The third week of the Kindness Challenge, created by Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life, is about Self-Acceptance. It’s about accepting ourselves for who we are:
Week 3 Theme | Self-Acceptance
You’ve made it to the final week of self-kindness! I think self-acceptance is the perfect way to round up the three weeks of focusing on self-kindness. We’ve been working on cultivating the relationship we have with ourselves by practicing self-love, then we added self-compassion, and now we’ll focus on accepting ourselves for who we are.
Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.
I think this quote sums up what self-acceptance is about. I believe self-acceptance is releasing the idea that you should be different in some way. Imagine you’re constantly trying to swim upstream, it takes a lot of effort and it’s exhausting! Self-acceptance is about connecting with yourself so that you go with the flow of who you are. It’s about being in alignment with ourselves. Sounds easy enough, but how many times do you second guess yourself, want to change something about yourself, or try to live up to the idea of who you and others think you should be?
By embracing who you are, you’re able to make choices….
Read more about this week’s challenge, including a useful exercise, HERE
For me, self-acceptance, was the hardest goal to achieve and sometimes I still struggle with this. I believe it all comes down to:
Being human equals being different, therefore each of us is unique. Trusting your own Inner-Child, Inner-Voice, Gut-feeling, Instinct, Soul or whatever name you want to give it is not easy due to the fact, that from the day we are born, we are influenced by others around us and that will be the case until the day we die.
That doesn’t have to be an issue when you are surrounded by people who honestly care for you and you are in balance. It will be an issue, if you don’t have enough self-confidence, are out of balance and ignore your own body. Your body literally informs you the moment you go against your own soul. A headache, trouble sleeping, restless and/or tired all the time, lack of appetite or craving for food, etc.? When medical healthy; start focussing at that voice your hear, which you probably dismissed as annoying 😉
That uncomfortable feeling you get in the presence of another person, or those hairs in your neck rising in a certain situation? Your body is warning you!
However, even if you do recognize the signals, listening to these is easier said than done. I know, I KNOW! In order to that, you have to let go.
Let go of wanting to perfect. Brene Brown and other wise people have shared their wisdom with us for many years. There is no such thing as being perfect. Nothing and nobody is perfect! I always say; we need both the positive as the negative. Without the negative, how would we even know about the positive 😉
Me personally, still today, I find myself regularly thinking ‘what would they think?’ and ‘am I doing it correctly?’ I started to ask myself the question ‘how do you feel yourself about X ?’ That can be a person, a situation or task. In addition reminding myself you can’t always change or control X. There is nothing wrong with verifying your opinion, feeling, idea, thoughts, actions with others, but balance is also key here. For me, it’s mostly about trusting my own capabilities and knowing I am not crazy.
Another ongoing struggle for me is time. Constantly wanting to do more than in a day fits. Deborah Weber wrote a very helpful piece:
For me this week has been a struggle with not getting nearly as much done as I’d intended. Dialing into compassion allows me to recognize that I really need to honor my unique creative pattern – I have a very organic flow of energy that follows rhythms that are not connected to the number of things on my to-do list. And I recognize that I will always, always, always have a billion more ideas of things that excite me, pique my curiosity and engender delight than I can possibly get to in the course of a week. Or a year. Or a lifetime. I have to face the fact that I’ll have to carry some of that list of explorations into my next incarnation.
Although I am not sure if I will re-incarnate again; I too have to accept I won’t be able to do all I would like to do on a day, in a week, in my lifetime.
Does that mean I have to let go all my dreams? Not at all! By being a bit more realistic about it, it is easier to prioritize and make more thoughtful choices.
Self-love, Self-Compassion, Self-Acceptance… Important to be able to be happy with and about yourself:
Happiness is when what we say and what we think and what we do are in harmony. Ghandi
Missed my input for week 1 and 2? You can read it HERE and HERE
Never let go of your dreams! Of wel in het Nederlands…Loslaten = anders vastpakken 🙂 xx
Thank you dear Helena!
Dat is een mooie gedachte 🙂 Mede dankzij jou ben ik ook ietwat anders gaan denken over ‘hard zijn tegen je zelf’. Vind nog steeds dat je jezelf soms even een schop onder je eigen achterste moet geven, maar dat kan ook op een aardige manier 😉
Enjoyed your insights, I agree that being realistic about what can be accomplished within a certain time frame is critical in making better choices. Good luck on you “Let Go” journey!
Thank you for reading and the kind response! XxX
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! I encourage you to seek out resources that will support you on this journey you’re on because although this portion of the challenge is over, it never really ends. Wishing you all that you need to support you. Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the challenge goes <3
Thank you again for taking the time to hop over here (missed you at week 2)!
