Invalidation of Core Self
Before I share with you my 4 steps, let me tell you a bit about my personal growth into self acceptance. My parents divorced in my childhood. What that told me about my self-absorbed child self was that I was not enough to make them happy to keep them together. Then, throughout my high school career, I was bullied. My first serious relationship began just after graduating high school. I got married and moved away at 18. This relationship quickly turned abusive and ended in divorce. I then began to exercise profusely which caused my relationship with food to become toxic.
I believed I had to look and act a certain way to be loved, beautiful, worthy, and accepted. I was lost and completely unsure of who I was.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”Maya Angelou
Am I Ready to Heal?
Healing has taken me some time (4 years to even begin to understand true healing) but finally, with much reflection, I learned to be proud of who I was, flaws and all, even in those extremely tough moments. Even though I still had quite a bit of growing to do.
I’ve had to intentionally take time to appreciate how far I’ve come. I learned it was okay for me to be proud of myself while still working on who I am meant to become.
How To: The 4 Steps to Accepting Your True Self
We are always growing and no-one is even close to being perfect but that should not take away from all that you’ve done to get where you are right now. I have since created a love story- the greatest love story of all time. The love I have for myself.
This continuous road to accepting myself would not have been possible to begin without putting some steps into practice. These steps essentially formed the foundation that saved me. Literally saved my life from the pits of depression and hopelessness.
1. Acknowledge your negative thoughts.
Catch yourself as soon as you start to spiral down that road of “I can’t” or “I am not capable.” Notice when you are feeling inferior and begin affirmations of self. Positive self talk is key. Repeat after me. I love myself. I matter. I forgive myself. I am worthy.
2. Accept your imperfections and admit when you make a mistake.
Hold yourself accountable and own your outcomes. Know you did what you thought was right at the time before you learned. Our failures is the soil in which we learn and grow, not our success. Remember perfection is not the goal and life is imperfect. We owe ourselves grace.
3. Don’t allow fear to stand in your way.
We often rely on external validation but disregard what others may think. Disregard your worry. Know that when you feel scared it means you care. It is not your fault that you experienced trauma, they hurt you, your parents didn’t give you the love you deserved, or that you have a mental illness.
4. Truly believe in yourself.
You must clap for yourself when no one is clapping for you. You should always be your biggest fan. Self compassion is more effective than self criticism because it’s rooted in love. Self criticism is rooted in not being good enough, shame, and feeling like we are the only ones messing up. Self compassion is rooted in a place of worth and understanding that yes, we really do all mess up.
Observe Your Past
Do I want to live the rest of my life truthfully and authentically?
You have reached a level of awareness and now you are ready for change. You are understanding your past experiences have influenced who you are today. Be so proud of yourself for entering change and evolution within yourself. It can be hard and painful. No one wants to accept that we may have become who we learned to be.
Remember. You are not your trauma. Abuse, neglect, poverty, divorce does not define you. We can also experience trauma when we are not validated or allowed to who we naturally are. If you’ve had to give up your authentic self to fit in the box of someone else’s standard in order to receive their love, that is traumatic.
This is a journey so take all the time you need. But remember, you are beautiful. You are deserving. You are worth it. And you are loved.