Don’t Run Away From Yourself
If you often feel like you’re running away from your true self just like a cat runs away from his own shadow then you might be living as “The Alchemist” of Paulo Coelho, namely searching for something outside of you while missing out on the beautiful feelings (and opportunities) that the act of self-acceptance has to offer.
As strange as it might seem, the “simple” deed of accepting yourself will open you more doors in your career in your intimate relationships and friendship ones than you can ever imagine, apart from improving your health, happiness, and wellbeing, thus making you the most vibrant and joyful version you can be.
Wait, Sal, what the hell are you talking about? Self-acceptance and those life aspects are all linked?
Well, yes as whatever is missing inside of you will inevitably be reflected outside of you. That’s why you gotta start to kiss yourself like James Franco.
Apart from jokes, in my personal case 2 years ago, because of my severe self-denial, I have unconsciously thrown a 99% sure lay with a beautiful woman to the trash bin, realizing what and why this happened only months later.
Are you often too rigid and demanding for yourself that you end up surpassing the limit of what is humanly possible just to prove something to yourself or others?
Did it ever happen instead to put up a mask to fit in a specific place where people have particular demands on you?
What if you’re trying to open the self-acceptance door with the wrong key? What if with this way of behaving you’re limiting your life and shooting yourself on your feet without any reason? What if all you’ve been building during those years of your experience is nothing but a cover hiding your self-denial feelings that one day will crumble just like a house of cards?
This is one of the most critical pieces of content you’ll ever read in your life as far as concerns your personal development. The understanding and application of the principles explained here will help you not only in the development of your self-esteem, career and social life but in virtually every area of your it.
What is Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance, in fact, is one of the major prerequisites to become successful both personally and professionally and you’ll find this out very soon.
After reading this post you will, once forever, learn how to get rid of those self hate feelings and of the internal discomfort you usually feel in your gut both when you are around people or just when by yourself so that you can finally discover the pleasure of just being yourself, relaxed and at ease anywhere and anytime.
Now the question seems to be only one:
What is self-acceptance, and Is it really possible to accept yourself even after years of self-condemnation?
Self-acceptance, according to the science of psychology, is the practice feeling satisfied and happy with oneself for no reason linked to some ideal image of how we should be. It merely means, accepting ourselves unconditionally and in our wholeness in this very moment, regardless of our deficiencies, negative feelings or past events or choices we experienced.
Self-acceptance does not mean that we should necessarily like everything about ourselves. For example, we may not want some physical features we have, personality traits, habits or things that we did in the past. To get the power of self-acceptance we just must accept without putting the label “Like” or “Dislike” what we are.
We may not like our bodies, but we must accept this fact and still not like it. Anyway, things will proceed entirely differently if we accept what we don’t like.
Now you might be suffering from this problem, and one way with which you’re probably trying to get rid of it is by using external things to validate your internal discomfort.
For example, you might be overworking, overeating, overtraining (like I did) or doing things just to prove your value or even doing things that you don’t really want to do but that looks cool from the outside.
Well, if that’s your case don’t worry as it’s perfectly reasonable to escape with those kinds of reactions when you’re not aware of how the mechanics of self-acceptance actually work.
My Story: Screwing Up a Lay Handed Over a Silver Plate
That’s in fact how I was reacting precisely 2 years ago (2016) when I was hitting one of the lowest points of my life (and lost that opportunity with that beautiful woman that even Freddy Mercury would have managed to sleep with at my place.)
Let me tell you what happened so that you can understand how sneaky self-denial can be. During that period I had somehow entered a negative spiral caused by the fact that I was not successful with women due to a too rigid and technical approach I adopted back then.
I laugh at it now, but I was mainly operating like an emotionless android, talking to women like if they were objects.
This rigid mentality I adopted, contributed to the worsening of my dating skills, and consequently of my self-esteem.
That was totally crazy as I had never felt like that in my life before that time. It was as if the world had lost its colors and everything had turned black and white with no ambiance sounds.
Moving to the North of Italy
It was the end of summer, and I had moved to Brescia, a city in the north of Italy next to Milan, to work in the marketing sector of a dance record label.
