Claudia Kinser – Sophomore – April 19, 2017
What is one of your biggest struggles? Is it putting on a brave face when you feel like crying? Is it having to be patient with your family members or an irritating so-called friend? Or maybe, like so many of us, is it accepting yourself no matter how much you don’t like a particular flaw? This article will talk more about both self-acceptance and self-esteem, which, contrary to popular opinion, are not the same.
Self-acceptance is defined by Merriam Webster as the quality or state of accepting yourself, whereas self-esteem is respecting yourself and your abilities. While sounding similar, esteem generally relates to more positive aspects of you and who you are, but acceptance is more accommodating to everything about yourself, loving the good, but learning to love the bad as well.
What does accepting your whole self involve?It encompasses being okay with, or accepting, everything about yourself, not just your positive traits. In order to do this, you have to first stop judging yourself. The saying “You are your own worst enemy.” is entirely true. You believe what you think about yourself, and can not be easily persuaded otherwise.
I asked a few classmates to write how they feel about their struggles, fears, or any others thoughts about their own self-acceptance.
Judgement is my biggest fear. I put walls up when I’m around large groups of people. Sometimes, I hate being seen. It’s as if people are mirrors. Every time I notice them looking at me, I suddenly see something wrong with myself that I hadn’t noticed before. I don’t feel pretty, and other times I feel as if I have no self worth. Self acceptance is my biggest struggle. I deal with it every single day, and it affects my attitude towards life and other people. There’s a statement- “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. I feel that we as a society do not take this into consideration. Even I forget the true meaning of this statement sometimes. We spend so much of our lives judging others, and finding joy from others pain. We sometimes even laugh at other people’s biggest insecurities. We look from the outside, and forget to look into the depth within a person’s soul, mind, and spirit. Sometimes, the mind twists our concepts of other people’s body language, which deceitfully leads to the fear of judgement. I still have not discovered a way to deal with self acceptance. There are times it’s hard to come to school, or be seen in public. There are even times where I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. But I know that living a life hiding from my fears would not help me in any way. Therefore, I place a smile on my face, and deal with the pain.
I believe self-acceptance is liking yourself for the qualities that you have or skills you like about yourself. Being confident is the biggest key for self-acceptance. Whether you have many or little flaws, if you have confidence, you can be or do whatever you want. I know being confident is harder said than done but you have to find traits or qualities that you like about yourself and build your confidence off of that.
I honestly love myself. I had to basically teach myself to love myself completely. Even when I mess up and do bad at some things, I still love it because that is how I am. I am a smart but goofy person with no common sense, and I love that. There is no one else in the world like me, and that makes me feel special. I am my own person, and if anyone doesn’t like that then they are not meant to be in my life.