Updated on:

January 10, 2015
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How to Increase Self Acceptance and Ease Self Judgment

Most of us are familiar with self-judgmental thought patterns. When we don’t measure up to our limited ideas of ‘perfection’, it can become habitual to sink into harsh self-dialogue. The good news is that while self judgment is not something we can overcome in a single day, increasing our awareness of it is a powerful practice that will guide us towards naturally developing self acceptance.

But what is self acceptance and how do we practice it? From awareness of self judgment to meditation for self acceptance, there are a variety of practices we can explore to enhance this virtue. But, let’s begin by figuring out what it really is in the first place.

What is Self Acceptance?

Quite simply, self acceptance is about being fully open to and embracing of ourselves exactly as we are. It is not about getting to a place in the future when we will be able to embrace ourselves; it is about being self loving right here and now.

This is not something that comes easy in our modern day society as there is much expectation to perform and look in certain ways and much competition. However, this is a process that any of us can begin today. It is a journey deep into the unconditional worthiness of ourselves.

How to Accept Ourselves

Learning to accept ourselves is not something that occurs overnight. Often, it requires a process of unlearning all the ways we’ve been unaccepting towards ourselves for so long. As we create this space within, we can cultivate virtues such as compassion, patience, and kindness.

Some of the ways in which we can practice self acceptance include:

1. Awareness of our self-judgments

The first step to unlearning and relearning is always awareness. We cannot change anything that we are not aware of. So, the process begins by enhancing our ability to note where and when we judge ourselves. As we observe these tendencies, we can bestow them with patience, curiosity, and compassion to naturally ease their grip.

2. Meditation for self-acceptance

Next, we can listen to a meditation for self-acceptance to enhance our awareness of judgments that we subconsciously make. Guided meditations are effective tools for developing our understanding of these sorts of practices, so they can be used as a framework for self-guided practice in the future.

3. Mindfulness of our emotions

Furthermore, tending to our emotions with love and compassion is another powerful way of learning to accept ourselves. A beautiful practice to explore this is Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation. This practice invites us to recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture whatever is present in our inner world.

About the author 

Nicole Lannertone

Nicole is a meditator, poet, and freelance writer (in no specific order). The last two years of her life have been strongly dedicated to her meditation practice and deepening her self-awareness. She is an American temporally living in Montréal with her fiancée currently planning the next chapter of their life.