As I sat down to write this first blog, I realized I am living proof of the power of self-acceptance. Ten years ago, I certainly never would have considered taking huge risks like writing a book, putting up a website, blogging or video blogging. I could never have imagined being self-revealing about my own personal struggles and flaws. And I certainly would not have been brave enough to take on the entire psychiatry profession, challenging how it diagnoses and treats those it arbitrarily and falsely identifies as having “mental disorders.”
But when I consider how completely Self-Acceptance Psychology transformed my personality and relationships, it fuels my passion to bring these ideas to others. I feel so strongly about these concepts that I am even going out on a limb financially and career-wise purely in an effort to help others. It would be much easier to enjoy my life without the tremendous challenges of promoting this idea in every minute of my spare time.
My Journey to Self-Acceptance
My journey to self-acceptance began during my second divorce about 10 years ago. My main goal was to avoid repeating the unhealthy relationship patterns that I had experienced in my two failed marriages. Little did I know that so many wonderful, healthy changes would occur to my personality as well!
So I started with therapy, where I took a fresh look at my self-perception, childhood experiences and family relationships. For the first time, self-reflection and journaling became a major part of my life. I read self-help books by the dozens. I was lucky to have been practicing yoga for many years and I revived a meditation practice I had learned in college in the 1970s. A daily running habit was also a tremendously helpful mindfulness practice.
This combination of mind and body work helped provide a calm field for my self-reflection and insights.
If you had asked me at that time, I probably would have said that I loved and accepted myself. I always believed I was a calm person. I have always been a very positive, forward-thinking person who doesn’t dwell in the past. I am not a worrier, and don’t have any phobias, obsessions, or other anxiety-based behaviors. I’ve never been depressed.
I am not an attention-seeker, stirring up dramas or having emotional meltdowns. I’m also very decisive in personal and business matters. I have no problem making major decisions and don’t wallow in regret. Physically, I’ve always tried to carry myself with confidence.
Despite all those positive characteristics, I now recognize that in the past I wasn’t calm at my core.
It is only in hindsight and with improved self-awareness that I am able to recognize that I spent far too much time and energy anxiously focused on the opinions and needs of others. I was too busy worrying what everyone else thought about me.
Simply: Because I had such low self-worth, I depended on others for feelings of acceptance.
As I look back, I can clearly see how low self-worth and the desperate need for approval had driven my behaviors, both large and small. Hindsight has allowed me to become fully aware of how this played out in many powerful and intriguing ways.
In my next blogs I’ll give details of the many changes in my personality that occurred when I gained self-acceptance.
Check out my first video blog on You Tube. And follow my blog or social media for updated information on Self-Acceptance Psychology™, and news of related topics.