Welcome to Day 4 of lifeinfullcolour’s 6-Day Exploration of Health At Every Size (HAES)
Today’s theme is Self-Acceptance, but if you are just joining us now, you might like to go back & try my Self-Care Challenge from Day 1, Joyful Movement Challenge from Day 2, or my Intuitive Eating Challenge from Day 3 🙂
(Image via: We ♥ it.)
In Day 1: Self-Care, i recalled the times when i had neglected my own needs in favour of taking care of others. What i was really conveying through that behaviour, was a belief i had that the needs of others were more important than my own – i didn’t feel that i deserved the same love & care that i was giving to others. I never felt deserving, because i never felt “good enough”. I was constantly striving to be better, more “perfect” – i felt i had to “earn” self-love & the love of others.
“You are not good enough” was a message that permeated my life, & i spent so many years trying to become “good enough”. I studied things i had no interest in because “i should”. I tried to get top marks because anything less was “not good enough”. I tried to change my appearance because there was always someone telling me i could look “better”. Can you relate to any of these things?
(Image via: We ♥ it.)
In all those years of trying to become “good enough”, it never occurred to me that i had the power to change what “good enough” meant. It never occurred to me that i could just stop & say to myself “Hey, you know what? You ARE good enough – who you are right now is good enough. You don’t need to change a thing to earn that.” It wasn’t until a year or two ago, that i realised the power of self-acceptance – “I might not fit everyone else’s definition of “good enough”, but that is okay. I am okay.”
To me, self-acceptance isn’t so much about accepting the way you look, as it is about accepting yourself as a person. I found that once i had learnt to accept & love myself as a person, it was a very natural progression to accepting my body. Once i realised what an amazing human being i am – & that i am worthy of acceptance & love exactly as i am right now – i stopped wanting to change myself, & that included changing my appearance. I realised that i don’t need to be flawless in order to be loved, & that it is entirely possible to love & accept who you are without loving your appearance.
The funny thing is, once i learnt to love myself as a person, once i stopped being so afraid of showing my true self, my true beauty was revealed to myself & the world – once i had learnt to love myself, i learnt to respect myself, & that was reflected in how i looked after my own body. Instead of looking at a pretty new dress & thinking “I don’t deserve it” or “I’m not thin enough/pretty enough/good enough to wear that”, i began to think “I’m worth it” instead. As Medicinal Marzipan says in her brilliant post “Thoughts On Being A “Pretty Fat Girl”“:
People will be attracted to you if you love yourself. That is a fact. And it often has very little to do with your actual weight. Because when you love yourself: you stand differently, you smile like you mean it, you extend kindness and warmth because you can see outside of your little shell of pain, and you dress in a way that is both comfortable and flattering instead of trying to hide your body away or make it something that it’s not.
And it’s really not about having a pretty face. It’s about having a compassionate and loving heart, and teaching yourself to accept your perceived flaws and make the absolute best out of every moment.
My challenge for you today is to explore your magnificence. Yep, you heard me – YOU are MAGNIFICENT 🙂
While self-acceptance is not just about accepting the parts of ourselves that we do like, it can be a good place to start. When we are caught up in thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t deserve this”, it is easy for us to forget what it is we do like about ourselves, & to forget that we contain any wonder or magnificence at all.
Day 4 – Self-Acceptance:
Get your pens & paper out for today’s challenge, because it is list time! 🙂
- I am awesome because…
Write a list of things you like about who you are as a person.
Perhaps it is your compassion or kind heart, perhaps it is your quirky sense of humour, or perhaps your generosity & goodwill.
Perhaps it is something entirely different! 🙂
- My body is awesome because…
What do you like about your body?
I like my quirky wayward eyebrow, & my pudgy little tummy.
Perhaps you like the colour of your skin, or a special birth mark.
- I am good at…
Instead of focusing on what you “can’t” do, or what you find challenging, focus on what you can do – each & every one of us has our own special talents 🙂
- I am learning to…
What are you learning about yourself & the world around you?
How are you growing & changing?
Perhaps you are learning to play a new instrument, or perhaps you are learning something more intangible – to live a lifeinfullcolour perhaps? 😉
Aim for a minimum of 5 answers in each category, but feel free to write 50 if you’d like to! 🙂
And try not to beat yourself up too much if 5 seems difficult – many of us have been so conditioned to believe that we are not “good enough” that it can be difficult to see past that to our talents & beauty. But if you give this challenge a go anyway, that gives you some other things to add to your talent list – determination & bravery! 🙂
Try to keep your focus on these things throughout the day 🙂
Perhaps for an extra challenge (i know, i’m tough – aren’t i? :P), you might like to try practising some positivity – after all, there is no better way to change an “I’m not good enough” into an “I am awesome – just as i am” 🙂 (Which, you are – just so you know ;))
Be sure to pop on over to lifeinfullcolour’s Facebook page today – & prepare yourself for a bombardment of posts inspiring self-acceptance & self-love! 🙂 And please feel free to share with me there, or here on the blog how you have found today’s Self-Acceptance Challenge – i’d love to hear about your experiences!