Self-acceptance: A Growth Journey To Reclaim Your Best Self.
Lack of self-acceptance and excess self-sabotage are two aspects I continually encounter working with single mothers. Unfortunately, self-sabotage is a common pattern many of us fall into, whether in our relationships, careers, or personal goals. It’s the act of unconsciously undermining our success and happiness.
One of the biggest reasons people engage in self-sabotaging behaviours is that they don’t believe they are worthy of love, success, and happiness. They may have internalized negative messages from their past, or they may have developed a negative self-image due to experiences of rejection or failure.
When we don’t believe we are worthy of good things, we unconsciously create obstacles and barriers that prevent us from achieving them. It can be a difficult habit to break, hindered by procrastination, self-doubt, or negative self-talk. But dear Mama, it can be done.
The most important step in breaking the self-sabotage cycle is building a positive and healthy relationship with yourself. See, easy-peasy!
Self-acceptance is the key to breaking the self-sabotage cycle.
When we accept and love ourselves, we create a sense of inner peace and security that allows us to overcome the fears and doubts that drive self-sabotage. As a result, we also become more resilient in facing challenges and setbacks. We become better equipped to handle the obstacles that life throws our way.
Self-acceptance is the process of accepting and valuing yourself for who you are, regardless of your flaws and imperfections. It means accepting & loving yourself despite your limitations. Understanding that you are not perfect yet still being kind and compassionate with yourself. And removing the constant need for validation from others.
It is valuable because it is a foundation for mental and emotional well-being. For example, accepting ourselves makes us less likely to suffer from negative self-talk and self-criticism, leading to low self-esteem and anxiety. Additionally, self-acceptance allows us to set healthy boundaries, communicate effectively, and make decisions that align with our values and goals.
Yet to accept ourselves entirely for who we are, we need to practice self-awareness. The premise of self-awareness is that you are not your thoughts. Instead, you are the one watching your thoughts; you are the thinker, separate from your thoughts. And as such, you can observe yourself honestly through self-reflection and thus change your thoughts and behaviours. Once mastered, this skill can lead to many benefits.
Understanding your thoughts, feelings, and motivations is essential, as is learning to recognize when you engage in self-sabotaging behaviours. By being aware of your patterns, you can make conscious choices that align with your goals and values.
You can read more about self-awareness and how to cultivate it on the Mama Mindset page of Single Mama Way: “How to Improve Your Self-awareness and why you need to.”
Self-care naturally promotes self-acceptance. Blooms as a direct consequence of being aware of our needs. And is thus also a key to breaking the self-sabotage cycle.
Activities such as exercise, journaling, spending time outdoors, eating well and getting enough sleep are just a few ideas. By setting time aside each day to care for yourself, you will be better able to handle the challenges and setbacks that can lead to self-sabotage.
Yet self-care is not just doing nice things for our bodies. Setting boundaries that include saying no to things that don’t align with your values. Limiting how you allow others to treat you is also an integral part of self-care. If you struggle with this concept head grab your copy of “Single Mama’s Guide to setting healthy boundaries” HERE.
As is surrounding yourself with people who support and encourage you. This can be friends, family, a therapist, or a support group. Groups are a great way to connect with others going through similar experiences and gain additional support and understanding. A robust support system can help you stay motivated and on track as you work to overcome self-sabotage.
Therapy or counselling can provide a safe and supportive space to explore and process your thoughts and feelings. Through Single Mama Way Counselling, I pride myself on helping you develop coping strategies and tools to improve your mental and emotional well-being.
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be. This can help boost your confidence and motivate you to continue making progress.
Maybe this journey should have started with self-compassion. Without it, self-care, self-awareness and self-acceptance cannot exist. Likewise, self-sabotage or any other self-deprecating practice will find it hard to flourish in a compassionate environment.
Self-compassion is the practice of treating yourself with the same kindness, concern, and understanding that you would offer to a good friend. It involves acknowledging your feelings and experiences and recognizing that you are not alone in your struggles.
Self-compassion has been shown to increase emotional well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental health. Techniques such as mindfulness and self-kindness can be used to cultivate self-compassion. For example, mindfulness practices like meditation can help you focus on the present moment and become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. Self-kindness practices, such as writing yourself a letter of encouragement, can help you develop a more supportive inner voice.
Reframing our negative thoughts and speech is also vital. Negative self-talk is our internal dialogue with ourselves, which can be critical and negative. It can manifest in thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough”, or “I’ll never be able to do that.”
To challenge negative self-talk, it’s essential to first identify it when it arises. Once you recognize negative thoughts, you can question their validity and reframe them positively. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m not good enough,” try saying, “I am doing the best I can, and that is enough.”
In closing, self-sabotage can be a difficult habit to break, but with the right tools and techniques, you can overcome it and take control of your life. First, remember to be kind to yourself, seek support, and take action towards your goals. Then, with persistence and patience, you can smash self-sabotage for good.
It is important to note that reclaiming your best self is not a destination but a journey of self-discovery and continuous effort. So don’t let fear and self-doubt hold you back, take small steps towards your goals and build momentum from there.