What is Self-Acceptance? Definition and Examples

What is Self-Acceptance? Definition and Examples

What is Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the ability to embrace who you are, without judgment or criticism. It means accepting your strengths and weaknesses, your past experiences, your thoughts and emotions, and your physical body.

Why is Self-Acceptance Important?

Practicing self-acceptance can benefit mental health in many ways:

  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Builds confidence and self-esteem
  • Allows us to set healthy boundaries
  • Helps us connect to our true selves

When we accept ourselves fully, without trying to change or resist aspects of who we are, we give ourselves the freedom and space to heal and grow.

How to Practice Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance takes intention, self-awareness, and commitment to loving yourself. Some tips include:

  1. Identify core beliefs about yourself that need changing
  2. Challenge negative self-talk with compassion
  3. Spend quality time getting to know yourself
  4. Make self-care a regular practice
  5. Surround yourself with supportive people

Begin noticing self-critical thoughts and respond to yourself as you would a dear friend – with gentleness, empathy, and encouragement.

Examples of Self-Accepting Affirmations

Some positive self-accepting statements to practice daily:

  • I accept myself for who I am
  • My feelings are valid and important
  • I lovingly accept my body as it is right now
  • My mistakes and failures do not define my worth
  • I release judgment and fully accept myself

The Benefits of Living a Self-Accepting Life

Making self-acceptance a way of life allows for:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Increased life satisfaction
  • Clarity in decision making
  • Space for personal growth
  • Overall wellbeing

When you embrace all aspects of yourself, you can live authentically and thrive.


What are some signs that someone lacks self-acceptance?

Some signs of low self-acceptance include negative self-talk, people pleasing, perfectionism, needing external validation, isolation, not setting healthy boundaries, and self-destructive behaviors.

What self-care activities promote self-acceptance?

Self-care activities like daily affirmations, self-compassion exercises, mindfulness practices, therapy, journaling, spending time outdoors, movement/dance, and creative arts can all help boost self-acceptance.

How do you teach someone to be self-accepting?

To help someone become more self-accepting: actively listen without judgment, ask thoughtful questions to promote self-reflection, challenge negative assumptions, emphasize their strengths, do activities to get to know themselves better, suggest self-care practices, and lead by example with your own self-acceptance.

What makes it difficult for some people to accept themselves?

Many psychological, emotional, and cultural factors can make self-acceptance challenging, including: childhood trauma, abuse, shame, depression/anxiety, inequality, discrimination, perfectionism, self-image issues caused by media ideals, imposter syndrome, and more. Unlearning negative core beliefs takes time, effort, courage and support.

How do you know if you truly accept yourself?

You can gauge your level of self-acceptance by noticing how often you criticize yourself, if you feel comfortable setting boundaries, if you can objectively acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, if you feel worthy regardless of achievements or failures, and if you feel free to be your authentic self around others without pretenses. The more you exhibit these traits, the greater your self-acceptance.