I was very excited to start my life again in this new city, after all, I was really good at approaching women after years of practice and wanted to test my abilities in the north of Italy, a place I always heard to be one of the easiest to have fun with women.
For some reason, it was a period where I had lost touch with my inner child and creativity and was taking things a little bit too seriously. Every time I got off work I made a habit of talking to new groups of girls by using canned lines and a very rigid structure, all of that coupled with a very tense vibe (I was not aware of this back then.)
I remember that in just one month I had talked to more than 60 women with minimal results. It was very frustrating as that was not possible after all, the north of Italy was supposed to be a fun place!
Day after day I felt like I was going backward and deeper and deeper into a negative spiral of tension, self-denial, and refusal to get rejected by women.
The more I was approaching, and the worse things seemed to go and, even if I was practicing every day instead of going forward with my dating skills It felt like I was going back to the old days when I was a beginner. That felt horrible, and I didn’t know what was happening to me.
Something Was Off Me
The confirmation that I was going through one of the worst periods of my life came during one really amazing, pleasant and sunny… just kidding.
It was a cold October Saturday afternoon when a woman I had known back during summer in Sicily was coming from Milan (where she was studying) to Brescia (where she was from originally) for a date I had invited her to.
She was a brunette woman (my favorite type) with a very feminine face having soft facial features, a sensual voice and a tiny but curvy body that made my hormones skyrocket like Elon Musk’s toys do lately.
We had met 2 months before (August) during a bonfire I had organized with my friends on the beach (I am from the south of Italy where it’s hot, and we use to have parties like those.
Meeting And Cooking Her To Slow Fire
When we met It was almost the end of summertime, and I was genuinely having the time of my life. My vibe back then was relaxed, fun and very spontaneous, a fact that made me interact in an entirely different way with women.
The first days she arrived in Sicily there were a couple of guys hitting on her, but I had sensed that they were not having success with her. That’s why, seeing the opportunity, I decided to seduce her during the bonfire party.
It was a warm but dry summer night with no wind. She was sitting on her towel next to the bonfire talking to one of the two guys hitting on her, but there was a free place on the other side of the beach towel.
So I sat next to her and started to talk about light, funny stuff and about the stars that were glistening above our heads while the fire was warming the situation up.
The atmosphere was very sensual and very favorable to flirt, all to my advantage basically. After some minutes of talking with me she had forgotten about the other guy and put all her attention on me, in fact, she was listening to my voice telling her about the constellations above us while her head was placed on my right shoulder.
I warmed her up like that until the sunrise came. Unfortunately, there was both no time or chance to bring her away from the party that same night away as both the friends she had come to the party with were there while everybody else was virtually around us.
Anyway, that was not a problem for me as I knew she was from Brescia and that I would have moved there in just a month. Shortly after the sunrise, she went away with the other guys, and we said goodbye with a “let’s keep in touch” clearly alluding that something else would have happened between us.
Flash forwarding those two months, we come back to my dull and rigid reality with those shitty feelings of internal discomfort, escapism, and tension.
I don’t really know if all of that started from my failed approaches in Brescia or from the tension of the new job, but there I was, utterly transformed from the seductive, fun and bold beach dude to the tense, unhappy and insecure guy in the cold northern city.
That Afternoon… What The Hell Did I Do?!
The afternoon we met we went for a walk in the Castle of Brescia that was a beautiful creation right in the city center, where I was living. While walking up and down through the castle, I could sense that she was really into me, probably still enchanted from the energy I had left her that night. In fact, as she was showing me every corner of the castle and bringing me in particular places where it was OBVIOUS that I should have kissed her.
The problem was that somehow I didn’t feel enough for the move that afternoon. I didn’t feel good with myself, I felt rusted and without courage and I didn’t know why. It felt like I couldn’t express my sexual interest to her and like I was even insecure about showing her my interest.
It was strange as during the first month there I was working out 5 times per week with high intensity, a thing that made me very confident in my image (in this case working out was my escapism to my feelings of internal discomfort.)
This time I could sense that she perceived something was off in me, yet she was not sure of what was going around.
