When I was about 10 years old, my hair sprang up. It found its curl. Gone were the days of carry free ponytails, plaits and the like. Here to stay was a crown of wild curls. I tried straightening it. I tried potions, oils, creams. I wore it up in buns. I had it cut super short. I grew it long. The annual school photos created a gallery of wondrous looks and future cringe worthy snapshots as i fought who I am.
Those curls also brought something I didn’t appreciate for a long time. My curls say something about me. They are a perfect mirror of my character.
Yes, they have a mind of their own. Yes, they are full of energy. Yes, they are unique. Yes there are days I can’t believe what they are doing!
Having lost a lot of time trying to solve the problems they gave me and worrying about what others thought of me in an era of the “Rachel” cut and “Posh” bob, I gradually found my way to befriending them. Now, I can’t quite stop making a face when a hairdresser asks to dry my hair straight. I still get angsty if people want to touch it, but I do accept that the compliments are true and others can be jealous of how my hair moves.
OK so this isn’t the only thing I’ve had to work hard to accept and celebrate about being me. Oh how the list goes on. I suspect you have your own list. Some you are aware of and readily accept, others may be a work in progress.
Does my bum look big in this?
I feel like a fraud.
I’m not as good as she is.
I’ll never make it.
Holding on tight to those self doubts or shameful perceptions of yourself, makes life hard. Energy that could be channeled into your life or career changes gets burnt up on them.
Here’s my mindset must-haves for accepting yourself with grace:
- Know that you are not alone. Even the most confident, out there, successful super hero has walked their own path to awareness and acceptance.
- Know you are enough for whatever you want to be or do.
- Set your attitude to positive; it’s your silver linings in these things that makes you special.
- Turn the dial down; your intense focus is likely to be 100s of time more than anyone else’s.
- Be wary of compare-itus. Of course, you’re not like others and you’re not on the same timeline.
- Know your values and your view of what success and happiness is.
Next, you need to act. Seek out support and comfort. Your acceptance may mean subtle or significant shifts in yourself or others. Take daily, small steps towards acceptance.
Move a little more. Wear something with a smile. Act with a new sense of confidence. Try to hold your head a touch higher. And each day, you’ll find acceptance and peace with your unique and wonderful self.
Tell me, I’m curious, what have you had to come to terms with about yourself and how you made it. Or perhaps you’d like a hand in accepting a part of you, I’m here to be of help so let me know.