True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” – Brene Brown. 

 

Human beings are all different; physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, the culture we live in today can seem at times as though it is a culture based on self-loathing, comparison, and running after versions of ourselves which only exist as mirages. The reason that we as human beings indulge in these bouts of self-hate is because we want to be liked, accepted, and to belong. To belong is the most primal human urge; however, the anxiety and self-doubt kicks in when one denies themselves the freedom to be themselves just in order to fit in. When we deny ourselves self-expression and do things which make us happy, we set ourselves for anxiety and resentment.

This is why it is important for us to understand ourselves and embrace our unique differences whether they be physical or emotional as only accepting our uniqueness can help us lead a truly fulfilling life. The problem arises when we start putting other people on pedestals and try to become like them and start chasing something that was never ours in the first place. We only belong to ourselves and as Brene Brown says in this opening quote, true belonging can only take place if we show up in our lives as our authentic selves. However, with inner work and self-awareness, it is easier to do.

Today I’m offering a number of ways of why and how we can embrace our uniqueness.

Why is it Important to Embrace Our Unique Selves?

Before we go on the journey of self-acceptance, it is important to understand why it is important and why we should invest time in it in the first place. Accepting ourselves with our strengths and weaknesses gives us a more realistic and pragmatic perspective to live life.

Here are 10 reasons self-acceptance is crucial:

 

1.Self-Expression and Liberation

One of the main reasons that it is important for us to embrace who we is so that we do not have to constantly contain or suppress the stories we have inside us. Our minds, thoughts, and talents deserve to be expressed and engaged with. Constantly keeping them in to fit; whether that be by shrinking ourselves around people or being afraid to say or do something different because of the fear of how it would be received – these types of experiences can give us a feeling of being trapped inside of ourselves, and may lead to us feeling bitter and dissatisfied with our lives.
 

2.Helps You Stand Out

Often times, people confuse standing out with being the most liked or the most popular person in the room. Standing out is different from being liked and popular; instead, standing out can be more internal than external. Eventually, when one internally feels fit for a certain job or position, with consistent effort, our work would stand out and win us a place around people. On the other hand, trying to be like someone else can never make us stand out as it would not reap the same consistency and self-belief as knowing oneself.
 

3.Makes You Self-Assured and Confident

When a person is secure in their abilities and what they have to offer, this brings in a strong sense of confidence which can not be faked. This is because this sense of confidence comes from not only knowing our strengths but also our weaknesses. When we become comfortable with our weaknesses and able to laugh about them, we take away the power from anyone else to do so.
 

4.Satisfaction

As one practices self-acceptance, one naturally is able to express themselves better and reach a sense of confidence. The satisfaction that comes with leading a life that feels authentic to us brings in extreme satisfaction and fulfilment and takes away the anxiety that we are losing out on anything but rather helps us achieve growth and abundance mindset as when you go on the journey of self-discovery, the first thing you discover is that this is a never-ending journey full of adventure and excitement. 
 

5.Allows You to Establish Your Own Values and Boundaries

Not being authentic to oneself robs us from the ability to say no at the right time as very soon into trying to fit in and grab onto everything, we truly lose the innate quality to decipher what truly excites us and what we are doing just to please people. This drains you emotionally and mentally taking away from the precious time you could invest in building a fulfilling life for yourself.
 

6.Deeper Living

According to Research, people often begin to desire what other people desire. This in other words is known as mimetic desire which is the notion that most of our desires arise from just mimicking other people’s desires. By truly reflecting on our own desires helps us live a deeper life and truly feel fulfilled instead of running after spinning tops.
 

7.Your Story is Important

A lot of times, people underplay themselves and their abilities. In this process, we put other people on pedestals and see them as “cool” and “interesting” and completely undermine the experiences we have had as people. It is essential to understand that each and every person regardless of their physical and emotional differences in every way is different and has a unique life perspective to offer. The world benefits from our stories and they must be told.
 

8.Makes Other People Feel Comfortable

Another crucial reason to practice self-acceptance is because when we are warm and kind to ourselves, in that process, we also allow other people to do that for themselves. People who are real and authentic spark the same kind of energy in other people and helps them feel liberated. Hence, self-acceptance can not only help you but other people as well.
 

