Denying Your True Self
Do you often feel the constant need to ignore your inner feelings and thoughts? You unconsciously or even actively suppress your emotions and hide your true self. You don’t like how you feel or how you think so you try to stop it and hide it away. Perhaps by doing that you will change.
You might think you’re doing yourself and even the people around you a favor. Perhaps you have an experience in the past that makes you want to just hide from the world. Perhaps somebody made you feel bad about being yourself.
Self-acceptance can be extra challenging if it was your parents or caregivers that didn’t make you feel wanted and accepted. You feel like if there is ever anyone who accepts you for who you are it should be your parents or your family. So if it is them who do not accept you then that leaves you doubting if you will ever be accepted by the rest of the world.
Understand that trauma you may have experienced also affects the way you see yourself. Or there could be something you feel guilty about because of a past you may have forgotten but the feelings remain embedded.
There are many things that people may feel ashamed about themselves. Some are ashamed about certain aspects about their physical body. Ashamed for being on the chubbier side or for being too skinny. Ashamed for being too short or too tall. Ashamed for not having great skin.
For some it’s more than just the physical side of things like feeling ashamed about not wanting to go out, being a sensitive man, being religious, and for being attracted to the same sex. Feeling ashamed about holding certain beliefs that you hold dear.
You do not feel you can be accepted just the way you are, and perhaps subconsciously you feel self-denial is the easiest way to go, even the safe way to go. You may think it’s for the best but it can actually lead to severe consequences that can impact not only your mental and physical state but also your relationship with others.
Denying who you truly are can have negative consequences such as feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in life, experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, having difficulty forming genuine relationships, and feeling disconnected from yourself and others.
Denying or suppressing important aspects of yourself may also lead to poor decision-making, self-destructive behavior, or physical health issues.
Moving From Self-Denial to Self-Acceptance
It is important to unlearn the tendencies to self-denial and start to accept and embrace your authentic self in order to live a fulfilling and authentic life. But that might be easier said than done.
But while moving from self-denial to self-acceptance may seem like an impossible task especially for some people – it can be done. How?
Start by acknowledging your negative self-talk
One of the significant aspects and trust me things will not change unless you do this is acknowledging that you are doing negative self-talk. When you tend to talk down to yourself, harbor self-doubt and negative beliefs then you will always feel the need to deny yourself.
It’s essential to acknowledge these thoughts and identify them as an area of concern that needs attention. Why do you hate yourself so much? Are the things you hate about yourself really things to feel bad about or you are just listening to the wrong people. Check why you have such negative feelings which also lead us to the next step.
It’s easy to cross the line from self-denial to self-criticism. Practicing self-compassion involves being kind to yourself and treating yourself as you would treat a good friend. If you have negative feelings then ask yourself why? Be gentle with yourself and show yourself empathy, understanding, and love.
Are you feeling negatively because you feel hurt? What’s the root of your pain?
Self-acceptance can be challenging when you’re doing it all by yourself. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who truly love you and can support your journey towards self-acceptance, such as friends or family members who encourage you to be your authentic self.
Have a clear picture of where you want your life to take you
In your journey towards self-acceptance also press on with the journey towards self-discovery and setting goals you wish for yourself. When you know which way you want your life to take you then it becomes easier for you to overcome any self-doubt and how it’s worth fighting for what you really want.
Celebrate your strengths
Rather than focusing on your flaws and what is not to like, celebrate the strengths in you. It is worth acknowledging your talents, abilities, and qualities that make you unique.
Make it a habit to write affirmations or compliments about yourself and read them every day especially when you are particularly down.
Let go of perfectionism
Perfectionism is a common trait among individuals who struggle with self-denial. Accept that as hard as you might try you will never be perfect and that is okay. You are allowed to make mistakes.
When you allow yourself to make mistakes then you are more willing to try things and you learn more about yourself. Growth can happen when you allow yourself to make a few mistakes.
When you have so many things to do it is so easy just to go through the motions but when you are mindful you put an effort to set some time for yourself to be in the moment a few moments each day observing your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.
Mindfulness can help you stay in check of your negative thoughts and improve mentally. Practicing mindfulness regularly can help you accept yourself for who you are.
The journey from self-denial towards self-acceptance will not be an overnight process. Self-acceptance takes time and patience. It’s crucial to practice these habits regularly and develop a positive mindset that supports your journey towards self-acceptance. Remember that self-acceptance is not about changing who you are but rather accepting and loving yourself as you are.