We Get To My Apartment
After spending more than one hour walking around the castle, not knowing what to do, I invited her to my place for dinner. She accepted after faking to have some commitments.
Great move you might think, right? Yes, absolutely, if that was not another way to escape being sexual.
We went to the supermarket near my house and bought some food to cook together. Until we got to my house, we talked and talked and talked about our life experiences, travels, and other bullshit except for those spicy topics that make things more interesting.
When we finally got to my home, we started cooking some rice salad while talking about the same bullshits, without making the interaction sexual or somewhat warm as during that summer night. That was my responsibility as she was clearly showing signs of being open to such topics by introducing some of them.
For some reason, I didn’t resonate with those topics and didn’t feel at ease with making the interaction more sexual. I was so disconnected from myself and from the masculine energy that I talked about platonic stuff all the time while eating my rice dish. I am sure that if the plate it could speak it would have told me to stop kissing the fork and to rather kiss and throw her in the big red sofa that was right next to us.
I Ended Up Cleaning Dishes
End of the story, we finished eating and the night ended with her going away because of a “commitment” she had and me cleaning the dishes she had cooked (she was a decent cook I have to say).
Well, guys, that was the sad story and the evident lay handed to me on a silver platter was thrown on the trash bin. A whole me wouldn’t have behaved this way on that occasion. The problem was that I didn’t feel whole during that month, I didn’t feel enough, I didn’t accept how I was, and that’s why I was putting all my energies in working out.
I had created a “tougher” version of me that was perfect, that shouldn’t have made mistakes, and that was able to coldly face anything in life without feelings. This version was making it hard for me to relate to my senses and to the natural imperfections that we all have, a thing that prevented me from being as spontaneous as I should have been with that woman.
The problem was that this version of me was not there in times of need, all because I had to prove to the world that I was something more of who I actually was.
You will understand more of that by reading the post as if you don’t accept yourself first as you are, all the things you build upon you may just be a house of cards, crumbling in seconds like a sand castle hit by a wave.
Now that you heard this story and had a grasp on the importance of self-acceptance, it’s time to talk about it a little more so that you can better understand its dynamics and implications in life.
How to Accept Yourself (Now)
Self-acceptance is one of the major prerequisites to really thrive in life, and the reason for this is that if you can’t accept yourself as you are you’ll hardly relate well with people in life.
This happens because when we, human beings, can’t express or accept the deepest parts of ourselves, it becomes difficult relating to our own feelings and this means that we become increasingly disconnected from our own true nature.
This disconnection might not be perceived by your conscious mind but your sub-conscious mind knows you better than you think and it will send you signals (feelings) that are corresponding to what you provide it with disconnection.
You already know who you are deep within, as your subconscious mind remembers everything about you, but if you don’t accept all the parts of your being that make you who you indeed are, you’ll never reach a full satisfaction in life (fulfillment).
The closure of communication between who you are and your rational mind also makes it hard to live a life that is authentic, as you’re not authentic to yourself first.
How can you be authentic to life or other people if you’re not even authentic to yourself?
Lack Of Self-Love Causes Separation
Another aspect of this disconnection is the lack of love that you provide to you. This naturally implies that you’ll find it hard to give love other people, as you can’t truly love somebody else for who he or she is if you don’t love yourself first for who you are.
You might think to love someone, and that can be true, anyway, the depth of love that you can offer to another person can’t be higher than the depth of love you can conceive in your own mind. This means that the less love you are able to “take,” the less you’ll be able to give.
Real love to give to others lies where self-love lies. If you can’t accept and love yourself for who you are, you’ll never be able to receive and love other people for who they are since everything you express depends on your own awareness to feel it.
Bringing Water To a Thirsty African Village
Let’s make an example to make this clearer. You are in Africa, and you’re carrying some water to a very distant village that needs it. You are all by yourself with an empty jar that is able to contain 10 liters of water.
You go to a place to refill the jar, and you fill it with exactly 10 liters of water to maximize the quantity you can bring to the village. When you get to the town, you see that people are happy to know that you brought the jar full of water.
Everybody starts to drink from it and the water goes down and down until approximately only 1 liter is left.