9.Prevents Envy and Insecurity

When one focuses on themselves and is able to laugh about their weaknesses, one makes themselves immune to unnecessary insecurity and envy. Only a person who has not been on a journey with themselves gets lost in bouts of envy over and over again.
 

10.Authentic Self-Discovery

Regardless of whether you believe in fate and destiny, it is a universal fact that as people we can not have everything. It is realistically impossible. We are also aware that we are all born with different abilities and hence, a mixture of different abilities and different resources sets us up for very distinct emotional and life experiences. If we cling on to experiences or things that are not meant for us, we are blocking what is for us, or for people who do believe in fate, this is synonymous to blocking the good written in your fate.

 

How Can One Embrace Their Unique Selves?

Embracing oneself is taxing process. The world is a very competitive place and no matter how many times you build yourself up, there is always potential to experience something that would once again completely break your spirit. However, one can learn to grow better at it.

Here are 10 ways that can help us accept ourselves better: 

 

1.Self-Reflection 

The first uncontestable step to any cognitive and behavioural change is to introspect and evaluate the problem at hand. A great way to start is to ask yourself about your values and triggers as a person. There are countless online exercises which help us streamline what we value in life. Reflecting on these values and coming back to them whenever we feel triggered is a great starting point to begin the journey of self-compassion.
 

2.Learning Continuously 

Accepting oneself is not synonymous to being complacent or making excuses for things we can change about our lives. True acceptance and self-compassion lies in doing the best possible thing for us. Hence, one should prioritise constantly learning and bettering oneself but at one’s own unique pace and not in the race to charm or impress anyone.
 

3.Owning Your Narrative 

To truly love oneself, one needs to get rid of any blame. This includes not blaming oneself and others. In the words of Toni Morrison, the only way to forgive oneself is to offer oneself grace after experiencing self-loathing. The more the mistakes, the more interesting the story!
 

4.Stop Pleasing Everyone 

A huge part of self-compassion is saying no to things that do not align with you. Constantly doing things to please other people as you fear that they will not like you drains you of the energy to lead an authentic life.
 

5.Turn Comparison into Inspiration

Comparing yourself to other people is a tricky terrain. While on one hand it can be useful in terms of giving you an objective perspective of where you stand, comparison always ends up becoming a source of agony as once we start, the temptation to stop is hard to resist. Hence, a better way to look at comparison is through the lens of inspiration. Anytime we see someone “better” than us, we should train ourselves to not feel threatened by it but rather feel inspired and be willing to learn.
 

6.Be Curious

Curiosity is one the very few things in life that is truly invincible. Curiosity is the simple state of being interested and something and finding innate pleasure in it. According to research, the brain and its ability to do things is fluid and flexible can be changed if we challenge our brain enough. This is why one should not stop themselves from wanting to learn more just because they think they are not as smart as their peers or co-workers; and always remain curious.

 

7.Take Risks

A great way of discovering oneself and one’s unique strengths is to put ourselves out of our comfort zones. Very less growth happens inside our comfort zones. However, for many of us it takes years to be truly ready for a too big a change, remaining focused and re-evaluating your values a person regularly helps you streamline what one can truly risk themselves to take chance for. In this way you may feel a little more self-assured.
 

8.Embrace Failure

The most effective way of doing well in life is to befriend failure. If one begins to hold onto success and let that define their worth instead of changing their actions, one is only set up for more failure. Instead, one should accept failure as a part of life.
 

9.Be Kind to Yourself

A lot of people think that by being harsh critics of our own selves, we are achieving some great purpose. However, this is just a way to appease our ego and deflect real work. Real work only begins with kindness and compassion to oneself.
 

10.Appreciate the Beauty in Others and Be Grateful

Everything in life does not have to fixed. Some things in life are supposed to accepted just as they are no matter how painful they might be. This includes being happy for others even when our own lives might be collapsing. One can only truly thrive in life if they are truly happy for others while being grateful for what they have otherwise, any time they will see someone doing better than them, they would be triggered.

 

You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself” – Albert Camus.

 

Final Word

No matter what our insecurities might be, one can learn how to feel confident about oneself by practicing self-compassion and the willingness to embrace and experience ourselves. 

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