Forgive me in advance for climbing on top of my soap box… I do not believe in self Esteem. It requires you continuously strive to complete goals. Your worth is wrapped in achievement. In order to keep high self esteem you have to keep on your toes.
What about effort? What about those days when life has presented us a variety of obstacles that has us making slower progress than we would like? Here unconditional self-acceptance provides space for life to occur and for us to respond to it. Unconditional self-acceptance has us being mindful of that at our very core we are always deserving of the highest level of respect from self and others. We are enough.
Keep in mind acceptance does not mean settle for inappropriate behavior; but, it means you respect yourself despite or even with the fact you need to make changes. If you like you can read more about the role acceptance plays in the change process.
Increasing unconditional self-acceptance is a simple process, and I will offer an exercise below; but, it is not easy. Becoming aware of current ideas about yourself, accepting them without any traces of denial, and actively go about changing the ideas is the key to cultivating unconditional self-acceptance.
Cultivating Unconditional Self-Acceptance
- Take a deep breath and become still. Bring your attention to your breathing.
- After you feel focused write a description of yourself. Be as honest as you can.
- Go through your description noting all descriptors referring to your having to do something or achieve.
- Also take note of all descriptors you would never say to another person.
- Now take what you have noted in numbers three and four and make a list of both sets. Keeping in mind who you are as a person does not depend onr accomplishments.
- Take a deep breath and write a quote, saying, slogan, or whatever you need that will help you remember your desire to practice unconditional self-acceptance when you find yourself engaged in self-esteem focused thoughts.
Complete the exercise at your own rate. You may need to do this exercise in more than one sitting. If this is the case always begin with step one. You are neither grand nor diminutive. You are just right. You are enough.
Let me know about your experience.