How to Practice Radical Self-Acceptance
Let’s discuss radical self-acceptance. I’d like to show you ways to incorporate this practice into your life, and how simple changes can make lasting change towards a more positive life experience.
How often have you said to yourself, “Once I ___ (make more money, lose weight, move locations, etc.), I’ll be happy”?
This conditional thought is common for many of us. As a result, we find ourselves attached to the belief that gratification and self-acceptance will come once something changes about our lives. But what if that’s actually not the case?
They say world peace begins at the individual level. To cultivate a planet of love, belonging, and joy, we must embody these qualities within our own lives. Too often, our focus is directed toward what is wrong with our current experience – a sneaky yet powerful way of training the mind to have a “self-defeat” or “self-hatred” mindset. Sometimes our suffering comes from our own hands, and the damage is real.
Our own minds can seem like the biggest bully. But, they are, in fact, our wisest teacher and closest friend.
How can we access love, belonging, and joy within our individual lives? Of course, we want to see this in the world. But first, we have to see it in ourselves!
Outsmarting the Mind
The mind is more clever than we believe. Often what we perceive to be rejection or criticism from others isn’t that at all – it’s the perceived idea that we think something about us can be rejected or criticized. When we interact with someone who leaves us feeling this way, it often comes from a deeply held belief that something is inherently wrong with us. Thus, we assume responsibility and feel at fault for someone else’s choices or opinions.
Radical self-acceptance is compassion in action. It means seeing things as they truly are and still being thankful for every room in your house – every imperfection, mistake, and misunderstanding.
Our negative experiences (like those that left us feeling rejected) often teach us what qualities we need to work on for ourselves – and that often includes feelings of acceptance, value, and love.
A history of being constantly criticized or belittled makes it hard not to internalize these qualities. “Negative” emotions like anger, unacceptance, or sadness resulting from how we’ve been treated are often the best guides. They show us exactly where we need to nurture ourselves, in the here and now. As Tracee Ellis Ross puts it, “…the more time I spend really accepting and allowing myself to be exactly where I am, the faster it is I move toward what I want to be doing.”
In essence, it’s about shifting the perspective from what is wrong with ourselves and our experience to what is right. Attune to the vibration of forgiveness, love, and unconditional acceptance. To manifest this, you must first embody it.
Two Practices to Try
Radical self-acceptance is often easier said than done. It’s not usually an overnight shift, although if it is for you – that’s precisely the way it should be!
Two ways to incorporate Radical Self Acceptance into your daily life:
- Know what acceptance feels like: Experiment with mantras such as “I am already enough,” “I have everything I need right here,” “I am free and proud to be myself,” “I am whole and healthy.” If your mind engages in any negative self-talk, consciously replace the thought with your mantra. The same will go for conditional thinking– that happiness will come when something changes. After a few times of doing this, it becomes a habit.
- Use a tool: Crystals are effective to use when working on self-acceptance. Try stones such as Citrine to raise self-esteem and stabilizes emotions. Covellite encourages self-reflection and enhances analytical thinking.