Learn to Love Yourself: A Simple Self-Acceptance Exercise

In order for your relationships to be successful, you must first learn how to deeply and completely accept yourself.

Being in a romantic relationship can be challenging. Often you're faced with the reality that you might not be as loving, patient, or accepting as you once had thought. 

In fact, many people find it's a lot easier to leave a relationship and stop facing their stuff than it is to stick it out and dare to stare into the heart of a gaping inner wound.

Getting to know and love another can be pleasant, lovely, and sometimes even euphoric. Yet getting to know and love one's self can be painful, dark, and even downright ugly. But it must be done in order to heal wounds, neutralize emotional triggers, and cease undesirable patterns.

Below you'll find a simple and effective technique that will help you to face your shadow self—the side of your being you'd rather deny exists altogether—and then accept it.

The more willing you are to become vulnerable with yourself, the more of yourself you'll come to accept. Because in order to live in a state of complete self-acceptance, we cannot deny that the dark parts exist.

I encourage you to do this exercise with pen and paper rather than on a device. There is something about writing by hand that allows thoughts to flow more freely.

The Exercise:

  • On a piece of notebook paper, make two columns
  • Number 1 – 15 on both the right and left side of the columns
  • On the top of the left column write "Qualities I Don't Like About Myself"
  • On the top of the right column write "Ways These Qualities Manifest That I DO Like"
  • Fill out the sheet accordingly
  • Note: When considering the qualities you don't prefer about yourself, consider things about your character and your way of being in this world you're not so keen on. When considering ways these qualities manifest that you do like, consider how these qualities are an asset to your character, and instances where they've served you well.

This simple exercise helps to release negative self-judgments and gives you the opportunity to neutralize the voice of your harsh inner critique. In doing so, you can learn to accept the parts of yourself you might typically try to hide or deny.
You must learn to accept the darkness as well as the light in order to stand in your wholeness and live in full authenticity.

By learning to accept your whole self rather than just your pretty parts, you'll become more willing to get uncomfortable in romantic relationships and to sit with the experiences that bring you face-to-face with your shadow self.

Of course this is not to encourage anyone to stay in a relationship that is largely unenjoyable, but rather to offer the opportunity to use your self-judgments as a means of learning to love yourself more deeply, accept yourself more completely, and live from a place of true authenticity.

Now I'd love to hear from you! Which of your qualities are you more willing to accept after completing this exercise?

Leave your comment below. And if you found this exercise useful, share this post and help others learn to love themselves more fully, too. Spread the love!