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Develop Self-Acceptance: The Secret to Everlasting Beauty

by Evelyn on February 20, 2012

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh


(When you accept yourself, your confidence shows from the inside.)

Finding self-acceptance can be a constant battle in modern times. “Just be yourself” is an advice that is not easy to follow. Not especially when you are faced with many wrong ideas about what beauty is. Bombarded by advertisements, you are encouraged to believe that you need the latest it-bag, platform shoes or anti-aging cream in order to be beautiful. Thus, life becomes a constant strife to acquire these items.

Madison Ave spends billions of dollars a year to cultivate an image of what is acceptable, what is the in thing, or what is the next big thing. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is almost an impossible fight; taking on the mass media is lost before it starts. You also eventually realize that with each material purchase, none can ever make you truly beautiful. Even with rapid advancements in medical science, the dream to look young forever is but just a dream, because you can never reverse time.

True Beauty is Not About Being Hip

In my younger days, I was keen to be accepted by others. I tried to fit in by keeping up with the latest trends. I remember the early days of trying to dress like Cindy Lauper, Boy George or Madonna at various time periods. I cringe now at the memory of some of the garb that I wore in my attempt to be hip. I seriously doubt that wearing psychedelic pink, having untidy hair or oversized shoulder pads had actually made me more attractive.

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery; you will need to seriously consider if adopting another’s style fits your own. You need to think about whether what others wear flatter your body shape, height or personality, or if the clothes are age-appropriate for you. A word of warning: you may just end up with attention for all the wrong reasons.

It is not just the ladies who follow fashion trends. During the mid to late 80’s when Miami Vice was the TV show to watch, many guys imitated the fashions of Tubbs and Crockett. While wearing a t-shirt with a pastel colored suit and boat shoes without sock might have worked fine for Don Johnson, it could look rather silly outside the show.

That tend continues to this day, with many guys in their 20’s sporting Justin Bieber hairstyles. If you think about it, not many can carry off the same look. Yet, guys choose it in order to win the attention of the opposite sex. Perhaps, it may interest you to know that studies have shown that what usually attracts is not a specific hairstyle but a healthy dose of inner confidence.

Avoid Rejection

The opposite of acceptance is rejection. You cannot accept yourself because you deem yourself fundamentally flawed. You reject your body, the way you are and everything about you. And so you tear yourself to pieces with your inner critic.

By rejecting yourself, you feel that you are unlovable. You become focused on your appearance on the outside. Any slight criticism from others sends your world crashing. It happens because you are already unsure of who you are. You have become disconnected from your soul.

On the extreme, you subject yourself to punishing eating regimes. You want to look like the stick-thin models on the covers of magazines. You cannot bear the thought of a single ounce of fat on your body. You also prefer to numb your pain through other forms of addictive behavior like drinking or taking drugs.

Be Authentic

Understandably, you want to be accepted by your family and friends. You desire love through being accepted. While there is nothing wrong with seeking acceptance, note that at the end of the day, theirs should be secondary to your own self-acceptance or you will always have an uphill battle to find your own.

Being yourself is honestly one of the hardest things to do, as peer pressure and the mass media can exert undue influence on you at any time. Realize that you will experience an increasing sense of disconnection if you hold on to false appearances. In short, you will not be truly happy. There is always the background fear that others will reject you once you reveal the real person inside.

However, what you need to know is this: you are most attractive when you are authentic. You will eventually draw those who appreciate you for who you are. They enjoy your company because you are not pretending to be someone you are not. You have an aliveness that makes your presence a delight for others. By being authentic yourself, you give others the permission to be themselves too.

You Are Already Beautiful

There is no doubt about it. You are already very beautiful. The essence of who you are goes beyond the personality, the image that you see in the mirror or the make-up that you apply. Hence, it is not about the clothes you wear, the size of your boobs if you are female or the muscles on your arms if you are male.

Most certainly, self-acceptance is not contingent on the approval of others. If you cannot accept yourself, you cannot expect others to do that for you. Thus, learn to embrace who you truly are, make no bones about it. When you accept yourself, acceptance from others will naturally follow.

Self-acceptance puts you in connection with your heart. You accept every flaw or imperfection about you that you perceive, including body parts that are imperfect. Self-acceptance lays the foundation for loving yourself unconditionally. Thus, you become grounded. You are in wellness. When you are in healthy self-love, you naturally gain a glow. You shine from the inside. The radiance touches everyone around you and is one that does not taper off.

Self-acceptance becomes your secret to everlasting beauty.

fbprofilemktg-2Shine from the soul always,

evelyn lim signature
Author. Adventurer. Life Coach. More About Me.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marina February 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Wonderful post! We all could learn a lot from it!

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Thank you, Marina!!

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rob white February 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Wonderfully said, Evelyn, you didn’t miss a thing. True beauty is understanding that we are marvelously made beings and there is nothing faulty about us. We have the capacity to express our marvelous qualities in a thousand different ways every day – it’s our birthright. When we understand our true beauty, we understand all that we need to know to succeed in life.