Other people come, very thirsty, but there’s only one liter of water left now. Immediately the inhabitants of the village understand that there’s not enough for everybody and the previous feeling of joy immediately goes away.
With your 10 liter jar, you have not been able to satisfy the demand of all the people in the village, you needed a bigger pot to fulfill that demand.
Your Consciousness Is The Key
Now think about your consciousness as a jar. The more expanded your awareness is and the more it can contain. If you carry every day, a consciousness that can only accept a finite amount of love, then all the love you’re going to give will be precisely in proportion to that limited quantity that you can conceive with your own consciousness!
You can’t give more of what you have. You can’t donate €1 Million if all you have in your bank account is €100k. This means that the degree to which you accept and love yourself is the measure to which you can allow other people to be.
What value are you going to attribute to the life of others if you can’t attribute enough value to yourself?
When you don’t feel accepting, loving and caring of you, it will be hard for you to assign those qualities to other people as well.
We don’t feel worthy of ourselves when we don’t give us the attention that we deserve. This means we have lost the connection to our inner value that has always been there from our birth and so we start seeking for other sources of value (validation) outside of us since we inherently feel like we can’t find value in our being, thoughts, and actions.
This brings us in a reactive mode where everything that we do in life becomes a reaction to the fact that we don’t accept/love ourselves.
How can you be at peace with yourself when you have built a wall between your true self and the constructed or limited person that you are always focussed on?
Love is omnipresent, and so it lies in your consciousness as well. Within you, there are the keys that open the door to true freedom through self-love and only you can have access to those keys.
Now think about that: if your consciousness is in a state of reaction, rejection of the self, fear and distrust, all the things that will come out of your consciousness will inevitably be of the same nature.
It’s like trying to make a bronze sculpture from copper material, you can’t just do it as the material itself is not bronze but copper. If you want to create a beautiful bronze sculpture, all you have to do is get bronze.
Now I think you’re asking yourself something like:
What Self-Acceptance Is Not
Does self-acceptance mean that we should just love and accept ourselves and let life take its course without our intervention?
Apparently not, as self-acceptance is the starting point for stable and healthy growth.
The change that should happen in you is a genuine change that comes from a pure desire to improve yourself because it’s natural for the spirit to have the need to expand itself. The soul always wants more, and that’s how we have gotten here as humans. If self-acceptance were the only ingredient, we wouldn’t have grown where we have so far.
Here you might argue that as humans we have evolved by our survival instinct and by escaping the bad more than searching for good. That’s partially true, and in fact, that’s one way to foster growth in life.
The reality is that there is another effective method that can be used to create even better, more harmonious, creative and efficient results that only a handful of people take advantage of.
The Two Paths You Can Take
Let’s explore the two paths:
Path 1: The place of neediness/reaction and not accepting yourself first.
Path 2: The position of loving yourself first and wanting to expand yourself as a consequence of that.
Path 1: Briefly, the first path is just doomed to failure as once you will reach the set goal in your life, your internal state will still be a state of pain and self-rejection unless you learned how to love yourself during your path towards your goals.
Path 2: If instead you start loving yourself today, your state will immediately change, and you’ll harness the power of pure unconditional desire that will come from your true self. This will make your life journey a pleasurable trip, and you’ll fall in love with it while winning.
Now that you understand the power of operating from the second position (love and acceptance first) let’s move forward with your exercise.
The Aim Of This Exercise
This is one of the most critical self-awareness exercises you’ll ever do in your life. This exercise is going to help you not only in your social life, but it will have its impact on virtually every area of it.
Being willing to learn self-love
Whenever you are in a conversation with somebody, and you feel bad, in discomfort or internally disturbed, accept the way you are feeling.
You could be in a social setting, and a part of your personality wants to express itself.
This can be the funny part of you, the sexual part of you, the creative part of you or whatever facet you possess. Many times it happens that instead of owning those parts of us we dismiss them, creating a fracture in our own being.
This is the classic “people pleasing” behavior, a habit that you probably learned when still a baby and that you’ve been conditioned to perpetuate not to “look bad” or not to “disappoint people.”
