I do accept myself.
I have worked hard to cultivate a love for my body and spirit and I truly believe I have that. It ebbs and flows and I do not always feel 100%, but that does not stop me from taking care of myself.
However, this self acceptance has been limiting my life in the past year and in full transparency, it’s time to change that.
When you work closely with a few people like I do at work, you get to know them really well. At my job, I am the one people usually ask random questions about running, vegetables (not food, just vegetables) or reasons why they feel sick.
I am not a doctor, so I give my best guess and usually they can feel better if they move a little more, and eat a few more plants. I think we all could benefit from that.
Regardless of what I say and even if they agree with me, change is slow to come. I believe this is for a few reasons.
1.) They don’t know exactly how to change.
2.) They aren’t ready to give up something that is preventing change.
3.) They accept the way they are, even if it means living a lackluster life.
Today, let’s discuss number 3, because this is the biggest reason some parts of my life are stale, and others are not.
What a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I accept myself the way I am.
Way to go!
Reality: I don’t want/am not ready/it’s hard to change, so it’s easier to say this.
Coworker: “I feel really tired and hungover”
Me: “Go to bed earlier.”
Coworker: “I was trying to beat this level on PlayStation while drinking beer and it was fun.”
Me: “Ok, was it worth it?”
Me: “Ok then.”
Coworker: “This job suck is, I feel like crap because I’m tired.”
Coworker: “Same as last time.”
Me: “Was it worth it?”
Coworker: “No, I hate feeling like this at work, beer is expensive and I don’t even win the level that I stayed up for.”
Me: “So stop.”
Coworker: “It’s what I always do and my buddies expect me to be there.”
Coworker: “It’s just what I do (it’s a habit, routine, it’s comfortable)”
Me: face palm, but I get it.
I get it.
I recently read an article from Psych Central coming from the thoughts of therapists on self acceptance.
What really resonated with me was number 9:
“Realize that acceptance is not resignation.“
Accepting things for how they are is not allowing them to continue, but a jumping off point toward making change.
In my personal life, I have used the wall of self acceptance to hide behind when I am afraid of putting myself out there.
“Oh, she’s the runner, she doesn’t stay out late.”
“Oh she’s so frugal, she doesn’t spend money or go out for dinner.”
Things I’ve “accepted” about myself have really prevented me from forming relationships or having experiences.
The times I do branch out, I usually have an amazing time. Ragnar was a huge jumping off point as I knew no one and changed everything about my routines.
However, there is still a small voice in the back of my head creating doubt about the positive experiences these things may provide.
“What if I pay money for this and it sucks?”
“What if I get no sleep and am a zombie tomorrow?”
What if, what if, what if???
The part of me that has accepted the sentences above is trying to keep me safe, but also is keeping me from living.
I have decided to change.
Here is how:
I will visualize what leaving my comfort zone will feel like, both the potential positives and negatives and implement coping methods to deal with them.
2.) Begin Easy
The first time I spend money out to eat, it won’t be extravagant, but simple. That way it wont feel like so much of a loss if it was bad.
I will make reoccurring dates with others and myself to get out of this zone. Again, starting easy with once a month, and building up as my stamina increases.
In a way, this is like running (you knew I would go here right?)
Visualize yourself running, start slow, repeat.
It gets easier doesn’t it?
Has self-acceptance stopped you from doing something characteristically “not you”?
What can you do in the next month to step out of that zone?