The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

5 Easy Things 2 Do 2 Learn 2 Accept Yourself

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In some previous posts I shared my cheat sheet to loving yourself which includes the six steps below:


1. Know yourself.

2. Be true to yourself.

3. Accept yourself.

4. Be gentle with yourself.

5. Value yourself.

6. Invest in yourself.


Today we’re going to talk about #3: Accept Yourself.


If you think about the list, it all sort of makes sense so far doesn’t it? First you need to know yourself and understand who you are. Once you’ve gotten that figured out, you then need to stand up for who you know you are inside. Number 3 on this list can be a tough one because sometimes our True Self is not exactly who we thought we were or may be tough to live up to! On top of that, let’s face it, we’re our own worst critics and are harder on ourselves than anyone else is. All that negative self-talk doesn’t help move us forward though, it just holds us back.


Here are my top 5 tips to help you accept yourself as you are:


1) Celebrate and focus on your strengths and positives.


It’s easy to look at what’s wrong. Celebrate and recognize all the things you do well and all the positive aspects of you. Are you great at math but suck at soccer? Own it. Are you great at sports but not really an academic wonder? Own that. Are you a little curvier than your average supermodel? Rock those curves. Is your nose a little longer than your best friend’s? Consider it regal.  It doesn’t matter what you’re good at or what you look like, everyone has positives and strengths. Recognize and focus on those.


2) Forgive yourself.


We all make mistakes in life and some will be bigger than others. Some will tear at your heart and others you will forget about by the time you check your phone again. Dwelling on mistakes, whatever size they may be, is a sure way to stay stuck in the past and in a negative feedback loop. Forgive yourself for what you screwed up. You might have to forgive and re-forgive yourself but keep doing it until your mind believes it.


3) Focus on your little voice.


If you’ve read anything else on this site you know I’m pretty obsessed with the damage caused by that annoying little voice always chattering in our heads. Heck, knowing that you’re not your little voice is even the 1st secret to a happy life so it’s obviously pretty important! Read the other posts for more detail but I’ll break it down some of this blog for you in case you’re feeling lazy: 1) You are not the little voice in your head. 2) You don’t have to listen to the little voice in your head and there actually tools to help you with this. 3) Start quieting your little voice just by becoming aware of its constant yapping. 4) Once you’ve become aware of your little voice, you’ll realize how freaking annoying it is and it will actually start to quiet down. Your brain is always going to produce thoughts. You will need to decide which you’re going to listen to and which you’re going to ignore.


4) Worry about what you can control.


So so much of life is out of our control and yet we spend a heck of a lot of time worrying about all those things. Part of learning to accept yourself is also learning to control what you can, to plan for the best and then deal with what happens when it happens. I talk a lot about the power of staying in the present moment or the Now (almost as much as I talk about that damn little voice) and this is a powerful tool for accepting yourself as there is nothing but you in the present moment. You’ll find that in the present moment you can set everything else aside and be just fine and sometimes that’s good enough.


5) Do good things for others.


Very smart researchers have looked at all the things that make people happy and doing good things for others always rises to the top of that list. Giving to others makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside and makes you feel good about yourself. Accepting yourself is a lot easier when you feel good about your actions so give back. You’ll find that you start to think you’re pretty darn awesome.


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