How to Embrace Self-Ownership & Acceptance
In a world where expectations are high, and pressures are strong, it can be tough to embrace self-acceptance.
We are our biggest critics. How many times have you looked in the mirror and picked out every flaw you can think of? How many times have you cast an eye over a piece of work you did, only to find something wrong with it? How many times have you berated yourself for a mistake you made or for a decision that didn’t work out?
Without a strong foundation to accept ourselves for who we are, we spiral down a slippery slope that can be very difficult to get back up from.
Why is Taking Ownership Important?
No matter how successful you may be, no matter how attractive you appear, no matter how popular you are, these come second if you - yes, you - do not accept yourself.
But what exactly does this mean?
What is the True Meaning of Self-Acceptance?
It’s accepting all of you, warts and all. Everybody has flaws. If we didn’t have flaws, we would be incredibly boring. Our flaws make up who we are, as well as our virtues.
Too much focus on the virtues and too little acknowledgment of the flaws will inevitably lead to an unhappy person, no matter how much they may smile on the outside.
We live in a society that tends to convince us that flaws (or at least, what they perceive to be flawed) are bad. A certain body shape isn’t good enough, or that earning a certain wage is demeaning, or that having an “unusual” facial feature is wrong.
A lack of self-acceptance is often due to a fear of standing out from the crowd. Humans are herd animals by nature; like sheep or cows, they flock together, and those that flock together tend to be alike in many ways.
But why be a sheep or a cow when you can be a wolf?
You may be different from the rest; you may be feared, disliked, or judged. But you will be you, perfect in all your imperfection. There is nothing more liberating and invigorating than being your true self without fear of judgment or condemnation.
When you choose to be a wolf and not a sheep, you choose the path of self-acceptance because you cease to care what others think of you, and you discover that self-limiting beliefs no longer exist.
Taking Ownership of Your Life
It is easier said than done. The struggle between being an individual and being part of the crowd is one that everyone struggles with to some degree. But there are ways to achieve radical self-acceptance, and it all starts from within.
Being open and honest with ourselves is crucial to taking ownership of ourselves.
Facing what is unpleasant is never easy. It is the rare person who will jump in with enthusiasm to do it. However, facing aspects of ourselves that bring an array of negative emotions is what makes us stronger. It is only through trial and adversity that we discover who we truly are.
Any building of magnificence in this world was not built without blood, sweat, and toil. To build ourselves, we, too, must be willing to undergo some struggle.
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How to Learn Self-Ownership & Acceptance
Below are methods to help you take self-ownership. Believing in yourself is crucial. It is all about changing your mindset. The great thing about the mind is that we can control it if we want to; our beliefs do not have to control us!
1. Identify Self-Limiting Beliefs
We have a habit of burying unpleasant experiences or emotions, sometimes to the point of forgetting them entirely.
This is a survival mechanism for many people, but it leads to self-limiting beliefs that can stay with us for the rest of our lives unless we learn to face them. A negative belief will need to manifest one way or another, and it can result in self-destructive tendencies, escapism, and negative treatment towards yourself or others.
Identifying self-belief is the first step towards acceptance of it. Once you have accepted it, you can then work with it. You come to realize that the belief you previously had about yourself isn’t true.
2. Transform the Belief
Let’s say that you were bullied at school and picked on for how you look. Other kids may have called you names and jeered at you, pointing out facial features or aspects of your body that made you feel unworthy and less than others. This then transformed into the self-belief of “I am ugly.”
Even when you left school and grew into adulthood, this belief stuck with you.
It manifested in insecurity, an obsession with your appearance, disbelief when anyone complimented you for your looks, an inability to sustain a relationship for fear of not being good enough; problems and struggle which all stem from this one self-belief that started when you were at school.
The key now is to transform this belief into something else. Rather than believing “I am ugly” or “I am not good enough,” it is time to look at the reality of the situation. You are not ugly. You are good enough.
What people said back then does not apply. The experience helped to shape who you are, but it does not define who you are.
Transform the belief now. Say, “I am beautiful” or “I am good enough.”
Keep repeating it and truly believe it because it is the truth. Reality is what you make it. It is certainly not defined by nasty experiences we may have had a long time ago. You are in charge now, and you are the one who decides what you believe about yourself.
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3. Write Down Things You Like About Yourself
It is incredible how we quickly point out our negatives while we struggle to think of our positives.
The truth is, we are made up of negatives and positives, and the more we nurture our positives, the more we embrace self-ownership.
Write down a list of all the things you like about yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Don’t hold back. Write down your accomplishments too. What have you achieved? Who have you helped along the way? What makes you feel proud? How have you made a difference in the lives of others or to the wider world?
Embracing Self-Ownership is the First Step to Happiness
You deserve to be happy.
Ultimately, every limiting self-belief is designed to stop you from being happy no matter what it is. It is drilled deep within your subconscious, convincing you that you don’t deserve to be happy each day.
You deserve to love yourself, have a fulfilling relationship, enjoy life, and embrace your dreams and goals. There is nothing stopping you but yourself.
Remember that we are not perfect.
We have our flaws, we have bad experiences, and we make mistakes. Through our trials and tribulation, we come to experience life at a greater depth, accumulating wisdom along the way. But we do not have to imprison ourselves with walls we have built around us.
Self-ownership is facing the pain within you, acknowledging it, and transforming it. By doing so, you become the master of yourself, and the path to happiness is yours to walk on.
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