Life is all about balance in many areas. One of those that I’ve been reflecting on lately is finding the balance between self-acceptance and a growth mentality. That’s how to balance accepting ourselves where we are today while also striving to learn, grow and improve ourselves.
1) The first thing to realize is that while they may appear to be on different ends of the spectrum, self-acceptance and a growth mentality are not actually mutually exclusive. Self-acceptance to me means having a fundamental sense of “okayness” or self-assurance that you are okay just as you are right now – your whole, beautiful perfectly imperfect self. Having certain areas that you want to grow or improve in doesn’t change that fact. Where this topic is concerned, you can in fact have your cake (self-acceptance) and eat it too (growth).
2) The next thing to do is to add in a nice, heaping scoop of love and compassion, or more accurately self-love and self-compassion. In this topic it may be easier to step outside of yourself and use a loved one as an example (since we may have an easier time loving and accepting others than ourselves). With a dear friend or family member, you love them for who they are today, right? And say they do something that bothers you (let’s take a basic example of someone who is chronically late), you may talk with them and hope that that is something they will try to work on but you love them anyway. In this example with punctuality, time issues are simply a habit of the person, it’s not who they are at their core. Our core or essence is a beautiful soul, always worthy of love, compassion and acceptance. That magical light-filled spark is who we really are trappings of perceiving strengths and weaknesses aside. Our purpose as beings on the lesson-filled playground of life is to grow and learn, just as little children on the playground learn and grow through their games.
3) The way I look at it (and it’s definitely still a journey with me as self-assurance is something that I’ve struggled with and why it’s one of my intention words of the year), is that self-acceptance, self-love and self-assurance (take your pick of what words resonate) are part of your unchanging, beautiful core to hold close within your heart center. From there, with that core in place, you can expand outward both within yourself to look at areas you would like to work on for development and from outside of yourself if you receive say feedback on a certain area that makes you look at something to improve. Regardless, your core of fundamental self-assurance/acceptance stays strong and therefore looking at areas to improve becomes an exciting growth opportunity not something that shatters a fragile self-esteem. Part of the definition of a growth mentality means looking at opportunities to grow and learn and become better versions of ourselves as an exciting process all the while still being okay with where we are today.
What do you think? Share in the comments below if you’d like.
“No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” Brene Brown