Today’s guest post is by Grace Kelly of The Modern Creative’s Resource
In life we can often find it easier to embrace all the positive aspects of ourselves. Especially if those aspects are seen as a boon by, or desired by, others.
What I mean by that is, you might be cool with sharing the fact that you went to college, run your own business, or that you’re able to play a slammin’ little ditty on the ukulele while standing on your head.
But on the other side of the same coin, you may not be so cool about sharing other parts of you, which you may feel are not so hot or acceptable.
Like for example; how you never tend to stay long in any one job, how you take the best chocolates from the bottom layer of the box without finishing the top layer first (before anyone else gets to have a go at them), or how you have a large collection of Taylor Swift Albums stashed under your bed at 35. (What? Me? No!)
In our modern day society, we automatically find it easier to accept what we see as positive aspects of ourselves and others. But of course there’s more to us than what’s ‘seen as acceptable’ and what’s seen as positive’. In fact, the grey areas within us, the ones that we find most hard to embrace, can often be the most interesting parts of who we are.
If there are some parts of yourself that you feel at odds with right now, parts that you find really hard to say ‘hey, I totally dig you’ to, then I’m delighted to share with you these three practical exercises which can help to open a door to those shadowed, hidden parts so you can embrace them with compassion.
1. ‘Imagine your best friend’ – the exercise.
Okay, so imagine your best friend has arrived at your door! Here she is, on your doorstep, in all her lovable, bouncy perfection! But alas – she’s very upset about something! Oh dear!
You ask her what’s wrong, and she shares with you that ……(insert what you’re finding it hard to embrace about yourself here!).
What would you do? Would you give her a big gal-pal comfort hug? Point out to her that it’s okay to have flaws and to embrace them?
List your suggestions to your friend on paper, then go right on ahead and read them all out loud to yourself, replacing the word ‘her’ with the world ‘me’.
2. Find the good and embrace it – the ‘thanks to…’ exercise.
See, you have to find the nugget of goodness in the aspect of yourself that you’re finding hard to embrace. Once you’ve got that nugget, it’ll change the way you see that ‘negative’ aspect of yourself, making it easier to embrace.
For example; I’ve had anxiety disorder since I was 13 years old, and it took me a super long time to feel even remotely ready to accept it, never mind embrace it.
After doing this simple exercise though, I realised that one of the most valuable things to have come out of my anxiety disorder, is the fact that my self development has come on leaps and bounds, and this has made a positive impact on all aspects of my life.
I have discovered so much about myself that I would never had discovered, had I not developed anxiety disorder. I am currently a Grace expert. Now that’s something for the CV.
So, now it’s your turn! Simply take this sentence and fill it in to suit you:
Thanks to (the thing I’m finding hard to embrace about myself) I now (do / know / feel something positive that you wouldn’t have before, if it hadn’t been for that thing you’re finding so hard to embrace).
Do it as many times as you like, to find as many nuggets as you can.
3. Own it – and use it!
The one sure-fire way to learn how to embrace something about yourself that you’re not proud of, is to own it, and use it, to help yourself and others.
By owning it, I mean to totally embrace, accept and love it by getting past that fear that comes with being vulnerable and sharing it. Now, for introverts like myself, (and to be quite honest, basically anyone who isn’t emotionally numb) this can be a terrifying challenge.
How do you do this? You just share that part of you which you may not be too keen on, and you just keep doing it, over and over again.
The trick to success with this is to realise one key point; You won’t stop feeling fearful about sharing it and being vulnerable, the fear will still be there. However, you’ll be just quietly reaching out and sliding the fear aside, while whispering ‘Just step aside please, I’ve decided to change my life’!’
By ‘using it’ I mean use the fact that you’ve learned how to be this vulnerable about your thing you’ve just embraced, in order to do something that’s going to help others.
Write a blog post about it, paint a picture about it, write a song or poem about it. Then share it with people, especially those who may have the exact same insecurities and problems embracing similar aspects of themselves. You don’t have to share it with a lot of people if you don’t want to. To start off with, share it with those who you know need it.
So – those are my top three practical exercises for learning how to embrace every part of yourself.
If you try them, be proud of doing them as some of them aren’t for the faint hearted! Once you’ve given these exercises a go, then stand up tall, put your arms out, embrace all of yourself with love, and get ready to see a positive change in your life.
OVER TO YOU…
What did you think of this post? Do you have any further tips to add about embracing yourself for who you are? Leave a comment below to let us know!
About the author
Grace is the founder of the Modern Creative’s Resource, a hub for creative entrepreneurs who want to learn how to share their business and creativity with the world. You can find out more about Grace at The Modern Creative’s Resource’s about page.