When You Truly Accept Yourself, Your Life Just Works Better

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Think of the ways your life would change if you started to accept yourself.  The possibilities are endless!

Sadly for many people, self-acceptance is a relatively foreign concept.  They know what the concept is, well, sort of anyway, but they are just not sure the idea could ever apply to them.  If you fall into this category, take heart, you are not alone.

There’s nothing wrong with you.    

Let me repeat that statement one more time so you can take it in more fully:     There’s nothing wrong with you.  

How does that concept make you feel?  Maybe it filled you with a sense of relief … it affirmed that you’re okay and that made you feel better. Or, maybe your mind flat-out rejected the idea, saying something like “Baloney! There are lots of things wrong with me … you don’t know me and you don’t know what you’re talking about!”   Perhaps it was a blend of these responses or something else entirely.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

What does that statement even mean?   So many of us are walking around in life feeling broken or weary or wounded in some way … thinking we’re not good enough or we’re not worthy enough.  We count up our faults and use them as evidence that we’re defective.  We work on improving ourselves, certain we must reject who we are to become the person we’re capable of being.  We’re looking for the fix to make everything better.   But what if … I urge you to open your mind to this idea for just a moment … what if there’s nothing really wrong with you after all?

Our bodies may not be functioning at 100% … I’m not denying the existence of illness.  Yet, our bodies are not “who we are” … they are the vessels that carry our souls in this life on earth.

Who we are … who we truly are … arrived on earth with everything we need for our life journey. We came complete … whole … there was nothing wrong with us from day one.  And, nothing we can do can change that.

Can our behaviors be wrong?  Yes – they can, for instance, it is wrong to deliberately hurt another person.  Can our thinking be wrong?  Well,  I’m not sure “wrong” is the correct word, but certainly we can perceive things in a way that brings us stress instead of peace.  Still,  who you are at your core is who you are meant to be, and in that sense, there’s nothing wrong with you.

Why Is it So Important to Accept Yourself?

I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as

we are, then everything in life works. ~ Louise Hay

Self-acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t want to change.  Quite the contrary, it often leads to dramatic change as you give up the limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that you’d adopted trying to be someone you’re not.    The secret to finding the happiness and peace you seek in your life is not in trying to figure out what’s wrong with you; instead,  your aim is to explore the truth of who you really are.

Perhaps this analogy might help.  Imagine your vision is getting blurry so you go to the eye doctor and get a prescription for new pair of glasses.   A mistake is made in the lab and the actual lenses you receive are far too strong; the glasses not only make your vision worse,  they give you headaches.  You realize the problem so you go back and get the prescription that is correct for you.  With these new lenses,  the world appears sharper, crisper, and more beautiful.   You see the world around you more clearly.Radical self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is like putting on that wonderful new pair of glasses with the perfect prescription for you.   You see every action and thought you have in a new light … the way it really is rather than how you’d once imagined the world to be (the world you saw through the lenses that weren’t right for you .. the world that gave you headaches!).   Little by little, you’re able to let go of past patterns … pretense falls away … you embrace the authentic you.

You accept yourself, you love yourself, and your world becomes rich with a sense of peace and happiness that may have alluded you for years.

We are constantly invited to be who we are.   ~ Henry David Thoreau

There is nothing wrong with you.    Know this and live your life being true to you.  If you’ve not listened to your inner guidance for a while, it may take time to get reacquainted with the true you, but I promise, the “journey to you” will be worth the effort!


YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!    Please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS  section below.



Consider your actions carefully this week.  Observe all the times when you criticize yourself or hide your true nature for fear someone else will judge you for being who you truly are.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • In what areas am I most critical of myself?  How does that make me feel?  Does it ever help me rise or is it just keeping me down?
  • In what ways am I being unloving towards myself?  What alternative behavior can I choose to demonstrate that I truly do love myself?
  • How do I reject my true self by pretending to be someone I’m not so others will like and accept me?
  • What am I doing because I think others want me to do it, not because I think it is the right thing to do for me?

Whenever you feel yourself moving away from self-acceptance, choose instead to align your actions with what you know deep-down is truly right for you.

