Being okay with yourself is priceless. That kind of psychological craftsmanship takes two things: making up with the past and not obsessing over the future. Above all, feeling good means learning to think the right way. It means focusing on the present to shape internal peace.
We’re sure you all agree with those statements. But why is it so hard for us to find that internal balance to enjoy ourselves and the things we have? There’s always something missing, something grating at you and preventing you from feeling a long-lasting sense of well-being. The kind of well-being that never expires and stays strong no matter how strong the storm.
The world of psychology has always put its effort into making this easier for us. But it used to be much more complicated. For a long time psychological theories and strategies basically only tried to understand the most neurotic sides of people. It wasn’t until the late 70s that people like Martin Seligman and Aaron T. Beck and started to change things.
Martin Seligman, who people know for his studies on depression and learned helplessness, thought psychology needed to start aiming in a new direction: happiness. And Aaron T. Beck, a pioneer of cognitive therapy, showed us something essential: to be okay with yourself you have to have a kind of positive filter when you look out at the world…and in at yourself.
Acceptance, the key to personal well-being
In his “Manual for Living,” Epictetus said that we all try hard to bend the world to our own desires. Trying to do this is almost childish, and can cause a lot of frustration because it’s impossible. The most significant Stoic philosopher of his time said we should simply desire things based on the way they actually are.
So the art of being okay with yourself is also the art of acceptance. But remember that acceptance doesn’t mean the same thing as passiveness or resignation. The trick is actually easier than it seems. It just requires you to put your effort into a couple of goals:
- Accept the negative side of things the moment they happen so you take control and create change. For example, you have to be able to quickly detect your limiting, negative thoughts before they can completely take over your mind and your ability to focus.
- Accept who you are, accept your past and present story, accept the person you see every day in the mirror, with all their strengths and weaknesses. Try to value yourself without waiting for other people to do it for you.
Being okay with yourself means knowing how to practice a kind of acceptance for active control over your thoughts. Maybe the things around you and even the people in your most intimate circles don’t always act like you want them to. But none of that should make you feel desperate. If you’re calm on the inside, if you feel self-love and balance, no cloud that can cover up the sun within you.
Being okay with yourself, the art of personal appreciation
Personal appreciation is just as useful as it is unknown. You’ll learn that when you realize that you’ve neglected yourself feel like a pawn on a chessboard. Someone without much value to start with, someone who no one thinks of. You want to be the “Queen,” but you have to remember your value at that time. And what role you play in the game of life.
You can achieve all that through an intelligent kind of personal appreciation. That is, feeling like you’re truly there for everything you do, and feeling satisfied with every action you make. Now is the time to learn to value yourself through your daily habits.
Let’s look at some examples.
- Being okay with yourself means being selective about the people you bring into your life, the people who will be part of your life journey.
- Being okay with yourself also means feeling self-sufficient and appreciating yourself for your good choices and small, daily achievements.
- It also means being consistent with the things you say and do, the things you want, and the things you undertake.
There’s another important thing you can’t forget: being okay with who you are and what you have goes along with feeling comfortable. That’s because the feeling of freedom and lightness you see in some other people comes from the fact that they don’t have a weight on their shoulders.
There’s no feeling more satisfying than that one. It’s the feeling of knowing you’re not tied to yesterday or chained down by other people. People who want to slow you down and stop you from growing. So don’t forget about the art of being okay with yourself. It’s a practice that willpower and determination on your part, but you can do it.