Everyone has three sides: the good, the bad and the messy. Accept that you’re a fallible person – just like everyone else – and that you will make mistakes. It’s simply part of being human. Accepting yourself means digging deep, and discovering the many facets that make up who you are. In her book Journalution: Journaling to Awaken Your Inner Voice, Heal Your Life and Manifest Your Dreams author Sandy Grason features prompts to help readers learn more about themselves. One of her prompts is called “Who am I now?” She suggests answering this prompt in 10 minutes. Next, she suggests writing about who you were years ago, such as when you were 8, 16 and 25 years old. She writes: “Who were you then? Describe the differences between who you were and who you are becoming. How will the coming months and years transform your life?
Then describe the you that has always been here. What is that person’s vision of your life? How has she or he guided you? Have you been listening, or have you been living on auto-pilot? When was the last time you checked in with the inner you that is always there?” Accepting yourself also means celebrating your great qualities. Identify your top 10 fantastic characteristics, and put them on paper. Don’t shy away from praising your personal strengths. Be your own cheerleader. Ask others what they think your nice qualities are. When you think of more, just add them to the list. When you get down on yourself, return to this list, and reread it. Self-love is a series of daily steps and choices. It’s carving out some time for self-care. It’s extending a kind gesture when you need it most. It’s showing others the best ways to treat you. It’s turning a mistake into a lesson or opportunity, not a marathon of self-mockery. Self-love is the realization that you’re a genuinely good person who deserves genuinely good things.
Margarita Tartakovsky, MS, is an associate editor at Psych Central and authors the body image blog “Weightless.” She writes about everything from anxiety and ADHD to creativity and couples to mindfulness and stress. You can learn more about her work at her website.