Paying attention to your thoughts and actions takes time and practice.  The benefits in terms of peace, joy, happiness, and more are well worth the effort!  Wishing you peace and many blessings on your journey.


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21 thoughts on “When You Truly Accept Yourself, Your Life Just Works Better”

  1. What do you recommend if you have very negative habits connected to an abusive childhood? I have all kinds of “wrong thoughts” that I decided to accept, but not act on. For example, my father was a very angry, bitter, and critical man. When I was very young I would fantasize about my father dying, and then I would feel very guilty about it. Still, as an adult, I often find myself doing the same thing when I’m angry or frustrated with someone, and I know it does no good to tell myself not to think that way. I’ve had to accept that these thoughts are trained into my brain and aren’t going away, so Why stress myself out feeling guilty and bad about myself? I’ve learned to tell myself, “these are thoughts that I have; they are not who I am.” I’ve decided that I can have bad thoughts and still be a good person, and it has greatly improved the quality of my life. I’m also writing a book on the subject, and I hope to finish it and get it published soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

    • Steve — Thank you so much for sharing. Since you asked for my thoughts, I’ll share some brief ideas here. Naturally, take only what resonates with you.

      Most negative habits (including thinking habits) find their roots in childhood issues. For those who have gone through abusive childhoods, I recommend participating in support groups and therapy to help unpack the deep trauma that still lingers within, and that oftentimes leads sufferers to cling to habits that no longer serve them in their adult lives.

      When you’ve been abused, you remain on-guard to protecting yourself from future abuse (which is completely logical), only you’re ill-equipped to recognize when to build walls for protection and when to tear down walls that prevent you from experiencing the kindness, light, and joy that are available to you now (that were not available to you as a child).

      You’ve said that you must “accept” the anger and frustration thoughts are in your head and they won’t go away. Maybe and maybe not. Still, keep it in perspective. Thoughts are just thoughts … they have no power except the power you give to them by accepting them as truth. When a thought occurs, you can choose to observe it, recognize it as no longer true (or at least not fully true) or helpful, and exchange it for a more appropriate, uplifting thought rather than to continue to allow the thoughts of anger and pain to take over your life. This is NOT easy to do, and hence, why I said upfront: those who’ve been through childhood abuse NEED to seek support. Working through these difficult feelings and thought patterns alone is almost always unsuccessful.

      I’m so happy to see you’ve said that “I can have these thoughts and still be a good person.” Of course you can! You ARE a good person. Thoughts are just thoughts … they are not a reflection of your worth or your character. In this case, they are just the fallout of protection habits formed in your turbulent youth.

      I hope you’ll continue to find ways to release the pain that these thoughts have been causing you, so they no longer have the power they once had. As you’ve said — they show up and there is no point in fighting that. Allow them to appear (as they will, though over time, they may pop up less and less frequently) and remind yourself that your life now is not the same as your life when those thoughts made sense. Allow them to fall aside more quickly now as you reach for truer thoughts that fit the life you are living now.

      Wishing you much peace and happiness and joy … as well as much success on your book (we can heal others and ourselves by doing this work … and that’s certainly the promise that your book holds). Sending love and light, – J. Marie

      • Thank you so much for your insights! I am so much healthier mentally and emotionally than in my youth, but I still struggle from time to time. I really think it’s part of human nature: we’re not happy unless we have dragon to slay, a battle to win.

        Thank you again!


  2. Ohh thank you very much for replaying my conment. Its so nice, its so happy and inspiring, has someone who directly talk to me about my problem, its like you really really care and really trying your best to help me, and actually you did. Your advise so much helpful.i want to be like you someday, helping people about their problem, inspiring and encourage people, which is thats so beutiful thing to do.
    Thank you 🙂

  3. Hai J.Marie Novak Thank you for posting this article. I want to ask you something if you dont mind. I am college student. All my life before, I was always be the top one on my class. I got the best school in my city, I was well known as a smart and perfect student. But since I went to college, I lost my everything. I dont hv good mark, all my life continously falling apart one by one. Im so sad, I have no confidence now. Im so suck. I thought of going to deferent departemen, but I dont know what I really like. I thought of being a veterenarian, but in my country, that isnot a really good job and my parents didnt alow me bcoz I am at second year, they think it just wasting time. Ehm can you give me some advise? Thank you very much

