Steps to Self Acceptance – Embracing Your Flaws

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When we get up in the morning and look in the mirror, what is your typical reaction?  If you’re like most of the world, it’s probably not something along the lines of:  “I look perfect today!  I’m flawless!”

No, we don’t live in a perfect world.  We are flawed.  And although imperfections are part of everyone and every human body, you wouldn’t think it was acceptable in society today.  There seems to be a lot of pressure out there, especially on women, to be perfect.  A perfect wife, a perfect mother, a perfect daughter.

And don’t forget a perfect working woman and a perfect body to go along with that perfect personality.  If you don’t have it all, well, there are definitely pills, creams, hair dyes, cosmetics and clothing you could purchase that will get you as close to perfect as you can get.

It’s about time we got back to reality.  There is no fountain of youth, there is no perfect life.  And there is certainly no perfect body.  Some time ago, perhaps with the onset of social media, there has been an absurd amount of pressure to be thin, to be successful, and to be perfect.  And if you don’t, you should have the appearance that you do have it all together.

Somewhere along the way, we forgot what healthy looks like and what happiness can feel like.  It’s time we stop putting up this front and accept our bodies, our lives, and our selves as who we are – perfectly flawed.

Let’s discuss our flaws and find ways we can live with them, accept them, and fix them if we really need to.

Flaw Tip #1: Is it in Your Head? Pinpoint it.

Usually a flaw starts out as something we honestly never gave a second thought to.  But somewhere along the line, someone may have made a comment about it and it has stuck with you ever since.

In my case, I recall my dentist pointing out a tooth in the front of my mouth that sticks out a little further than the rest.  He was telling me exactly what he could do to “fix it.”  I had to have him hold a mirror in front of my face because I had never noticed it until he pointed it out.  I was somewhat hurt by his comments but realized it’s his job to look at teeth all day.

And needless to say I never got the procedure done to “fix” my smile.  But imagine if I would have took his comments to heart and all I ever saw was this FLAW every time I looked in the mirror.  It would have been devastating.  Yes, it’s a flaw, but it’s one I can live with.

Sometimes our flaws are self-inflicted.  We might just decide one day we really don’t like that bump on our nose or the birthmark on our arm.

We go so far as to say we HATE a certain part of us. That can lead to a slippery slope.  On Monday it was okay to have that bump on your nose (You joked that it came from your Dad’s side of the family whenever someone commented) but by Tuesday you’re on the internet searching for cosmetic surgeons.

It might be part of our personality we don’t like anymore. Maybe you’ve always been too shy (never speaking up) or too nice (push over) or too talkative (demanding).  One day you thought, “I don’t want to be like this anymore.”

Usually this stems from comparing ourselves to others, like siblings or close friends.  You might think you wish you had your sisters’ legs or your best friends’ baking ability.

Most of the time, the source of our flaw is from external sources like society and media.  There is a lot of pressure on women today to achieve a certain look.

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements –Television ads, billboards, magazines, radio spots, online ads, and of course, social media.  There’s always an ad that says “Get Flat Abs!” or “How to look Young at any age!”  and “Cellulite Cream that really works!”

Are you allowing these messages to affect you in a negative way?  Examine why you are letting external sources control how you look at yourself.

Flaw Tip #2: To Fix or Not to Fix

Once you figure out the source, I think it’s important to ask yourself if this is something you feel so strongly about, that you actually hate it.  Hate is a strong word, but if there’s a flaw that you downright despise, ask what steps need to be taken in order to correct it, assuming this is something you really want to change and CAN be changed.

For example, if you really can’t even look at yourself in the mirror without seeing something physical such as a birthmark or a bump on the nose, then it’s safe to say you hate it.  If it really does prevent you from living your life and you can’t move past it, then figure out if it’s worth “fixing.”

Personality Flaws are much easier to fix.  Are you an admitted procrastinator?  Is it ruining your relationships with friends or co-workers?  Then it might be a good idea to find ways to manage your time better.  Are you described as so nice to people that you’re considered a push-over?  Again, this might warrant some adjustments in how you interact with people in order to be taken more seriously.

Flaw Tip #3: Accentuate the Perfect Parts

Even though we know that no one is perfect, we do have qualities that we are known for and that make us unique.  What’s interesting is that the one thing you might see as a flaw, could be seen as something that makes you, you!  Others might view your imperfection as absolutely perfect.

If you went and got that bump on your nose removed, would your friends recognize you?  Would YOU recognize you?  Perhaps a better way to embrace our flaw is to direct attention away from it and towards a part of you that others love.  The nose is just a PART of you.  Maybe you have big gorgeous eyes.  Or shiny thick hair you’re your friends are always complimenting you on.  Try to direct attention away from the flaw and towards your bright spots.

I recall telling people the tooth story and they said the same thing:  “I didn’t even notice until you pointed it out just now.” Or “Yeah I guess I never really paid attention to it.”  You will find most people don’t care or notice your flaw.

Your friends might know you as “they shy one” or the “bad dancer” of the group or the one who is “never on time.”  The great part is if they are good friends, this is what they LIKE about you.  You bring your uniqueness to the friendship/relationship.

Flaw Tip #4: Physical Flaws – Refuse to Hide

I know what you’re thinking – This is great but what about a part of my body that I’m trying to hide?

Well that’s just it, the more you think “I need to cover up these stretch marks, or I need to hide these wrinkles on my face or cellulite on my thighs” the more discouraged you may feel.

You might not want people to focus attention on your cellulite or your extra padding on your waistline, but the more you try to hide it, the more attention you are actually giving it.  It’s probably not a bad idea to ignore it.  Accept that this is the way you were made, the way you are, and move on.  By covering up, you are making yourself even more aware of the flaw and giving it more attention than it needs.

A flaw can be worked on though, especially if it’s one of the most common flaws that women would love to fix – weight loss.  More specifically, fat loss.

The good news is that with hard work and perseverance, you CAN get rid of this flaw forever.  And it’s a flaw that we actually do want to get rid of so we can be healthy, happy women.

The not so good news – it’s a process.  It might take you a very long time to fix this flaw – but that’s the beauty of it.   You can discover a lot about yourself as you work to transform your body and your life.  You might learn to love yourself by revealing the REAL you.  Someone that was once hidden under baggy clothes or used humor to mask their true feelings of self-worth, is now coming out of her shell.

After reading these tips, I hope you wake up tomorrow, look in the mirror, and see the perfectly flawed women staring back at you.  Smile because you know you’re taking steps to be healthy, be happy, and bask in this new-found self acceptance.

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