Man, all I can say is that there is a lot going on in the world; most of which I cannot bear. We must focus on what matters most in the world and that’s being happy and living a joyous life, whatever that means for you for whatever actions you feel you need to take. I mentioned to you before about Owning Your Magic and that there are 6 steps. We covered the first one last month on Forgiveness. Now I want to share Step 2 is Choose love and acceptance.
Where in your life are you not choosing love and acceptance?
So, I keep engaged with my coaching community as often as I can and at our recent conference, we covered Owning Your Magic. I have to say that this was a tough one for me. This particular question. When I read it, I cried because the answer I wrote down was “My relationship with my mother. I need to lean in where I’m most tempted to avoid. Call her on Mother’s Day. Keep it short. Olive branch once again because I’m choosing love and acceptance. It was easier to write the words than to act on them. Isn’t that always true?! Sometimes we need more time, right? But then you’re reminded that it’s later than you think or what if you don’t have that much time? The pressure is there when you think there really shouldn’t be any pressure if you choose love and acceptance, right? Damn choosing is the hard part but following through on your hard choices is even harder. Needless to say, mom and I are taking our time on this rollercoaster of a relationship, and it will end on the track it’s supposed to. I have a specific question for you that is related but with a twist.
What about choosing self-love and acceptance (of self)? Man! We aren’t taught this in school growing up. I hope this is something we’re teaching our children now because it’s not natural to just love and acceptance ourselves as perfectly imperfect. I struggled up until my early 40s and I still struggle some days. It’s easier to beat yourself up about something you didn’t do well than cut yourself some slack or simply put, give yourself grace! What negative chatter/talk do you tell yourself when you don’t do something you meant to do or do it the way you feel is right? How do you respond to yourself? Is it in a loving and compassionate way or in an accusatory way? I want you to think back to a disappointing time you had in your life. What was the situation, how did you manage it, and how did you reflect on it later?
While you think about it, let me share a recent and personal one. So, something that some of you don’t know (unless you did read all of my book or know me personally or professionally) is that I’m also a Human Resources (HR) professional by workday and I recently (2+ months ago) decide not to throw away my shot (again) by applying for a more senior level position (Principal) at my company. It was time and I was ready. I have been in HR for almost 22 years and with my current company (almost 20 of those years), I went through an extensive interview process including interviewing with two Executive Vice Presidents (EVP), one of which I would partner with. However, during an interview with one of the EVPs, I lost my confidence in one of the answers I gave, and I felt it all over my body. I felt so insecure (not confident in the words coming out of my mouth), small, and powerless as I struggled to answer the question and that is the total opposite of how I typically show up. It was like I had no control, and I was stuck in those few minutes as my eyes looked up in the air and to the right as I tried to find the right words that came out as a laundry list and that finally ended in “and because I’m ready for a challenge.” It was after those last words that I looked back at my interviewer who was nodding his head at my last words like “now you finally answered what I was waiting to hear.” I asked him a powerful question at the end when he turned the “interview” over to me and his answer got him really pumped and that’s when I felt, slightly, like maybe I didn’t blow it. So, what did I do once I got off the interview call? I felt really bad that I fudged up such a simple question of “Why do you think you should get this position?” Classic old school interview question that I hadn’t prepared for. Beat yourself up mode was starting to take flight, but I caught myself by becoming self-aware. I then moved from self-awareness to self-management (Emotional Intelligence (EQ)) and told myself “Kenya, let it go. You did what you did and you humbled yourself just a bit during that interview and that’s okay because you were still your authentic self so accept that and be happy with yourself.” That is exactly what I did in that moment. The negative thoughts, fear and insecurities still came up later that day and the next morning. I noticed them (EQ) and you see, to accept those thoughts is not practicing self-love in any way, shape, or form. So, here is what I practiced instead; I said the same thing including “Kenya, it’s in the past. It’s done. LET. IT. GO!!” Once again, I also practiced self-acceptance of the situation and who I am, perfectly imperfect. Later that next day, I received an email from the recruiter saying I was moving on to the final round. Fast forward to later last week when I got offered and accepted the Principal position.
How can you open your heart just a little bit more?
It’s hard to open your heard if you’re always in your subconscious. Your subconscious is where your emotions live and when they’re activated, you don’t always take the time to slow down and open your heart more. Here are 8 simple ways (most are self-explanatory) to practice self-love and acceptance.
8 Ways to Practice Self-Love and Acceptance
1. Positive Self-Talk
3. Less is More (Living with Need): This constant pressure to keep up ruins our self-esteem (social media and consumerism). Finding something you truly love will raise your self-esteem far greater than any impulse purchase or obsession on what someone else is doing that you don’t truly love by rather envy (NO) and will help you find, accept, and love your own unique identity.
4. Confront Your Fears
5. Let Go of the Past
6. Change What You Can (and Want to Change)
7. Accept What You Can’t Change
8. Cut Yourself Some Slack!
It’s a journey and not a destination on the road to choosing and PRACTICING (self) love and acceptance. It takes time to accomplish and the path you travel is unique and yours and yours alone. Be prepared for obstacles and uneven terrain, and always remember that at the top of each of life’s mountains there is a glorious view of fulfillment and future possibilities awaiting you. The journey to self-love and self-acceptance is possible. You might just need to wear down the soles of a few pairs of sneakers along the way to owning your magic!
If there is anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, then I welcome you to leave a comment below or reach out to me for a free consultation to get help in an area of your life or a change/transformation you want to begin this year! Click here to book an appointment Work With Me | Life Chapters Coaching
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