Acceptance. We all want it. We want to belong to some group. It happens naturally. You go about your business encountering people along the way. Some, you are drawn to, others are drawn to you.
Lately, there is a lot of talk of bullying today. Social media has made a problem with bullies picking on someone while at school or work, into one with exposure well beyond the school yard. While this article isn’t about bullying others, it asks the question, “are you bullying yourself?”
“Bully myself? How would I be doing that?”
Back in school days, you may have had to give up your lunch money to avoid a conflict with a bully. You may have tried desperately to avoid the bully seeing you…like the geeks on The Big Bang Theory relate about their school days. So you didn’t go where the bully would be…even though that’s precisely where you wanted to be.
Have you held yourself back from meeting others? Have you wanted to ask a question of the speaker at the convention, but didn’t feel you were ready or qualified? Has your belief in yourself kept you from experiences or opportunities? You may be bullying yourself.
Acceptance begins with ourselves. You, me…we all have imperfections. You know what yours are. These are the things you want to keep hidden. They can be physical, emotional, social. The things that keep you from putting yourself in an environment that might force them to come to light.
We take great care not to reveal those to others. How much has this caused you to miss in life?
Embrace your imperfections…accept them as part of you.
Don’t be afraid to look at yourself honestly. Shed some light on both your positive AND negative personality traits or body issues or other concerns you may have.
Some people have been down on themselves for too long. They often have difficulty accepting praise or compliments. That’s not the type of focus you want.
You need to be your own best friend for this introspection. You are working on gaining some self-acceptance. Go somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Get your favorite Coffee or tea and relax. Now, make an honest list of positives and negatives. This is a brainstorm. Don’t think too hard about what comes to mind, simply write it down. Don’t worry about spelling, neatness, ordering, or any such thing. If it comes to mind, write it down. Do this for at least 20 minutes. Don’t rush through or finish too early on yourself.
I don’t know what your list will look like. You may have judged yourself too harshly in this process or perhaps you puffed yourself up. For now it doesn’t matter. This is the you YOU see. Now examine your list.
For today, simply reflect on these. If you journal, write any thoughts you have about them. Maybe you’ll have some revelations. Maybe you’ll only confirm what you thought all along. At the very least, accept them as who you are today.
These are the things that make you YOU. That make you different than others in your group. Celebrate your differences.
Realize the value the complete you offers. Think on the ways your uniqueness can contribute to your group. Also, what can you learn from others’ unique contributions? In the process you’ll create a renewed confidence and a freedom to be yourself.
Stop missing out on life…be who you are, wherever you are.
To your growth,