Self-Acceptance is Loving the Skin You’re In.

Growing up, did you ever wish you could change your appearance? Maybe you wished your nose was smaller or your lips were bigger. Maybe you wished you had an hourglass shape rather than an athletic or full-figured shape. May you wished you had straight hair instead of curly hair. For me, I wanted long, straight hair because heck. That’s what ‘Barbie’ had and she was the standard of beauty back in the 80’s right?


Or, If you didn’t relate to wanting to change some aspect of your appearance, maybe you wanted to change some aspect of your personality. Maybe you wanted to be more social rather than shy. Maybe you wanted to be more organized and planful instead of being so disorganized and spontaneous. Maybe you wanted to be a more flexible and agreeable person instead of being so rigid and challenging.

I think you’d agree that many of us have struggled (or still do struggle) with accepting every part of who we are—-perceived flaws and all. I know I have. Self-acceptance is really about having a positive attitude about who you are —in other words, having a positive sense of self or identity. And according to research, high levels of self-acceptance contributes to our psychological well-being.



So I have a few questions I’d like to ask you and I want you to be honest with yourself.


  • Do you feel confident and positive about who you are?
  • When you compare yourself to your friends and acquaintances, does your comparison make you feel good about who you are?
  • Would you say that you like most parts of your personality?
  • Do you feel a sense of satisfaction with the core of who you are despite any perceived deficiencies, inadequacies, personal weaknesses, flaws, past behaviors and choices?


On the Struggle Bus?

If you strongly disagreed with these statements, chances are you may be struggling with self-acceptance. When we struggle with accepting ourselves, flaws and all, we may also struggle in areas of our mental health. We may experience a poor sense of self-worth, suffer from low self-esteem, engage in self-criticism and self-condemnation and strive to obtain the approval, acceptance, and applause of others through people-pleasing and performing.


For those of us who have struggled with or are currently struggling with self-acceptance, negative experiences in our childhood and adolescence are most likely to blame as these are the years when our sense of self or identity was being formed. Abusive, neglectful, highly critical, shaming, degrading and traumatic childhood experiences all impact our sense of self and psychological wellbeing.


Adversity and Self-Perception

Adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s for short) chip away at our sense of being loved, accepted and belonging and causes us to no longer feel beautiful, charming, desirable, competent, pleasing or lovable. And when these emotional injuries and scars are not healed, we can often develop a negative identity and attitude regarding who we are. Instead of seeing all that is beautiful, unique, special, magical, delightful, pleasing and RIGHT about who we are– we see only the things we perceive are wrong about who we are.


Rejection and Self-Concept 

This reminds me of Gideon in the Bible (Judges 6:15-16). When God called him a mighty warrior, Gideon called himself a weakling. He basically said to God,


“Look at me!  Are you serious calling me a warrior? How can you call me that? Don’t you know the type of family I come from? Are you not aware of the type of environment I had to live through?  The adverse experiences I had to endure in my youth?  Aren’t you familiar with my background? Are you not aware of the adversities and traumatic experiences I’ve had to live though? Can’t you see how my experiences have impacted the way I see my self? I’m nothing. I’m weak. I’m no warrior. I’m simply not enough. I can’t possibly be who you say I am.”
When Gideon “reminded” God that he was the runt or weakest person in his family, what I think he was saying was “God, I’ve faced so much rejection and adversity in my life. I can’t possibly be this great and mighty warrior that you claim I am.” 


What I find so encouraging about Gideon’s story is many of us can relate to being rejected and even worse, abused, traumatized, and maybe even neglected. Just as the runt of the litter is often rejected by his mother and left to fend for himself, Gideon was expressing to God how he experienced rejection and because of that, he believed he was weak–far from a warrior. His life experiences made him believe he was incompetent, weak and maybe worthless. Gideon defined himself by his experiences because he believed he was the very thing(s) that happened to him.


We are Mighty in God

But God called Him as he created him to be–as a mighty warrior. God wanted Gideon to see his identity in Him–despite his family of origin or adverse life experiences. God didn’t want Gideon living his life with an insecure sense of self or identity. He didn’t want him engaging in self-rejection, self-loathing and self-criticism. God wanted Him to live with confidence and engage in unconditional self-acceptance because of his God-acceptance. I believe God wanted to show Gideon (and us) that


…”at the core of our self-acceptance is being convinced of our God-acceptance.”
God wanted Gideon to see his value and worth was never about who he thought he was or wasn’t. It was about who God said he was. Gideon needed to learn how to see himself and accept himself the way God did–flaws, family history, weaknesses and all. Likewise, we must learn to do the same. It’s hard (if not impossible) to love and accept others the way God commands us to (Mark 12:20) when we can’t seem to love and accept our own selves as we are.


Your Personal Challenge 

In an effort to help you practice greater self-acceptance, try these strategies below.

  • Stop comparing who you are to your family and friends. Start celebrating who God uniquely created YOU to be. Craft a “Uniquely Me” list highlighting your unique personality traits and talents. Don’t be afraid to ask those closest to you for help on this if you get stuck. Then, hang it up or post it somewhere where you are most likely to see it every day. Then read it daily to remind yourself of how incredible and wonderfully made you are.


  • Stop coveting the gifts and strengths of others and start being content with the gifts God has given you. Create a list highlighting your top 10 strengths. If you don’t know, ask those around you. You can even take the StrengthsFinder Assessment for a small cost of a book purchase to discover your top 5 strengths. This was life-changing and so encouraging and empowering for me.


  • Stop the self-criticism. Start speaking greatness and declaring your worth! Create a personal affirmation list declaring who you are by God’s grace. Declare your divine greatness with boldness and God-confidence.



The greatest thing you can do to boost your self-acceptance is declare your worth and acceptance in Christ. Declare YOUR DIVINE IDENTITY! You are a child of God. You are loved relentlessly by God. You are the head and not the tail. You are a mighty warrior. A conqueror. You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. You are royalty. You are powerful and unstoppable in Christ.


You are a friend of God. And you, my friend, have been equipped with EVERYTHING YOU NEED to succeed and prosper in life. See yourself the way God sees you. And call yourself as God calls you. For you are God’s masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made to do great and wonderful things. See it. Say it. Believe it.



The Podcast

Check out these episodes for more encouragement of becoming your authentic self. 

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