I’m currently studying Existential Well-Being Coach, hope to finish by the end of June. A lot of personal exercises beside the study material, so don’t worry: I am going ‘deep’ 😉
But I really appreciate your kind words , advice and care! Big hug, XxX
I must have missed the link! I try to visit each entry that’s linked. Sorry about that, I’ll go back and look for it <3
That's awesome Patty! Keep digging deep! <3 <3 <3
Oh, didn’t mean it like it probably came across. You must have already enough at your plate! So, no pressure!
No, no worries at all. I just genuinely try to read them all but some do get lost in the shuffle ?
To be honest; I am curious what you think of my input for the second challenge…so, if you find the time: https://pattywolters.com/blog/2017/05/23/kindness-challenge-week-2-self-compassion/
Perfect, heading over now <3
you’re absolutely right – it is about letting go! And this inner voice, the guts-feeling – this is for me too the true self. That’s why I wrote that we cannot know it, we can only feel. Great text!
Thank you ! And yes! I watched an episode of Genius last night about Albert Einstein and he had a beautiful quote “Imagination is more important than knowledge.For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
I feel we could also use the words ‘true self’ instead of (or in addition) imagination.
I know this quote! And yes – our true self knows already everythng we need to know ?
so well done, Patty – I certainly have many moments of self doubt. reminds me of some I know who seem to live their whole lives as if they’re constantly wondering what to do, how to act — as if they’re hollow actors …
Thanks dear Daal !
Ah, yes…some people forget to be realistic 😉
I think you’re really on to something Patty – the practice of always checking in with yourself about what you’re feeling, what your opinion, your beliefs are. That to me is part of sovereignty, and when we can honor our own knowing things can really shift.
I think your understanding of how the pursuit of perfection is can really be debilitating is important too. I’ve been thinking lately about how we might change that. How we can teach it’s important to put effort into things, and practice to uplevel our skills, but somehow remove perfection as the driving force of what people are trying to achieve. And it seems to me to be a bit of a paradox. That we have to embrace self-acceptance and understand we’re perfectly fine and worthy even though we’re flawed and imperfect. And only until we do that, can we release that perfection drive. Seems kind of backwards, but then again, sometimes my brain likes to take the back door. 🙂
BTW, I’m delighted you found my musings about time helpful. Figuring this all out – finding our balance and welcoming growth is such an interesting and on-going dance isn’t it?!
But life itself is a paradox, isn’t it? We constantly searching for meaning of life, trying to deny it will end at some point. At the moment I am enrolled in a study Existential Well-Being Counseling and I just have been reading about instead of searching for the meaning OF life, searching for meaning IN life. Being kind to yourself is to me a perfect example of how to do that. Finding the meaning for/about yourself, can lead to understanding your place in this world, right? Subsequently, it can lead to the answer for the meaning OF life…
At the same time, I think, maybe, we make it our selves to difficult and doesn’t life, and living, have to be complex at all.
Sometimes it just is what it is. No more, no less.
Nice post respectively series of posts!
Self-acceptance is indeed key for me too, even a precondition for self-love and compassion. I think we have so many influences to resist that want us to keep dependent on others opinion. Shame is always a reliable alert that we are trying to measure up to something not genuine/authentic to us. As you conclude with Ghandi, this is about integrity.
I feel from your post that you try to balance, find a compromise regarding what your dreams are and what you think is realistic. Do we really have to do that? Can’t we rather operate at different levels, e.g., we can fly in our dreams, in our perception, and we can even express our imagination of flying in art, etc. I just want to say that instead of scale down our expectations, we may scale up our imagination and appreciation of different level experiences (which all are part of human reality). That feels better for me and supports self-acceptance without compromising too much on our dreams. And it keeps the possibility for different level manifestation open!
Thank you for your reply dear Mathias. I can’t find the right words to explain my thoughts about your thoughts and suggestion at the moment. But want to wish you a wonderful weekend and maybe I will come back to it later. XxX
Dear Patty. That is totally fine. I was reacting because the post positively spoke to me. My intentionally a bit provoking (for discussion purposes) point can also just stand like that. All fine with your post anyway! Thank you, I wish you a wonderful weekend as well. Take care!
Yes, and I like to discuss with you. But I want to take the time to explore if my immediate reaction to yours is really how I feel/think about it 😉
Agreed. Life’s so much easier when you’re comfortable with yourself.
Thanks Katherin. I value your opinion/thoughts highly. XxX