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Self acceptance seems like a simple concept but in real terms it can be a really hard thing to do. We are, from childhood bombarded with reasons why we are not likeable and not enough and by the time we reach adulthood, some of these reasons are so deeply embedded we accept them as fact.

Struggling to like and accept ourselves often underpins the mental and emotional difficulties we experience. It can impact on our close relationships, those with our parents, children and significant others as well as our ability to do our jobs.

Marketing (for most things) relies on the idea that we are not enough without whatever product we are being sold and also perpetuates the idea that we are not enough, to a point that if we are not improving ourselves, we feel we have failed.

Self acceptance is accepting failure

Working in the health and well-being sector I see this all the time. There’s a real fear that if we accept ourselves as we are then we are just accepting failure. If we are overweight that body acceptance or love is just accepting bad health, bad eating and laziness. But what most people fail to realise is that you can’t punish yourself into change.

Brené Brown says you can’t create the will to change through shame and she’s right. You can’t go straight from hating yourself or your body to loving yourself or your body, it just doesn’t happen. You have to work through a process of accepting where you are now and feeling ok with it, whether that’s with your weight or your finances, jobs situation or relationship situation.

Fighting ‘what is’ is what keeps us stuck. Fighting reality and wishing things were different is what prevents us from moving forwards because we are spending all of our energy thinking about the bad, the negative and the stuff we don’t want.

Once we learn that we’re ok as we are, that we don’t need to fight it and that it’s ok to be ok with it, then, paradoxically things can begin to change. Things naturally begin to change, because we don’t fear failure. We know that even if we fail, that it’s ok. And if we succeed, it’s ok.

Being ok with whatever ‘is‘ means that whatever space you move into, whatever just is, is ok and that makes change easier and safer.

I spend a lot of time in the early months of Beautiful Swans focusing on supporting you to accept what is and being ok with who you are. The change can then come later, as we move through the programme and you feel more confident being exactly who you are – whomever that may be.

To find out more about Beautiful Swans or to get on the waiting list for the next round, click on the image below.