Steps to Unconditional Self-Acceptance

Let’s be real—I’ve been going through some shit recently.

I’ve come to realize that the only way I could get through it was to first: process all of the negative emotions behind it. Then I had to tell myself that it’s going to be okay. Lastly and most importantly, I had to actually believe that.

The first step to believing that everything is going to be okay starts from within. If you unconditionally love and accept yourself, everything will feel okay and that’s all that matters.

How do you do that, though?

For me, it started with letting go of things that I didn’t even realize were holding me back. Last Friday, I cut out my 26-inch Peruvian loose wave sew-in: a hairstyle that I’ve worn for far too long. When my hair was out, I began to feel lighter and freer, like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I then began to wear my natural hair. For the first time ever, it felt really good. The best part about this is, because it felt good, the parts of me that used to tell me that I’d be ugly without weave disappeared. I also had to realize that those parts of me were taught to me and I had to unlearn them or I’d never be happy.

Second, I had to take note of my environment and examine how I felt about it. In college, especially at the University of Florida (particularly in the Heavener School of Business), its incredibly easy to get caught up in joining organizations for the wrong reasons. They are here to help you develop professionally and that’s wonderful, however, I ended up joining clubs for the wrong reasons. I had to be honest with myself and realize that. I’d created an environment that I didn’t really enjoy. While developing professionally is great, I’d started to do so much that I couldn’t even remember why I joined in the first place. I decided to cut ties with certain organizations because they just weren’t for me anymore.

Third, I had to stop worrying about what people would say or think. While this is much easier said than done, it occurred to me that if I paid attention to and cared about the negative things people said about my actions, I’d start doing things for other people again. If I start doing things only for other people, the vicious cycle starts again. I knew that I was doing the right thing and that was enough for me.

You want to know the best part about all of this, though? As I am beginning to truly love and accept all aspects of my being, I’m noticing that I naturally want to give to others. It’s not being selfish to do what it takes to love and accept yourself. It’s humanity. More people should try it cause it’s so lit.


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