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How to Practice Self-Acceptance

Jonathan Riley

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

According to Shepard (1979), self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Acknowledging and accepting one’s own strengths and weaknesses, as well as being willing to accept one’s own imperfections, are all prerequisites for self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is the ability to accept yourself as you are instead of how you wish you were, or how you wish others perceive you.

Here are 10 ways to Practice Self-Acceptance

1. Be kind to yourself.

We can be our own worst enemies; therefore, it is important to be patient with yourself and accept your flaws. When you accomplish something you are proud of, take a moment to congratulate yourself and enjoy the accomplishment.

2. Create a self-accepting voice.

We are all familiar with the inner critic. That little voice in our heads is quick to judge and is always ready with a put down. Pelletier (2017) suggests creating an inner advocate voice that validates you, defends you and provides what you need in the moment. While your inner critic is against you, your inner advocate is on your side.

3. Identify, acknowledge, and celebrate your strengths.

It is easy to look in the mirror and point out all your insecurities. Write a list of your strengths and achievements, including any hardships you have overcome. Identifying, acknowledging, and celebrating your strengths can help improve your attitude toward yourself.

4. Accept imperfection.

Seltzer (2008) believes that people who set a standard of perfection are setting themselves up for failure. After all, perfection is unachievable. It is important to let go of what perfection may look like. Do not let an obsession for perfection slow you down in accomplishing your goals.

5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. Avoid endlessly scrolling through social media and comparing your life to that of others. Self-acceptance can be difficult, especially when comparing ourselves to others.

6. Create a support system.

Quality relationships are essential to happiness and self-acceptance. Surround yourself with people who accept and believe in you, and avoid those who do not.

7. Accept Yourself.

Accept yourself as you are. You have strengths, and you have weaknesses. Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you fail. Sometimes you are right, and sometimes you are wrong. Allow yourself to fully be who you are.

8. Learn from all parts

We tend to try to see our successes as good, and the failures as bad, but what if we see that everything is something to learn from. Even our darkest sides are a part of who we are, and we can learn a lot from them.

9. Keep believing in yourself

The path to self-acceptance can be rough and bumpy. There will be times when current circumstances, past experiences, and programming make accepting ourselves difficult or impossible. It is important to have faith in your own abilities and in your own judgment. Think highly of yourself and believe in yourself.

10. A long road to discovery

Self-acceptance doesn’t happen overnight. It takes extensive work and considerable dedication. However, learning how to love and treat yourself well can have an impact on how you live your life and what you are capable of accomplishing.

Finally, in the words of psychologist Tara Brach: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing. The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.” Start implementing some of the above practices, and most importantly, be compassionate with yourself when you fall short.


Pelletier, A. (2017, July 18). Seven ways to tremendously boost your self-confidence. Retrieved from

Shepard, Lorrie A. (1978). “Self-Acceptance: The Evaluative Component of the Self-Concept Construct”. American Educational Research Journal. 16 (2): 139–160. doi:10.2307/1162326. JSTOR 1162326.