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by David N Johnson

July 10, 2023

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I’ve been blogging a lot lately about personal growth, which led me to think about the possible ramifications from constant self-improvement. This is why I want to tackle a tricky subject: the delicate balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance.

It’s a question I’ve pondered upon extensively, and I’m sure many of you have too: “How can we fully accept and love ourselves as we are right now, while still keeping our sights on becoming even better versions of ourselves?”

The Gift of Self-Acceptance

Let’s start by understanding what self-acceptance is all about. Imagine standing in front of a mirror, seeing your reflection – the good, the not-so-good, and everything in between – and saying to yourself, “I am okay with who I am right now”.

Self-acceptance is about understanding your strengths and your quirks, acknowledging your situation, and not shying away from your reality. It’s like embracing a dear friend with all their perfections and imperfections. The incredible thing about self-acceptance is the sense of peace it brings – it reduces stress, boosts your mental well-being, and helps improve your relationships.

The Adventure of Self-Improvement

On the flip side, there’s the journey of self-improvement – an adventure, if you will. It’s about setting sails towards a destination where we envision our better selves. But here’s the key: this journey should stem from a desire to enrich our lives, not from a feeling of being “less than” or inadequate. It’s a process of adding color to the canvas of our life, not a desperate attempt to cover up perceived flaws.

The Balance: An Art Form

So, how do we balance self-improvement and self-acceptance? Think of it as an art form, one that needs practice, patience, and a generous amount of self-love. Here’s how:

1. Practice Gratitude: Reflect on your achievements and positive qualities every day – no matter how small. This simple practice can be surprisingly empowering and reinforces self-acceptance.

2. Cultivate Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself, especially when things go south. Remember, we’re all humans, and making mistakes is part of our journey.

3. Set Realistic Goals: Aim high, but keep your feet on the ground. Unrealistic goals can leave us feeling inadequate, hindering both self-acceptance and self-improvement.

4. Celebrate Your Journey, Not Just the Destination: Appreciate your progress, not just the end goal. Remember, every step towards your goal is a victory in itself!

5. Embrace Mindfulness: Stay present and accept yourself as you are, without judgment. This mindful awareness is the bedrock of both self-acceptance and self-improvement.

The Summit: Reflections and Takeaways

As we wrap up today’s heart-to-heart, I’d like to share a personal experience. There was a time when I was entirely focused on self-improvement, striving to reach my goals and constantly pushing myself. But in that pursuit, I overlooked the importance of accepting who I was in the present moment. It took a toll on my mental well-being. That’s when I realized that self-acceptance isn’t the enemy of self-improvement – it’s its most vital ally.

Imagine yourself standing at the base of a mountain. The peak represents the “improved” you – the person you aspire to be. The journey up that mountain can be tough. But remember, each step you take, each hurdle you overcome, makes you stronger and more resilient. And while the view from the top will be breathtaking, don’t forget to appreciate the beauty of the climb as well. After all, it’s the climb that shapes us.

I’d like you to take a moment and reflect. Are you embracing yourself as you are right now? Are you appreciating your journey, or are you solely focused on the destination? This week, I challenge you to apply one of the strategies we discussed to balance self-improvement with self-acceptance. Remember, the goal is not to completely change who we are but to love ourselves while we’re on this journey of growth.

And now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you struggled with balancing self-acceptance and self-improvement? What strategies have worked for you?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Until next time, keep growing, keep loving, and above all, keep being you. Remember, you are enough, just as you are right now.

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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