The Journey of Self-Acceptance: Tips to Work Towards Loving Yourself

Let’s talk about something that most of us struggle with: self-acceptance. People can tell when you are being yourself, they trust you more, and they feel more at ease with you. Anyone can tell from a mile away if you are being insincere. (Below photo credit goes to the fantastic Katy Cooper photography!)

A big step to genuineness is being comfortable with who you are. Self-acceptance and self-love are concepts that most of us struggle with. It’s hard to love ourselves sometimes, but if we don’t we find ourselves in a difficult and sad state of mind.

Self-acceptance can be broken down into many categories, but we’re going to focus on two of the big ones. Your personality and your physical body.

I spent a good chunk of life trying to hide my true self, at least from the majority of the world. The scary thing about this blog is that these inner thoughts of mine are all over the internet for anyone to read, and my true personality is all over it. The epitome of vulnerability! But it is very exciting to have the opportunity to share my thoughts, and hopefully help people and influence them for good.

Think for a second, what makes you, you? What makes you special and different from those around you? If you are struggling to come up with answers to this, ask someone who knows you well.

I am a major dork, with a corny sense of humor! (But if you follow this blog, you know that already!) I’m easily distracted, but a very deep thinker. I’m reserved with those I don’t know, but with those I know and trust I am a serious chatterbox. I’m still learning to be proud of who I am.

What physical traits of yours set you apart? Which ones do you love, and which ones are you not crazy about?

In middle school, I would straighten my curly hair, I would wear thick foundation that covered my freckles. I wore far too much black eye liner, and I tweezed my eyebrows into oblivion. I did this because that was what I thought I needed to do to be beautiful. But when I look back at pictures of myself back then compared to now, I don’t look like myself, and I definitely didn’t look beautiful. I was taking what made me different and hiding it.

These days, I wear less make up than I ever have in the past. My freckles show, and I rarely straighten my hair. I’ve embraced a more natural look. Some of this is due to being a working mom and not having much time; but most of it is due to being happy with who I am, and not feeling the need to change everything about myself. (So here’s a cheesy selfie!)

What does this mean for you?

This doesn’t mean I’m against doing what you need to for you to feel beautiful (I regularly color my hair, because I like too!) But make sure you are doing it for yourself, and not for anyone else. You live in your skin, and the people around you don’t. This isn’t a debate about whether overweight people should strive to be healthier or accept themselves as they are, let’s please not fight about that. 🙂

Take some time, ponder the questions above, and we’ll talk more about this next week!

Broken Trust

Question on how to rebuild trust

Dear Hailey,

Advice on being able to trust again after my trust has been broken?

Untrusting

Dear Untrusting,

Having our trust broken sucks, there’s no getting around that. We pour our heart and soul into someone, only to have it smashed. But we do ourselves a major disservice if we close ourselves off from trusting again. Vulnerability is a tricky thing, because it is one thing that makes us human and allows us to love and experience the world. However, it can be hard to make ourselves vulnerable after that was the very thing that hurt us so badly.

Understand that the past is the past. It does not define your future. Not every person you come across will treat you in the way you were treated. The only way to trust again is to well, do it! Theoretically, it may sound impossible to trust again after your experiences. However, this is theoretical, and in real life, the right person will be willing to give you the time you need to trust again.

This is also an excellent time for some introspection. I’m a big proponent of journal writing, and it is a good way to discover your attitudes and beliefs about others. Lots of “I statements” about how you feel about loving again, and your fears.

Know that being hurt doesn’t make you a bad person. You are not responsible for someone else’s behavior or poor choices. Know that you don’t control everything, which is scary but also comforting. Also give yourself some time and self-care, you deserve it.

Hailey

 

Want more of this? Visit the main Dear Hailey page here, read other answered questions and submit your own!