Acceptance vs. Self-Improvement

There's a fine line between self-acceptance and self-improvement. Getting to know who you are is where you find balance.
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There's a fine line between self-acceptance and self-improvement. Getting to know who you are is where you find balance.
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Image Credit: Erika Raxworthy

Being comfortable in your own shoes is one thing. Accepting yourself wholly and entirely is another. We think the difference may be instinctual. As human beings, are we really wired to be content and accepting of who we are at any given moment? Or are our feelings about our bodies, minds, relationships and communities on this constant rotation of scrutiny? Where is the line drawn between self-improvement and self-acceptance?

On one hand, we learn a new skill because we have a passion. We naturally pursue things that we succeed at doing. We look to deepen relationships with people that make us happy. On the other hand, we compare ourselves to others who are more passionate and more skilled. We doubt our ability to be successful when we see others thriving in our fields or have enviable relationships that suddenly make us question our own.

How do you step off of that wheel of doubt and comparison? We think the answer lies in knowing who you are at your core. To accept yourself, you have to understand yourself. It’s more than confidence; rather a deeper level of self-awareness. In our subconscious, we might go against our own grain. At times, challenging ourselves might be exactly what we need. Think: signing up for a race to motivate yourself or asking for a raise at work. But if you’re pursuing a dream that isn't your own, it could lead you down a path that might be challenging to undo.

At Clementine Daily, we've had our share of success and failure; moments that have made us question everything we thought we knew about ourselves. Contrary to popular sayings, it’s not always in those moments you really find yourself. It may be, but we think it happens differently for everyone. There’s no formula for accepting who you are but when that level of clarity hits, we think it makes every decision easier - from choosing which color lipstick to wear (or opting to wear none at all) and figuring out which friendship to invest your time in nurturing.

Bottom line: block out the noise that crowds your thoughts and focus on what your body, your mind and your heart is trying to tell you. Lean in and listen closely. Then, go forth.

p.s. On the way to getting to know you, consider these five mantras.