If you’re looking for ways to improve, then accepting yourself is essential and you might want to look at your self image. Do you accept yourself for who you are? And by that, we mean, do you fully and unconditionally accept yourself?
Before you dismiss these questions as nonsense, think about it for a minute. It’s important to be fully aware of yourself, your thoughts and your surroundings. So what do your thoughts mainly consist of? Do you really know?
The mind and self image
Your thoughts are primarily a running internal monologue to yourself about what’s going on around you now, in the future and what’s happened in the past. This means that you spend a lot of time thinking about yourself and your self image. Probably more than you even realise!
As humans we are great at shying away from things that we don’t like. If someone has a problem with themselves, it’s going to be hard to focus on thoughts because your brain will just shy away from thinking about it. But your brain won’t want to be mindful if you dislike yourself, because it doesn’t want to be reminded of that dislike.
Are you struggling to accept yourself?
Do you suspect this might be one of your problems? Many people have it, especially in today’s hyper-connected and hyper-critical world where everyone is so often told about every perceived flaw and shortcoming. It’s hard to like yourself if it seems like no one else does.
You need to sit down and do some introspection about your self image. Do you like yourself? What parts of yourself do you like, or not like? Why? What parts of yourself do you still have trouble accepting? Why? Be brutally honest here.
Identifying the issue
Once you’ve identified the problem, you can face it. Attempt mindfulness again and pay attention to your thoughts. Notice when you start to say something self critical. It’s going to be either something on the list you’ve made or something new you haven’t noticed yet.
Stop the thought and change it. “I don’t like x about myself” can become “I accept x about myself.” Work on training your internal monologue to self correct these negative thoughts.
It takes time to finish this process, but you should start seeing improvements in your self image almost immediately.
This strategy is used in many fields to help advance self acceptance, including by professional therapists. If you follow it, you’ll become happier and better at accepting yourself and at being mindful. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!