Piggy-backing onto last week’s blog post theme of self-acceptance and appreciating yourself for all of your positive qualities along with your imperfections, I found an article that really resonated with this topic.
It seems to be a general consensus that the first step to success and happiness is self-love/acceptance. But why do we think this is?
Personally, I believe that in order to reach new heights and achieve goals that at one time seemed unachievable, you need to really instill faith in yourself and your capabilities.
It is not always easy to look at yourself the way that you look at others, or to see yourself the way that others see you. For some reason, it always feels a lot harder to give yourself the same benefit of the doubt that you gave your best friend, or the same amount of credit to yourself that you gave your sibling for doing something they were passionate about. The list goes on. What it all boils down to is that, sometimes, it’s a lot easier to love others than it is to love yourself.
Luke Jones came up with 5 steps that allow you to change your habits, in turn allowing you the ability to change your life:
1. Start with self-acceptance.
Most of us practice unconditional love toward our close friends and family, regardless of their flaws, but it’s rare that we show the same acceptance toward ourselves.
Instead, we beat ourselves up over every mistake we make, and every little defect. Our big belly, our bad eating habits, our laziness, and inability to manifest change. We waste so much energy focusing on these things, energy that could be used productively elsewhere.
Perhaps the most important step in habit changing is to first accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. Those imperfections are what make us human.
2. Determine your values.
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important to us. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. We get a neatly packaged glimpse into their life on Facebook, and form a false idea of perfection that we should live up to.
We then attempt to make a load of changes to become more like that person, without considering why. We set goals that are not aligned with our values, resulting in discomfort and dis-ease, and we never commit to them long term because they’re not that important to us.
Be you, not a second-rate version of someone else. First, determine your values by asking yourself a few questions. What would you do if money weren’t an issue? Where are you most organized and reliable? What do you surround yourself with?
3. Start small and build gradually.
Willpower is not an infinite energy source, and when forming habits we should avoid tapping into it as much as possible.
Rather than fixating on an end goal, plan your next few steps in that general direction, then execute them. If you want to eat healthily, maybe start by changing your breakfast, and nothing else. When you’re fully comfortable with that, perhaps begin to adjust your lunch.
Take your time, and don’t be tempted to bite off more than you can chew. Commit to the long haul rather than looking for the quick fix. It’s a more satisfying process, and each small step you take, you build your self-esteem, and your ability to produce further change.
4. Build a support network.
I’ve always had the tendency to try to tackle problems on my own. I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness, but the opposite is true. Building community is an important part of forming habits. It was only when I involved others that I really started to see success.
5. Embrace failure.
You’ll likely fail several times when changing your habits, just like I did (and still do). First, realize it’s okay. Those road bumps are a vital part of the learning process.
Secondly, search for the lesson. Failure teaches us what we can do to improve so we can come back next time as an upgraded version of ourselves. Maybe it means altering your goal to make it a little easier.
Make your adjustments, pick yourself up, and get back on the path to fulfilling your passions.
– Virginia Johnson
Are you struggling with self-love and acceptance, believing in yourself or would like some guidance with building a support network, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.