    • Made Dwi — I’m not sure what I can say that will help make your heart lighter right now, though my heart goes out to you. Know that you are NOT alone … I GET how hard it is to face an uncertain future and not knowing what to do with your precious life. You’re young and you’re at a crossroads. I could tell you that this is very common (which it is!), but that probably won’t bring you much if any solace. Many people don’t know what they want to do at your stage in life, but when we’re in college, society pressures us to make a decision that we feel we’re going to have to live with for the rest of our lives. That’s a lot of pressure. (By the way … if it helps: the decisions you make now about your career don’t necessarily last forever … many, many people go one way in college and then turn out doing something different down the road. We get many chances to change in our lives if we don’t like our original decisions.)

      You say you’ve “lost everything” … that you were once a good student and your marks are falling. You are obviously a very bright person, so never doubt that. More important, you are a very special person who was placed on this earth to do special things that only you can do. Sure, you might not understand exactly what that is just now, but time has a way of revealing what we need to know if we’re just open to seeing the signs and listening for direction.

      You’re uncertain of what to do and it seems you’re falling into panic mode with a fairly big dose of depressive thinking happening, too. Your intellectual thinking is not helping you now … what you need is faith and access to your inner guidance. I believe we all have a knowing within us that directs us to our soul’s desire … that points us to the work we were put here on this planet to do. The only way to get in touch with that voice, though, is to get quiet on a regular basis and listen in silence. If you’re not already doing a 10-20 minute meditation practice (preferably twice a day), I recommend you start one. It will help you reduce the pressure on you and in time will help you find clarity about what to do going forward with your studies and your life.

      I hear that you also have pressure from your parents. I’m sure they love you and they mean well, but parental pressure can be difficult to deal with. In some cultures, it’s super-tough (even impossible sometimes) to go against our parents’ wishes, and that can be so difficult when their wishes are not your wishes. Choose to respond to them in loving kindness. Ultimately, you must be brave enough to make the decisions that are right for you and they may not understand the path you take. They don’t have to … it’s not their path. And, if you’re in a culture where you MUST do what your parents require, then do it for now … and know that it’s just for now, not for always. Make peace with that.

      What you need to do more than anything else right now is to find a way to take the “pressure” off you and that, my dear, begins one thought at a time. First, allow yourself to be uncertain of what to do … don’t allow yourself to be upset by that. It feels unnatural to not have full control over what’s happening to us, but all of us face uncertainty and we get to choose how we walk through it, so decide to walk through it calmly with faith that everything will be okay even if you don’t know how that can happen.

      Know that a lot of people are uncertain of where to go in their professional future. You don’t have to have everything figured out, despite what the world is telling you. It really is okay. Even if you’re in a college program right now that you’re not thrilled about, it’s okay to stay there for now and still work on figuring out what you’d really want to do. If you feel you can or want to take a pause from college, that could be an option, too. Do what’s right for you.

      If, however, you DO already know what you REALLY want to do, that’s another story. You mention possibly becoming a veterinarian, but don’t feel that it’s a good job in your country. The question is this: Is that TRULY your passion … what you want to do more than anything else … despite what anyone says … despite how far you’ve gone down another road? If that is your true passion, look for ways to follow that passion … because our passion was given to us for a reason … it was given to us to lead us to what we are here to do. If, however, it is just an idea you have that you have only minimal emotional attachment to, then think on it longer. Meditate over it. If it is your true path, your soul will tell you in time.

      Your confidence will grow with each step in your life you take that feels good to your soul. Confidence comes from facing fears of doing things that you’re scared to do, but that you know deep in your heart will help you grow. You cannot wait for confidence to arrive to take steps into your future … it doesn’t work that way. Confidence comes from being brave … from facing fear and doubts head-on and saying “This is what I want, and I’m going for it!” It’s not an easy road, but it’s the wise one to travel.

      My heart sinks to hear of your sadness. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life in sadness, too. It usually comes from not knowing what to do and feeling that I’m stuck and that there’s no way out of the mess I’ve created or the predicament I’m in. But the voice in our heads that talks to us in such negative ways is a liar: there’s always a way, even if we don’t see it. There’s always hope, even if our future is so foggy we can’t see beyond our noses. Have faith that everything can and will be okay.

