“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” — Nathaniel Branden
A while back I was asked about acceptance. How to find acceptance for yourself and others.
Now, I can only speak for myself, and in some ways I got lucky.
When I was young I was bullied at school. I understood what it means to be judged.
Slowly I started questioning the automatic tapes that would play whenever I failed. I’d learned to feel like if I failed at something I, as a person, was a failure.
That changed bit by bit for every time I questioned: “Wait, is it true? Or is it just something I tell myself because other people have convinced me that it’s true?”
It took me a solid 3 years to start feeling more comfortable in my own skin and not be so hard on myself.
As a result I was a lot more accepting of others. Accepting others actually came a lot faster to me.
Maybe we really are our own worst critics?
I’m not saying that I’m free of judgement. I’ve got preconceived notions about people who look, speak, dress, and behave in certain ways.
The difference is that I know that I have these prejudices. I’m willing to admit that I have them, and as a result I realize that I don’t need to act on them.
Also, sometimes those old tapes saying that I’m not good enough turn on, but I know that they’re just automatic reactions. They aren’t the truth.
What I mean to say is that perhaps we can’t rid ourselves of these thoughts completely, but we can definitely learn to not let them govern our actions.
Perhaps that’s just good enough?
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