Self acceptance. The clue is in the name really, but I always thought self acceptance would come when I'd lost a bit of weight, my skin was totally flawless and I had my dream job. Etc etc. Turns out, as the phrase would suggest, it means accepting yourself exactly as you are and as whatever you may become. Self acceptance is unconditional and is actually a completely different thing to self confidence.
Well I never lost the weight, I still get spots but yes I do have a job I like. Somehow self acceptance happened somewhere along the way. I'm OK with me as I am. I've learnt there's a big difference between self acceptance and self confidence, but I've been able to accept the things I don't like about myself. I hope that makes sense. It's been a pretty long slog to get here though and that's what I want to speak about in this post.
The dream of being someone I'm not began in my teens. I always felt like the ugly fat one among my pretty friends as well as the boring girl who should try harder to be a bit more fun. I remember one girl telling me everyone else though I was the 'Jas' from the Georgia Nicholson books in our group because she was annoying and desperate. From then on that's pretty much how I saw myself too.
In my late teens I was no longer friends with that girl (funny eh) and I felt much better about myself looks-wise, although mainly because I had started to get attention from boys and that's not really the best way to validate your body image because once you lose that attention your self confidence falls right back down again. The main issue at this point in time was my desire to people please. I wanted people to like me and think I was fun so I said yes to everything. I don't actually regret having that attitude because I had a lot of fun in those years, but some of the choices I made were probably not the best.
You'd think it would continue to get better, but my early twenties was oddly probably the worst time for me. Because I'd placed so much of my self confidence in my body image in the hands of boys it was completely shattered and I'd stopped saying yes to everything, which caused friends from university to (in my mind) think I'd become boring because I no longer wanted to stay out until 4am. I wasn't particularly happy at university in my final year, but I also had no clue as to what direction my life was going to take afterwards.
The change from then to now is pretty drastic when I think about it and I can't really explain why it happened apart from that I guess the friendships that weren't real fizzled out, I stopped caring so much what other people thought and I started this blog, which has been the best thing for self confidence. At some point in the past couple of years I accepted myself just as I am. Obviously there are times when I have little hiccups about my appearance or personality, but generally I'm pretty comfortable with who I am and it's such a big weight off my shoulders. There are things about myself that I don't like, but I don't let them bother me (very often anway). Pretty much every day I look in the mirror and think I could do with losing a bit of weight or a nose job, but it also doesn't bother me that I'm probably not going to do either of those things. It's a difficult one to try to explain so I'll stop trying to and sign out, hoping that you get what I mean!