Self acceptance is difficult when you’re told you have to be something you don’t actually desire to be. I support a number of influencers who are creating a wonderful new world for us to live in, but they’re continually told they should change who they are to fit society’s mold.
I find this terribly disheartening. Don’t you?
If you pay close attention to the media, you’re likely seeing the societal structures, systems and norms Americans have become accustomed to rapidly evolve. The things we used to hold as being deeply true… no longer seem to be true. Or, we’re beginning to deeply question their validity.
For example, the FBI’s recent discovery of possible rules violations by NCAA men’s basketball’s biggest programs – Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan State and more – seem to be the tip of the iceberg of potential corruption for one of our nation’s most beloved sports. Select college athletes are being paid, so why can’t all of them be paid? The NCAA is a business with $1B in annual revenue, after all.
We’re seeing incredible growth of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies that allow for decentralization of the world’s monetary systems and provide a transparent tool to digitally record transactions creating a more fair, open and accessible system of value exchange. The current central banking system allows for those in power to hide transactions, push agendas and help certain population segments more than others. I used to believe a paper dollar was the only way to exchange value.
American politics seem to be as divisive as ever. Whether you’re republican, democrat, independent or disengaged, some elected officials seem to be more interested in passing laws that favor their favorite high-dollar-value donors than those laws that would serve the will of their entire constituent base. A friend of mine truly thought the two-party system was the most equitable way to serve all Americans. Maybe it’s not.
These changes, and so many more, can be deeply concerning and induce personal feelings of helplessness, loneliness or wonderment for what’s next.
My experience has led me to believe many people haven’t yet defined their personal missions. Instead, they connect themselves to traditional systems (becoming an ardent sports team fan, living vicariously through their children’s’ success, driving a specific type of vehicle, affiliating with a chosen political party, etc.) in search of intrinsic happiness and feelings of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
Ironically, the more we engrain ourselves in these systems, the further from self acceptance we move.
I believe, in the next 5-10 years, these deeply held societal “truths” will further disintegrate and self acceptance will become even more difficult.
At that point, Robert Anthony’s quote, “When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change… you will change.” will become true.
In times of significant change, knowing your personal mission and accepting yourself deeply are foundational to making it through the change.
Because it’s hard to accept who you’ve become trying to fit society’s mold and not the real, authentic you that you’ve suppressed for years. If you desire higher levels of self acceptance and to discover the most authentic version of yourself, consider taking action on these five things.
1 – Go on a Judgment Detox.
It’s easy to look back and regret taking actions you feel didn’t serve you. Instead, be kind, tell yourself it’s okay and be grateful for the lessons learned. You’ll be able to share those lessons with others later. I encourage you to be patient. Accept your flaws (they’re part of what makes you unique). Stop judging yourself and those around you. Feel comfort in lowering your expectations and letting go of the ideal.
2 – Practice Positive Psychology.
Whether it’s meditation, neuro-linguistic programming, a random act of kindness, writing in a daily journal, sending hand-written note cards, volunteering or a variety of other activities, be grateful for the many blessings surrounding you each day. Building confidence happens naturally when you feel the impact you’ve had on others.
3 – Forgive and Move On.
Emotional reactivity today is often due to a wound from our past that we’ve not forgiven someone else or ourselves for. Consider keeping a “pain” journal. Each day, write down the events that made you sad or angry. After 3-4 weeks of journaling, you’ll recognize patterns and can correlate those patterns to a trauma from an earlier life event. Forgive everyone involved with the early trauma and move on knowing you’ll have less emotional reactivity moving forward.
4 – Never Fail Your Daily Habits.
Goal setting is important, but commitment to the daily habits that make the goal happen are way more important. Block your calendar for exercise, meditation, launching your business, family time, budgeting, etc. and never fail in giving time that day to yourself.
5 – Be Social.
Humans are hard-wired to need connection to other humans, especially through change. So, who are your accountability partners? How often do you meet with them? In what ways do they help you level up your life? I gave a talk in California last month and told the audience they needed to drop one loser friend… and gain one winner friend. Who are those people for you?
Change will accelerate. Societal institutions you used to hold in high regard will fall. New leaders and systems will rise. Evolution is disrupting nearly ever facet of your life. It’s going to be uncomfortable. But, you can find comfort in the uncomfortableness if you put your well being first. Forget about what society says you should be or do. Instead, find deep levels of self acceptance by being the most authentic version of you.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
As your truths disintegrate, start by changing yourself.