What Is Self-Acceptance and 10 Ways to Increase Yours

How to Accept Yourself, Even Your Flaws

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson / Unsplash

Many people struggle with self-acceptance, yet it can be hard to spot. Many people seem to be winning in life, and behind the scenes, they struggle with embracing who they are. There is also no universal solution to address this self-development area. However, there is a suite of tools to help you love and accept who you are. 

What Is Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is the ability to embrace and accept who you are, your shortcomings, and all. It's about being comfortable in your skin and not needing the approval of others to feel good about yourself. 

Where Does This Type of Self-Rejection Come From

You may not even know that you suffer from low self-acceptance. One reason is that some of the trauma that caused it happened when you were a child. The root of low self-acceptance typically comes from childhood experiences, such as being ridiculed by peers or parents or feeling neglected or unsupported. Such early experiences can lead to the development of a negative self-image and a critically harsh inner voice. 

Experiences can lead people to believe they are not good enough or worthy of love and respect. Over time, you can become withdrawn and isolated because you feel you do not deserve to be around others. Thus these feelings ultimately lead to a diminished quality of life as the sufferer cannot enjoy life to the fullest.


Low self-acceptance manifests itself in a variety of ways; however, here are some of the most common symptoms: 

  • Feeling unworthy or undeserving of happiness, love, or success

  • Having a negative self-image or poor self-esteem

  • Constantly measuring yourself against others and feeling inferior or inadequate

  • Believing that you are not good enough or that you will never be good enough

  • Fearing that people will judge, criticize, or reject you

  • Feeling shy or uncomfortable in social situations

  • Hating or rejecting parts of yourself

  • Struggling to accept compliments or positive feedback

  • Having a constant worry about what other people think of you

  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed of who you are

  • Constantly highlighting what you need to work on and rarely celebrating your achievements

  • Judging yourself and others harshly

Negative Consequences

People who suffer from low self-acceptance often feel like they are not good enough, damaging their mental health. Ultimately, it makes them feel like a disappointment to their family and friends, leading to feeling isolated and lonely. It's easy to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with feelings of inadequacy. They may drink or use drugs to relieve their anxiety or depression, further damaging their mental health.

It also leads to problems in relationships. People who do not accept themselves have difficulty trusting others and may struggle to form meaningful connections. Learning self-acceptance reduces these risks.

Self-Acceptance Development Comes With Many Benefits

There are many benefits to self-acceptance development. People who embrace themselves typically feel happier and more content. They may also find it easier to form meaningful relationships because they are not seeking validation from others. Additionally, self-acceptance can lead to a more positive self-image and increased self-confidence.

Getting Support for Low Self-Acceptance

If you find you have low self-acceptance, there are things you can do to get help. Most people use a combination of tools. If you are suffering from severe depression or having suicide ideation, make sure you call your therapist or the appropriate emergency number for mental health help. 

10 Things You Can Do to Accept Yourself

Fortunately, many activities and tools exist to help you embrace who you are. If you have trouble getting started, hire a life coach or take self-development courses to help you reach your goal.

  1. Make a list of your good qualities and review it regularly.

  2. Treat yourself with the compassion and understanding you give to others.

  3. Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.

  4. Take time to do things you enjoy.

  5. Practice kind and supportive self-talk.

  6. Permit yourself to make mistakes.

  7. Accept both your good and bad feelings.

  8. Embrace your body just as it is.

  9. Surround yourself with people who accept and affirm you.

  10. Let go of comparison and judgment.


If you're struggling with low self-acceptance, being kind to yourself is essential. Remember that you're not perfect, and that's okay. Accept that you're on a journey and doing the best you can. Be patient and give yourself the time and space you need to heal.

Above all, remember that you are worthy and valuable. You have so much to offer the world and deserve love and respect. You are enough, just as you are.