      You mentioned books — and there’s no one book that will solve your problems — but I do suggest following Louise Hay (and maybe buying her book You Can Heal Your Life book and/or video — both have helped me a lot in my life).

      Dear one — I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all your troubles go away, but alas, the universe doesn’t work that way. What you’re going through right now is teaching you important lessons that you’ll need for your life. Be kind to yourself along the way. Remember to practice gratitude for all the blessings already in your life (radical gratitude will help put an end to your sadness). Remember that’s it’s okay to NOT have all the answers … no one does. Find time for you … find time in nature … find time in stillness. Don’t give into the pressure that says you have to know it all right now … you don’t.

      Love yourself throughout this process … and throughout your life. That’s the best advice I can offer to you. You’ll be in my prayers. ~ J. Marie

    • Hello Made Dwi. I read this article and saw your reply. (Great article by the wayJ. Marie! )I really wanted to reach out to you because I went through something similar. I was also a top student in high school and lost all of that in college. I was miserable during those years and cried almost every single day and thought I was losing my mind. I felt guilty and ashamed for not caring, and feeling like I couldn’t care. I thought I must be some kind of alien, or else very sick in the mind, and had no future. I went through my semesters kicking and screaming, and incredibly lonely. I thought I had to finish because everyone around me looked down on not having a college education.

      Sometimes the systems that are in place don’t work for us. College is one of those. You do not have to follow this system. Especially if you are doing something that you don’t want to do. Maybe it is unbearable because you feel it’s not for you? Maybe you don’t know yet what you want to do, but you want to explore your options in a way that works for you?

      It’s good when you have a strong emotional reaction to something. Your emotions are a great indicator of what is working for you, and what is not.

      I know you already got great advice :), and this was a few months ago, but it can be great to have one more person who can relate and understand.

      And maybe your reply to J. Marie gives you a clue. 🙂 You want to be someone who helps and inspires people one day. That is a career. 🙂

  4. There is always someone that will make you feel inadequate. Most of the time I do feel like a failure because my sisters make me feel like that, I live in a 3rd world country and I am a single mother of two, I am a good mother and I chose to have my kids (one is 23 the other one is 6) but I have always been helped in the economics by one of my sisters but as much as she loves me she is always making me feel like a piece of you know what by saying that I have never been able to provide for them… I have always worked, I have always being there for my kids and now due to circumstance dont have a job anymore so she decided she wont help anymore because I dont go and get a job… It is hard to find one…. Economy is bad, I am old ( I am just 43 but here they dont hire people past 35…) But I try to keep my chin up. I am a good mom and I love my daughters more that life itself

    • Cary — your situation sounds like a really tough one. I wish I had some words that could lift you up right now, though I’m afraid any words I offer at this time will provide little if any comfort for you. That being said, I will offer this:

      Should your sister change her mind and continue to help, please accept it, even if that help comes at the high price of her unkind words. Please stop letting those unkind words go to your heart. The unkindness in them is a reflection of how she sees the world, of bitterness in her heart … they are not a reflection of you in any way. You are not a failure. Remember, as long as you know you’re doing the best you can, then let that be enough … because “doing the best we can” is all any of us can do. It doesn’t mean you’re inadequate, it just means you’re in a tough situation and you may need help getting out of it. This happens to many of us in our lives — so know that you’re not alone in your suffering.

      Do what you can to keep your hopes alive. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do. There’s always something you can do in your day to help another person … or to make your life better, even if it doesn’t provide the income you need just yet. When you offer kindness, kindness is often returned to you (though not always by the person you extended your kindness to).

      Positive thinking and positive action of any kind can miraculously open doors that cannot be seen when we’re concentrating solely on our woes (which I know are very are real … I can hear from your words that you’re in pain right now). I pray that the means to provide for you and your children’s needs will soon appear in your life. May God’s blessings and love flow into your life in abundance. ~ J. Marie

  5. I cant accept myself due to mu childhood hurts. I experienced a lot of bitterness to the point i dont want to see my self anymore. I hate because im not intelligent, and experienced embarrasment in front of people which caused me very shy person and lack of self confidence and has low self-esteem. Because of that i only have few friends and aloof to other people which leading to misunderstood. And now im 30, i can say that im not happy with my life. I dont know what i like. Sometimes, i feel hopeless to the point that i want to seek an advice to a theraphist.

