Self acceptance = Self improvement.

Today, I met this girl who has a real problem. One that affects her life greatly. One that can be a huge obstacle in so many areas. But luckily, also one that can be overcome with some effort, training and time.

I told her she should go get help. I told her about all the people who could help her, the directions she should go in, the things she could try. Her response to me was: “Why? I don’t need to change. I am fine the way I am.”

At first glance, you might think this is a healthy way to look at things: it seems like self acceptance. This girl has embraced who she is, flaws and all, problems included, right?

Don’t let it fool you. Sometimes “I’m fine the way I am” is just an excuse to keep yourself from changing into what you can be, a happier, better version of yourself. Sometimes “I’m fine the way I am” is a clever way of those people to stay where they are, however limited or unhappy.

Because while self acceptance absolutely allows you to work on yourself, it is the lack of self love and self acceptance that will keep you from doing that. A lack of self acceptance is the thing standing in the way of personal development and improving your life. It’s actually the ‘I’m not good enough the way I am’ that can keep you from changing, when you know that change could be good for you.

Thing is, you’re right. You’re absolutely fine the way you are. Fuck, you’re wonderful in all sorts of ways. But if you really felt that way, why not allow yourself to be better?

That’s what I told her. “You’re fine the way you are,” I said, “I would never dispute that. I am saying you think about how you could make your life easier, better for yourself, because of that.”

She laughed at me. So for today, my only hope is that you don’t.

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  1. I agree, but who are we to say that someone has to change? Sometimes, I don’t say that you should have this time, we should mind our own business.

  2. This is very much like all the times my mom said “this is just the way I am (I can’t / don’t want to change)”. All I thought was: and this is what’s going to kill you. A few months later she was burned out and now she is working very hard to improve her lifestyle. I’m very proud of her. 🙂

    1. Wow, I can imagine how proud you must be. Good for her- & good for you. Change is possible and when it’s hard to do, it’s even more admirable when it’s happening.

  3. So true. self-acceptance is one thing. But improving what you can change is another. It’s true that sometimes (and sometimes only) saying “this is the way I am” is an excuse for not changing !