Accept yourself exactly as you are

It’s one of the first pieces of advice I give to any client and it’s a suggestion I incorporate into many hypnosis scripts. The principle of unconditional self acceptance might sound strange within the context of hypnotherapy which is all about change. But the idea that if you really want to change, then you need to accept yourself as you are first, is a paradox and one of the most important and fundamental principles of personal development.

When you can’t accept something in yourself, it’s almost impossible to look at it properly and objectively. And how can you expect to effectively change something if you can’t even look at it. It’s not just true about personal development … you could also apply this as a general principle for all human endeavour. If you can’t look at a problem objectively it’s like trying to drive a truck wearing a blindfold.

More importantly if you don’t accept yourself, essentially you’re rejecting or condemning yourself, and very often that’s how the whole issue started in the first place. Perhaps some painful criticism, hurt or rejection in childhood became a core belief that persists into adulthood. So failing to accept the self becomes an affirmation of that limiting core belief. It makes you feel worse about self which saps motivation and energy, leading to despondency and hopelessness, effectively eroding you self esteem and resources you need to make change.

Instead, try being kind to yourself. Acknowledge that there may things you’d change if you could but from a starting place of unconditional self love. Then any progress you make, no matter how small or apparently trivial, should be a cause for celebration. Which reinforces the process, leading to a positive feedback cycle promoting effective change. And even if you have a relapse or setback, never beat yourself up. That’s always counterproductive and usually leads to the type of all-or-nothing thinking where you throw in the towel or even makes things worst. Instead congratulate yourself for catching yourself and turning things around when you did. With that approach it literally becomes impossible to fail.