The problem is that by not disappointing others (many times our self-expression will benefit them, anyway…) you are doing a disservice to yourself because you are supposed to accept and express yourself 100% every time (unless the context is not right, in this case, your empathy and calibration will sense this).
This is one way you can operate in social situations. From now on express what you feel if the context permits you to do it and learn to re-own all the possible shades of your being back.
Another scenario in social settings occurs when you feel a negative emotion like anxiety, fear, tension and you don’t accept the way you are feeling.
First of all, recognize that if you are feeling that way, there is a reason as your subconscious mind is communicating this to you in the form of emotion.
Accept What And How You Feel
This means that the feeling you have is generally right in that very moment and that you should take advantage of it to think about why you are feeling this way.
Some common thoughts that may come to you in those situations are: “I shouldn’t feel negative” “I shouldn’t feel anxious” “I should always feel good, because I’m the man (if you are a man),” “What I’m feeling is wrong.”
That kind of thought might arise when we feel something that is considered bad from our society or religion, i.e., sexual excitement, envy, pride, anger, jealousy, etc.
Of course, most of those feelings are not the best ones at all in terms of your personal development, but they can’t be labeled wrong from you; otherwise, you’ll create a separation between your natural being and your ideal of how you should be.
If you feel envy for someone that is being successful in a particular area, accept the feeling you’re having and try to understand why you are feeling this way later on.
The important thing is that you don’t reject or suppress the feeling!
The feeling is a message your mind is sending you, and you can’t just suppress it because it is considered “wrong” by society.
Society does not have a clue about how we should work, and that’s why problems are leaking in many cultures around the globe. Your feeling is what it is and the more you try to suppress it, the less able you’ll be to work on it.
Remember that whatever feeling that is not either accepted or expressed by you will not go away but will be repressed in your subconscious mind and will be buried there forever, causing you problems in your life like energy blockages or even diseases!
When you can’t express something in a given situation, accept the feeling, write it down and come back to it later in a neutral state of mind to analyze it.
You may discover many unconscious beliefs you were holding about yourself that once uncovered will get your energy flowing back like it is supposed to do apart from making you feel REALLY GOOD.
That’s your task for this mission. Be aware of what you feel and if you can express the feeling do it, following common sense. If you can’t show it just accept it and come back to it later.
Tip #1: Don’t try to overthink, just say “I accept what I’m feeling as this is a part of me at this moment” or “I accept this feeling right now and thank my body for informing me of that. Thank you mind, I now let this feeling go”.
Tip #2: Don’t try to force things. For example, if you can’t accept how you feel, first accept the fact that you can’t accept how you feel and then accept the feeling that you were not able to accept.
Tip #3: Don’t judge how you feel, just be aware. There are no right or wrong feelings, there are just feelings, and as we’re all human beings, we are all subject to shifts in our level of consciousness. You should never judge yourself for how you feel.
Feelings are nor good nor bad, they just are. Acknowledge this and then come back to them to see why they have been triggered.
What You Can Expect From This Exercise
If you were experiencing negative feelings in your body or if you had some emotional blocks they’ll go away if you practice this technique because you are keeping the energy flowing freely.
Apart from this, remember that if you stay present with your feeling for a couple of minutes and then let it go, you’re on the right path to success. As a consequence of this, you’ll become more expressive and more relaxed in your everyday life.
The feeling you should feel in the process of self-acceptance is a feeling of relief, of losing control, of letting go. It should feel like you’re falling from great highs and having trust that your mother will catch you. This is a simple suggestion, then you might experience this in a completely different way to be aware of trusting your feelings more than my suggestions as everybody is different.
Now, you can only surrender to yourself and embrace who you are 100%. Good luck as this is one of the most important steps you’ll ever make in the process of your personal growth.
Your Take Away From This Article
We can then say that yes, it is possible to accept yourself entirely even if you had a past that was filled entirely with self-denial and hate. You now have the tools to do it, the only thing is that you must take action to make this happen right away.
Did this post resonated with and/or helped you improve yourself support us by sharing it or by comment below your experiences, thoughts or simply what you learned from it.
With much love,