The step you need to take today to improve your health is practicing self-acceptance.
You’ve got to do it.
Self-acceptance doesn’t mean knocking yourself down a peg or two. That would backfire: most people manage to combine lack of self-acceptance with low self-esteem.
But for me self-acceptance does require understanding the almost impossibly high standards of behavior I’ve set for myself. Here’s how my psyche ties me up in knots:
- After all, I’m quite bright, so why shouldn’t I be in fact one of the planet’s brightest?
- I’m a fairly nice person, so why shouldn’t I in fact, be one of the world’s most generous?
- I work reasonably hard, so why shouldn’t I be the hardest working, most dedicated chiropractor in the universe?
You see where this is going……
Before I have a chance to fight back, my brain has created an impossible situation for myself. I can’t possibly live up to the internal standards I’ve set for my own performance.
The effective response is self-acceptance. To begin with, I can accept the system of values I have in place – after all, it’s okay to aspire to being intelligent, generous, and hard-working. And I can accept my own imperfect embodiment of these values.
But I can’t self-improve myself into happiness. I need self-acceptance, not self-improvement.