Tag Archives | self-acceptance


Do you ever wonder who you really are? We all have a version of ourselves with the traits that we recognise, and often a second version which is how we would prefer to be seen, but accepting the whole of who we are is another matter entirely!

I find that most of the time I like who I am, and can deal with my own quirks, and be forgiving of them, but once in a while they really catch me out. Examples would be: when I am ill, and become very sorry for myself, and at the same time, very cross with myself; when I don’t know how to handle something, and I begin to question my ability in other areas as well; and when I know what I would prefer to do, but I feel myself bowing to the pressure to follow other people’s way rather than my own.

Learning to take a step back and accept things as they are, including my own behaviour or reactions, is for me a vital part of being who I am, that I am gradually getting better at. I also realise that it is sometimes helpful to have someone else’s view of you, to help you to keep it in perspective.

Growing into being who we really are is a lifelong job that we all have, and one that it is worth considering once in a while. So, some questions worth asking yourself:

  • Do I like me? And if I don’t answer positively, what does make me likeable?
  • Do I accept my own quirks of character? And if the answer is no, what would help me to be more accepting of them?
  • Do I follow my own preferences, or am I swayed by what others think, or the pressures around me? And if I am swayed, what would help me to stay true to myself more often?

Remember that none of us is perfect, and all of us are wonderful, unique and special, and appreciate yourself in this light, before you look at anyone else.


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You can also listen to a podcast of this Workshop

[audio:metahome_podcast_giving_yourself_permission.mp3|titles=Giving Yourself Permission]

Download the podcast

For many years, Meta has been giving others permission to be themselves to make themselves feel good, to take better care of themselves, to trust their intuition. I consider it one of the more valuable things that we do, as all of us suffer from the need to know it’s OK to do things we have learnt are generally not allowed, for whatever stupid reason.

When we were born, it seemed obvious to us that we should choose how we wanted to be, and what we wanted to do, following our hearts. Then we learned that the world doesn’t work like that, we incorporated the should’s and ought’s into our way of talking and thinking, and lost sight of our own unconscious wisdom.

How many times do you say to yourself: ‘I shouldn’t really…’ or ‘I’ve got to…’ or ‘I’d better just…’ – there are endless variations on the theme! And what they all do is deprive ourselves of what we really want to do, and push us on with our obligations, or at the very least, make us feel guilty for still following our hearts.

What would happen if we decided to turn this on its head, and find a myriad of ways of giving ourselves permission? We could say to ourselves: ‘I deserve to…’, ‘I have done enough to be able to….’, ‘I really feel like… so I will….’, ‘It’s OK if I …’ – again the list can go on and on.

It seems to me that it is time that we all took responsibility for giving ourselves that permission. And I started, as we all have to, with myself. Although sometimes quite good at it, I realised that there were still a lot of ‘should’s’ driving me on, particularly around work. So I have been paying more attention to when the ‘should’s’ drop into my thinking, and asking myself what I would rather do.

And I am finding that giving myself permission to stop, to do something I really feel like doing, to follow my heart, is having a radical effect on my life – in a good way. Strangely, more gets done more easily, even though I take more breaks from the tasks, and put my feeling ahead of my rationality. And I am happier, and I have more energy – what is going on?

I feel that the experiment is far enough along to begin to encourage others to adopt the same experiment. So why not have a go at giving yourself more permission just to be how you are, to follow your feelings, and to challenge some of those times when you are driving yourself along.

We would encourage our friends to be kinder to themselves if we saw them exhausting themselves or forcing themselves on, so be your own best friend for just a while, and do notice what the effects are…


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It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves! We have all been well-trained in being critical, and we are great at turning that ability on ourselves. So we notice what we haven’t done rather than what we have done in a day, or we beat ourselves up for saying the wrong thing instead of remembering how often we say the right thing.

I bet you not only criticise yourself, you also sometimes reject praise or compliments by running yourself down! I know I can say things like, ‘ Oh it’s really someone else’s idea’, or ‘ no, I don’t look good today – your eyesight is obviously not as good as it was!’ This is not just insulting to the complimenter, it is also a less than useful message to yourself.

All this is telling ourselves that we are no good, and that is a lousy message to give anyone! So I want you to consider another possibility. Just for a while, imagine that you are your best friend. I bet the description of you would be different if they gave it! Friends are kinder to us than we are to ourselves, and they set us a good example of how we deserve to be treated. When we are treated kindly, we don’t get arrogant, we get even nicer! It reminds us of us at our best, and helps us to be like that more often.

So why not decide to be your own best friend for the rest of the month?


  1. Spend a few minutes describing your characteristics as if you were your own best friend.
  2. At the end of each day, find something to praise yourself about
  3. Next time you criticise yourself, remind yourself to be kind to you!
  4. Dare to give yourself a present for being such a lovely person!


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When was the last time you felt really good about yourself? It is so easy to be self-damning, and so much harder to be self-congratulatory! And somehow in our culture we think that it is a good thing to run ourselves down. I can remember as a small child being told that just because I was a good speller didn’t mean that I should get bigheaded – but I wasn’t! I was just proud of my ability to spell…

Those who make the best of themselves know intuitively that they need to build on their strengths to get even better. They notice their own good points, and see how they can use these to enhance their not so good points. Just as we all thrive on positive feedback from others, we also thrive on positive feedback from ourselves!

So this month, why don’t you start giving yourself some feedback!


  1. List 10 things you are really good at. It doesn’t matter what they are – work-related or personal
  2. Each day notice 1 thing you do well and remind yourself of how you did it
  3. When someone thanks you for something, or gives you positive feedback, don’t dismiss it – say thank you and revel in it!
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Do you remember this time of year when you were younger? The exams were over, the weather was glorious, and we were about to go on the holidays that seemed to last forever. The mood was anticipation, and a sense of something finished, with a break before we started the next stage, and a gentle wind-down was beginning.

Then we go to work, and there is no longer that long summer break, or time to enjoy the good weather, when it comes. But a part of us is still reacting in the same way.

So give it some permission this month:

  • Allow yourself to take a slightly longer lunch break – or maybe just take a lunch break! – on one of these warm days.
  • Allow yourself to go home a little earlier a couple of days each week, and enjoy sitting outside on a warm evening, or playing with the children for a while longer
  • Allow yourself to have a barbecue on a weekday evening, when the weather is good, rather than hoping the warmth will still be there at the weekend
  • Allow yourself to be slower at something than you usually would

This is not pure self-indulgence, it is a vital part of looking after yourself. If we don’t cater for our longings at all, but force ourselves to work like machines rather than humans, our spirits build up a resentment that can become unhealthy for us and for those around us. If you ever find yourself envying the children their summer holiday break, recognise it as a sign that you need to give yourself some permission!


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