It’s 2018, and once again we are bombarded with ideas on what our New Year’s resolutions should be. Messages are everywhere reminding us that we are not slim enough, healthy enough, or wealthy enough. The underlying message behind all the hype is the sense that who we are is not enough and that we are somehow flawed.
So, like sheep, we begin to ponder what self-improvement project we should initiate. There is nothing wrong with self-improvement resolutions; they can be a great way to make essential changes in our lives. However, the problem is often that these resolutions are motivated by the belief that at our core we are good enough as we are. This underlying belief may very well be the reason New Year’s resolutions often fail.
The concept of self-acceptance is defined as holding a positive view or regard toward oneself as a whole and doesn’t require the approval of others or personal achievements. The concept of unconditional self-acceptance has been theorized for decades by many influential psychologists including Maslow, Rogers, and Ellis and has been argued that it is the key to psychological well-being.
Self-acceptance leads to psychological well-being because it helps us develop a tolerance toward life’s uncertainties and helps us see our strengths and our limitations. Seeing ourselves clearly and still accepting ourselves as we are, allows us to take responsibility for our actions and to acknowledge that we deserve the best for ourselves. From here, we can admit that we make mistakes, we mess up sometimes and don’t live up to our commitments, but we dare to pursue our goals because we deserve the best.
Building a foundation of self-acceptance can be enhanced through our mindfulness practice. From this non-biased, realistic point of view, we can make choices that are based on what we want for ourselves, not what others believe we should pursue. It means we can accept our limitations and weaknesses and make a choice to change without judging ourselves to be less than. From this place of acceptance, we can fearlessly pursue our dreams and goals knowing that we are enough no matter what. It is indeed a haven to boldly move into 2018.
Astani, A. (2016). Mindfulness and unconditional self-acceptance as protective factors against thin ideal internalization. Annals of the Al.I.Cuza University, Psychology Series, 25(1), 37-46. Retrieved from https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=119122586&site=eds-live&scope=site
Rodriguez, M. A., Wei, X, U., Wang, X., & Xinghua, L. I. U. (2015). Self-acceptance mediates the relationship between mindfulness and perceived stress. Psychological Reports, 116(2), 513-522. doi:10.2466/07.PR0.116k19w4
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