have to remind myself from time to time. You can easily get caught up in all, but remember you’re only getting a glimpse into a part of someone’s life they want you to see. You never see the work put into getting that perfect shot and you hardly see the real their flaws.
When you start feeling this way it’s good to take a step back and occupy your mind with other things that make you feel good about yourself. For instance taking a walk, listening to your favourite music, catching up with friends face to face and not online. Social media is not real life and it can’t replace real interactions and real relationships strive to pursue that instead.
We all have regrets, but some dwell on them more than others, whats worse is that some dwell on the wrong things even more.
In the book Secrets of Resilient People: 50 Techniques to Be Strong by John Lees, he speak about a concept of not dwelling on the past to the point where it stops you from moving on. This is a very powerful tool of resilient people, he highlights early studies following the lives of children who became refugees because of the Second World War, including Holocaust survivors. Experts were puzzled to find some children quickly adjusted to balanced, purposeful lives, while others had debilitating problems all the way into adulthood.
Human beings can be incredibly resilient – have you ever shocked yourself at how well you’ve coped with a situation you never thought you would be strong enough to deal with? Well, this is the basis of this kind of thinking and that relatively small adjustments to mindsets can have a major impact on your future well-being and optimism.
When we recall past mistakes and events that we perceive negatively it’s often due to regret. Regret because we wish things happened or we did things differently. The ability to recover not only comes from learning from past experiences and drawing out the positive of whatever situation that you can, but also strength from outside resources within our control like supportive people, coaches, mentors.
Ryan Howes, Ph.D, a psychologist in Pasadena, California suggests that many of our problems with self-acceptance come from our inability to accept who we are as compared with the idealized dreams of our youth. “Maybe you dreamed about becoming an Olympic athlete or a multi-millionaire or staying married forever or having a big family” say Howes “Whatever your dreams or goals, mourn that they didn’t come to pass, he said. Then “get back to being the best you possible.”
Accept your strengths and weaknesses
If you don’t know what they are then there’s no better time to start than now. Some of us sadly never quite manage to do this and go to great lengths to avoid accepting what we’re not good at. Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses – highlight what yours are and accept them. Having a clear understanding of what you’re best at and focusing on these gives you a healthier direction of where you want to go in life. At the sames time knowing where your weaknesses lie and accepting them is just as powerful as a tool.
Psychologist John Duffy, PsyD suggests writing them down “start with something basic like “I’m a kind person”. We often underestimate where are strengths are so once the made clear then it’s much easier to embrace them. Start small and try to use one of your strength more in your daily life – give your self the TIME to grow and you’ll soon see results.
Still the voices in your head
I’ve touched on this topic on several occasions – sometime we are our own worst enemies. The sometime viscous lies we tell ourselves lead to our own destruction. Tony Robbins the well-renowned author, entrepreneur, and life coach the questions we unconsciously ask ourselves directly effect how we deal with our situations. For example if you constantly ask yourself “Why am I such a failure?” your guaranteed to give yourself a negative answer like “Because I’m stupid” or “Because I was born this way”. Instead asking yourself something like “How can I get better at this?” or “What solutions can I come up with?” sets you up for a more constructive answer and you can be sure that your min will come up with and answer to any question you ask despite how smart you think you are.
The thoughts we entertain directly impact what we believe about ourselves, if you struggle with giving yourself the positivity you need on a daily basis check out some of my favourite daily affirmations on Youtube:
If you are asking this question then chances are that are new to these concepts, if so be aware that self acceptance is probably longest journey you will experience in life and something that you will be learning to master for a very long time. Time is the key to accepting and loving who you are as well as taking positive steps towards it.
Let me know your thought – please like, share and comment I would love to know your ideas on this topic.