Understanding and Accepting Who You Really Are
People can feel shame over many things in their lives … both in the past and present.
Perhaps you feel shame about being part of your family. Or how you’ve treated someone. Perhaps you are feeling shame about how you self identify. Or the fact that you’ve not been able to be honest with a loved one.
One of the reasons to seek counseling is to accept who you are and understand why you are that way.
Self-Esteem versus Self-Acceptance
Although one contributes to the other, self-esteem and self-acceptance are not the same. Self-esteem refers to the value or worth you feel that you have. Self-acceptance is accepting all areas of yourself, not just the parts you think are good. In order to have a healthy, positive self-esteem, you must first learn to accept the person you are … no matter what anyone else thinks or what you perceive they think of you.
Why Self-Acceptance is Important
When you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t tend to take the best care of yourself. If you feel like you don't fit in, you may isolate yourself from family or friends. Feeling insecure about your weight or a negative image of your body could lead to eating disorders, weight gain, or extreme weight loss.
No matter what the insecurity or negative thoughts you may have, if not dealt with they could lead you into situations you’re not happy with. These potential situations may include unhealthy romantic relationships, underperformance in the workplace, and missing out on a healthy family life.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities that life holds for you.
Accepting yourself is such an important part of personal happiness. I know this first hand and look forward to assisting you in the near future.
Dr. Wayne Bullock is a Washington D.C. area therapist specializing in the needs of gay men, the LGBTQ community, and those dealing with anxiety, depression, and trauma.