The first step in creating the life of our dreams is to arrive at a place of true acceptance. This does not mean that there are not things we would like to change. It does mean that our happiness with ourselves does not depend on these changes. If we do not love ourselves unconditionally, it will be difficult for others to do so. When we place ourselves last on our own lists, we can end up feeling resentful and looking to others to fill us up. When they can’t or won’t, we point to our own unworthiness as the cause or blame others for being insensitive. This ends up a no-win situation. Learning to accept ourselves is a process. It takes time and the ability to honestly reflect on many aspects of our lives.
Here are some questions to consider as you work on developing that genuine place of true acceptance.
1. What do I need to start accepting the realities of my body, my personality, my talents, my perceived weaknesses?
2. What self-talk do I need to change to start this process? We can start by noticing the things we say to ourselves on a regular basis. Do these things we say serve us or hinder us? Do they move us closer to our goals or further away?
3. How have I adopted the judgments of others as my own? Do I really believe there is some absolute truth to these judgments? If not, which ones do I want to ditch?
4. What do I want to believe about myself?
5. What benefits do I receive from being my own worst critic? Sometimes self-criticism serves to keep us safe from the judgment of others. We tell ourselves if we judge first then others won’t have to.
6. What do I want others to do for me emotionally that I am not willing to do for myself?
7. Am I willing to commit to accepting myself unconditionally as I am while recognizing there are areas I’d like to change?

Until next time….
Change. Discover. Transform.
Carla Carter, Ed.D., LCPC, CMPC, EMDR Certified

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