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Hi Rob,

Oh yes, we are perfect despite the “imperfections” that we perceive in the mirror. If we can believe that we are here to express the different aspects of ourselves in a myriad of ways, we will be much happier folks. We are blessed with the resources to be well and to succeed, but we must first believe in that.

Abundance always,
Evelyn

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Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition February 21, 2012 at 6:19 am

Evelyn,
So true! Focusing all our energy outwardly will never create lasting happiness, will it?
Something happened when I turned 35. I started to really like myself. I finally realized that my happiness was not dependent upon what size jeans I wore. I stopped dieting religiously and relaxed for the first time ever! It was heaven.
Now, when I think about starving myself to fit back into microscopic sizes I just shake my head knowing I could never do it again. What a relief it is to feel comfortable with ourselves just the way we are and truly enjoy life!

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Evelyn Reply:

Hi Angela,

Microscopic sizes are not natural but sadly, we allow ourselves to believe that these are beautiful. I certainly don’t find the aneroxic-looking like models beautiful, not with their bones sticking out.

Except for a tummy (after giving birth to two girls), I have always been on the slim side. So I am lucky. Still, I eat whatever I want. I enjoy my food. However, in the last 5 years, I realize that I need to be more mindful about what I put into my body. Food selection is important to stay healthy.

I certainly think it is important to embrace our bodies. We love ourselves wholly, completely and unconditionally.

Shine from the soul always,
Evelyn

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Vidya Sury February 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What an insightful post, Evelyn. I’ve gone through phases when I pressurized myself to do like others to be like them. Successful. Obviously the process is painful after a while, because it is unnatural. I had a wise mother who always encouraged me to just be myself. As you said, that’s not the easiest thing in the world, especially while growing up with peer pressure and all those perceived tensions in our heads. I was lucky to have a constant motivator in my mom and I got over it gradually. I think sometimes, the perceived physical shortcomings are the worst. All limiting beliefs. :-) I am a happy person basically :-) Oh, if only I could get rid of the extra pounds around my ab! :D

Hugs! Have a great week ahead!

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Hi Vidya,

You are so lucky to have a mother who motivates you positively. Not many of us are that fortunate. I have had to help clients address their childhood issues.

Yes, it can be difficult to overcome perceived physical shortcomings because it would seem as if we cannot do something about these. But we certainly can do something about the extra pounds around our waist. Still, we choose to accept ourselves anyways :-)

With love,
Evelyn

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The Vizier February 21, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hi Evelyn,

Indeed it is hard to “just be yourself” when there are so many other conflicting messages going around about what we should be. We are constantly being compared in a subtle or obvious way to “ideals of perfection” that we may never be able to attain for various reasons.

The idea that just because someone else can and has done it does not necessarily mean the same can and should apply to us. We have to be aware of the fact that each of us is unique. What may seem effortless for others may require great effort on our part to accomplish or sustain.

I feel that at the end of the day, it is easiest to be myself. Like you I did try to fit in when I was younger and did many silly things. But as I got older, I felt it was easier to follow my own heart and to do the things that really appealed to me. Being authentic and sincere just came naturally as a result since I wasn’t trying to be what I was not.

And in any case, since we are so interconnected today, it is easier to find like-minded people around the world. We do not have to struggle to fit in with people who do not share the same interests as we do.

Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

Irving the Vizier

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Evelyn Reply:

You are right, Irving. We are indeed lucky to also be living in this day and age. There are ways to find people who can accept us for who we are. We don’t have to hide behind false appearances. We can be upfront and not have to worry too much about seeking other people’s approval.

It is great that you have learned about being authentic and following your own heart. It comes so naturally that we are even surprised about how easy it can be.

Shine from the soul always,
Evelyn

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Jason Fonceca February 22, 2012 at 3:50 am

A great post, on a great topic, Evelyn.

I love how you encourage people to be and accept themselves, and yes, everyone is beautiful :)

An interesting note – I’ve heard the phrases:

“Be yourself”, “be authentic”, “be real”, “know who you are”, “know your audience”, “don’t please others”, etc. so often it’d make anyone’s head spin…

…So I decided to create a clear, specific, tangible way for people to learn how to be themselves.

I haven’t released it yet, but the interest is great. It’s called “How To ‘Be Real’: A Blueprint”

This article makes me even more excited to debut it :)

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Hi Jason,

Good for you! I am glad to know that you are noticing the signs on what you can help others with. Good luck with your new launch!!

All the best,
Evelyn

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Asta February 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm

This article is deeply true, deeply beautiful. Thank you.

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Thank you too, Asta, for taking the time to write and letting me know :-)

Shine from the soul always,
Evelyn

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Galen Pearl February 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

One of the great things about getting older is that I’m not trying to put on a certain persona or create a certain appearance. Sure, I like to look good, but looking good to me now means looking fit and healthy and rested. I’m not sure when this changed, but it must have been when my law students stopped thinking I was hot and started wanting me to adopt them. Ha!

[Reply]

Evelyn Reply:

Galen, you made me laugh with your comment LOL! Oh yes, what is great about maturing with wisdom is that we pay attention to the more important things in life.

Have a wonderful week,
Evelyn

[Reply]

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