Five Keys to Accessing Self-acceptance

“When the self is divided and in conflict, there is always a hidden aspect of judgment against the self… Self-judgment is the voice inside that says:
“You can’t handle it. Remember the last time you fell apart? This time will be the same.” – Deepak Chopra

  • Do you remember the first time you learned to drive a car?
  • Did you feel nervous, shaky or maybe thought “I can’t do this”?
  • Have you ever felt that excited feeling when you actually discovered you could do it?

Gillian’s confident beaming face radiated from the page of my favourite red leather photo album. So much had changed for her. I was privileged to be part of her journey to self-acceptance.

Recollections of her tragic story flooded back. I appreciated her courage, motivation and determination once again. Gillian and her twin sister, Katie, were excited. They were going to their best friend’s birthday party. They sat in the back seat of the family’s sturdy blue Volvo. Giggling and whispering as they admired their matching pink shoes and pretty pink lace dresses.

SCREECH! Crumpling torn metal, Katie’s high-pitched screams and the smell of burning rubber filled Gillian’s world. That was the day Gillian lost her beloved twin sister.
Gillian carried the weight of her guilt of being the one left behind like a relentlessly filling rucksack of rocks. Twenty years on her self-perception was at an all time low.

Then the letter came. Her hands trembled as she reread it and triple checked it really was addressed to her.

“This is an amazing opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a dream come true.”

Gillian read the small print. “Oh no! I have to learn to drive.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I made a pact with myself: “I will never drive a car and risk causing someone to feel this constant pain of having lost a loved one”.”

Decision time! “If I want this chance, I’ll have to overcome my driving fears!”

  • Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to choose?
  • Have you ever had to decide between staying where you were or facing your fears knowing it could lead to something better?

This was Gillian’s dilemma.

As I pulled up beside Gillian, I noticed her worried frown as she shifted her weight restlessly from one foot to the other.
“I’m not sure I can do this!”, she nervously exclaimed
“Gillian, I want to acknowledge you for your willingness to get behind the wheel. ” I assured her.
Gillian whispered quietly, “Thank you for showing me how and believing I can do it”

With the driving basics explained, the time had arrived to drive. Gillian gripped the steering wheel so hard that the whites of her knuckles protruded.
My white Ford Laser hatchback gently nudged forward. Frozen terror tightened her face.

“Oh no! Am I doing that! What if I crash”, she cried

“You’re doing great. Focus on steering”

Gillian’s body noticeably relaxed as she realized she wasn’t doing it alone. Even more than that, she could rely on the experience of her instructor.
Within three weeks, she learned how to change gears smoothly. She felt calmer driving in traffic and mastered the more complex skills of parallel parking and hill starts. My client went from doubting herself to trusting her own intuition and her ability to make good decisions.

“I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I can drive! I feel great about what I’ve achieved. I feel light. For the first time, since Katie died, I know it’s ok to be me.”, she squealed with delight!

Gillian had discovered five essential keys to her self-acceptance and ultimately her success.

  • Appreciate Yourself: Even though You may feel emotional pain, realize You’re doing the best You can. Give Yourself this relaxed space so that You can appreciate who You are and who You can become 
  • Assume a Decisive Attitude: Despite the fact, You may feel terrified, make a decision to positively embrace Your fears and uncertainty
  • Active Willingness: Approach the “hill starts and parallel parking” complexities of Your life with an attitude of openness and fun. Your life experiences will become easier and more enjoyable as Your self-awareness grows
  • Assign a Guide: With Your hands firmly on the steering wheel, engage someone with the professional skills, to guide and walk beside You. It’s reassuring to know someone is helping You light Your way and has Your best interests at heart
  • Access Your Awareness: You’re in the driver’s seat. Trust that Your actions will create Your positive results. As You do this, remember to take care of Yourself by being aware of Your thoughts, Your self-talk and do activities that give You joy

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment” – Lao-Tzu

Here’s to steering your life as You speak from Your heart and share Your message!

With special thanks to Nadine Love for her insights about self-acceptance in her book Hot Confidence.