    • Zshane — my heart goes out to you and all that you’ve expressed. I understand what it’s like to feel hopeless. In order for you to move beyond hopelessness, it’s very important that you reach out and get the professional and/or spiritual help you need. I encourage you to seek a therapist to help you through these feelings that you say you’ve dealt with your entire life. Trauma from childhood can and will continue to bring damage into our adult life if we don’t learn how to deal with it and leave it in the past. Many, many people grow up with issues that lead to having weak confidence and low self-esteem. I’m a shy person myself — as well as being an introvert — and I understand what you mean about people misunderstanding you. It happens to me sometimes, too. Yet dwelling on it won’t help — you need solutions and strategies that will work for you. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy to change, but it will be worth it! A qualified therapist or spiritual life coach can help walk the walk you need to make right now. I’m certainly not qualified to offer professional help of that nature to you … but I do encourage you to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and go get the help you already know you need to improve your life. You must take responsibility for changing or you’ll wake up at 40 … at 50 … and 60 and so forth still feeling unhappy with your life. Your life is far too precious for that! Please, make a commitment to yourself to begin with a therapist as soon as possible. Wishing you all the best, -J. Marie

  6. Louise Hay’s mirror work with the affirmation, “I love and approve of myself” did wonders to help me accept myself just as I am. Every day I looked in the mirror and said it aloud to myself. Sometimes, I would say that I love and approve of you to my image.

    Over time, I came to know that I don’t need anyone to sanction my choices, AND I’m fine just the way that I am.

    Thanks for writing this article for the reminder.

  7. thank you … About a year ago I ended an abusive relationship, lost my Dad, had a court proceedings form my 11 year abusive marriage.. although i am divorced 7.. it felt like it just happened .. I was told I was never going to be ok, because I was an awful person etc ” I did not know how to feel better I took those words and they stayed with me. then, my Aunt told me ..that I was perfect in God’s image, whole.. that anyone who tells you that is just hurt. and not well. it was at that moment iI felt relieved, like God himself told me this…. but continued to be stuck in patterns of guilt , fear, any sadness .. and after years of abuse. in an 11 year marriage . I didn’t even know I was practically brainwashed .. thinking ok, I am not in this abusive relationship.. why do i feel so terrible and sad and disconnected.. I carried those condemning words as who I was still .let it define me… and this was no accident that I found this .. I hope one day to help others feel good and not succumb to hateful ,abusive words that can last years ,as I have.. I am grateful that I have the gift of compassion and that I can hopefully help other people.

  8. Great article. May you be a blessing to others as you have been to me. Today i started doing the given “homework” and i gotta sa ots going great. thanks again

  9. Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  10. I feel as if something is wrong with me because I seem to cause everyone to hate me. I get kicked out of my jobs. I get kicked out of everywhere. Everyone hates me! So I cannot be ok!

    • Fran — My heart breaks to hear you say you cannot be okay. You were born into this world and given this life to fulfill a very important purpose, and within you are all the gifts and talents and love that you need to accomplish that purpose. Sadly, you just can’t see how wonderful you truly are just now, but take heart, many of us enter a time in our lives when we feel we don’t understand our worth or purpose or how to make our lives better. What you need now, is to get a massive perspective shift so you can see just how okay you really are. Also, if you’re having trouble with getting along with people and holding jobs and this is a recurring pattern in your life, you probably need some help figuring out what patterns you’ve adopted that are causing the chaos that are robbing you of joy and success. Be assured, everyone does not hate you — though you may need to learn ways to help people understand you better. And, most of all, you need to find ways to love yourself more and learn the path to self-acceptance … as that’s the beginning of all healing. I’m not a health professional and from your brief comments that you posted here, I highly recommend that you speak to a licensed therapist or health professional … or talk to a spiritual advisor/minister if that is your preference. There is hope for you … lots of hope! You just need some help to see it. I pray that you’ll seek that help so you can live in love and joy, and fully feel that sense of belonging and purpose that you richly deserve. ~ J. Marie


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