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Self-Acceptance is Key to Personal Growth

Self-Acceptance is Key to Personal Growth

I had a fascinating conversation with a friend yesterday about self-acceptance. So often, we deride ourselves for qualities or tendencies we feel we should change. In my case, I am fairly introverted, and I often criticize myself for not being more outgoing. I love making new friends, but it sometimes takes me a while to open up to people and I frequently wish that I could change that.

However, being an introvert is simply part of my nature. It is not a bad thing, nor is it something for which I should criticize myself. Many of the characteristics about ourselves that we deem to be negative are, in reality, neutral or, at the very least, not our doing. Some people are naturally inclined to fear change. For these people to tell themselves they should be more daring is not productive. Yes, fearing change may be inhibiting, but it is nothing we should chide ourselves for. Instead, we should simply acknowledge that the fear is part of our nature and learn to work with it.

When trying to overcome our fears or grow beyond unhelpful habits and patterns, we only make the work more difficult for ourselves when we engage in negative self-talk. For me, it is difficult enough to work on being more open with new people. I only put additional challenges in my way when I tell myself I shouldn’t be introverted. It is not a matter of whether I should or shouldn’t be an introvert – it is simply the case that I am, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If I accept that truth and act compassionately toward myself, it is likely that I will be able to become more open with others within my introverted framework. On the other hand, if I fight my nature and tell myself I should be something I’m not, I am unlikely to make any progress.


Read more: Life, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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8:35AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

How many times does one have to go through this?

12:37AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

You are so right.

1:55PM PDT on May 14, 2012

I accept myself completely, I realize I cannot change certain things in my personality, but I can work to make them less servere. For example, I am very passionate and have a strong mind, which can easily make me look down on others for their beliefs, so I try to stay humble and remind myself that people would view me crazy and stupid for what I believe or think. There are times I will not accept another's belief and will frown upon them for it, such as those who promote biogtry, but in the end, I try to remember we are all humans, I must be wrong somehwere in my thinking, even if I can't see it, but that's okay. I think I'm like this, and can be confident and strong in myself because of my own self-acceptance and unconditional love on myself.

11:54PM PDT on May 13, 2012

'fear is part of our nature and learn to work with it', so true, thanks.

7:03AM PDT on May 13, 2012

very nice articlw

7:03AM PDT on May 13, 2012

very nice articlw

4:37AM PDT on May 13, 2012

thank you

4:37AM PDT on May 13, 2012

thank you

11:55PM PDT on May 12, 2012

Beautiful thought.

10:28PM PDT on May 12, 2012

You have to like yourself before you can like others.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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