Research regarding plus size and self-acceptance shows that self-acceptance is fundamental for your overall psychological well-being. In fact, evidence shows a direct link between low levels of self-acceptance and your overall psychological well-being. Low self-acceptance affects your daily life, work, and significant relationships.
Plus Size and Self-Acceptance
Plus size people with high self-acceptance have more resilience to criticism. There is new evidence about plus size and self-acceptance that dive into some of the whys of their resilience. These high-acceptance individuals understand that it’s okay to accept themselves while continuing to work on self-improvement. Self-acceptance is self-explanatory.
What is Plus Size and Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance is the act of accepting yourself and all your personality traits exactly as you are regardless of your size. This means you accept your traits whether they are positive or negative. This includes your physical and mental attributes. Self-acceptance effects your personal growth and development.
Plus Size, Self-Acceptance and Personal Growth
Self-acceptance means recognizing that your value goes beyond your personal attributes and actions. This is known as radical self-acceptance. In other words, you accept parts of yourself you consider negative or undesirable. Having an awareness of your limitations is the first step to personal growth. This awareness is beneficial for many reasons such as:
- Review your goals and achievements.
- Acknowledge and celebrate your positive qualities.
- Helps change certain aspects of yourself that need work.
Lack of Self-Acceptance in Plus Size
A lack of self-acceptance dueto one’s size impedes your personal growth and holds you back in every area of your life. It also affects your confidence and prevents you from reaching your highest potential. Moreover, the lack of self-acceptance does all the following:
- Limits your capacity for happiness.
- Affects your psychological and emotional well-being.
- Keeps you focused on the negative thoughts.
- Creates negative emotions.
- Boosts your mood.
- Links to positive emotions
- Lead to greater psychological well-being.
- Shields you from stress and depression
How Does Plus Size and Self-Acceptance Affect Your Day-to-Day Life?
When you hide, neglect, and reject parts of you that are unacceptable, you fall short of appreciating the reality of who you are. On the other hand, your self-acceptance promotes your overall sense of appreciation and gratitude, and you create inner satisfaction for yourself. This translates to all of the following scenarios:
- Being less critical of yourself.
- Increase self-compassion.
- Balances your self-acceptance of who you are.
Plus Size, Self-Acceptance and Forgiveness
According to Dr. Srini Pillay of Harvard Medical School, acceptance and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. The inability to accept and forgive ourselves causes us to split into different parts – the one that needs to be forgiven and the one that needs to forgive.
Self-acceptance helps bridge the gap between the forgiven and the one who forgives. Acceptance empowers you to forgive yourself for your mistakes and move on. This is quintessential for your psychosocial and spiritual health. Dwelling on the past keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts and emotions. Self-Acceptance is healing and motivates you to build confidence and happiness.
Self-Acceptance Gives You Happiness
In his book, Happiness Now, (by Robert Holden), the author states that happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In essence, “your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness.” So, the more self-acceptance you can muster up, the more happiness you accept, receive and enjoy. Go out and treat yourself to a spa day or buy yourself a new outfit. Self-acceptance is also self-compassion.
Self-Acceptance and Self-Compassion
Cultivating self-acceptance, requires that we develop self-compassion, first and foremost. Learn to pardon yourself for things you assumed were your fault earlier on in your life. You now realize that you felt obligated to people please and demonstrate your worth to others. You, unconsciously, had to submit to the judgmental authority of your caretakers (the powers that be). This too shall pass. You are now ready for radical self-acceptance.
Your approval-seeking behaviors of the past no longer serve your greater purpose in life. In hindsight, those behaviors simply reflected the legacy of your parent’s conditional love. Right now, you realize that you deserve, not just conditional love, but unconditional love and respect you never had. You can honor and recompensate yourself with a bit of self-compassion. This is your me-time. Your radical-respect time helps you to:
- Re-exam residual feelings of guilt.
- Examine self-criticisms and put downs.
- Look at things you don’t accept about yourself?
- Know that you are not the blame for your looks, intelligence, or inherited traits and behaviors.
Ready for Radical Plus Size and Self-Acceptance?
To take yourselves off the hook, and to evolve to a state of unconditional self-acceptance, according to Dr. Seltzer, it’s crucial to adopt an attitude of “self-pardon” for your transgressions. Radical self-acceptance involves a willingness to recognize and make peace with parts of yourself that have been denied or shunned. This part of self is called the “shadow self.” Self-acceptance rises out of the ashes, as your self-esteem and self-acceptance emerge.
Self-Esteem Versus Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance is unconditional, free of qualification. It is unlike self-esteem, which is an evaluation of one’s self-worth. In addition, self-compassion plays a major role in one’s life. Self-compassion is the main prerequisite for self-acceptance.
You must stop judging yourselves and try to secure a more positive sense of who you are. As soon as you cease self-criticism and stop putting yourselves down, self-esteem will rise. Self-acceptance involves far more than self-esteem, though. Self-esteem is critical to our mental stability and wellness. However, the seed of self-acceptance is planted early on in childhood.
What Drives Self-Acceptance with Plus Sizes?
Research shows that before the age of eight, we lack the ability to formulate a clear, separate sense of self – other than that which is transmitted to us by our parental figures. Therefore, if parents “were unable and unwilling to teach us the ropes about self-acceptance,” we end up believing that we are inadequate (Dr. Seltzer, 2008).
For example, parents may inadvertently, transmit the overall message that their child is selfish – or not attractive enough, smart enough, good or nice enough. As a result, the child grows up thinking that they are only conditionally accepted by parents. It also results in adverse situation such as:
- Regarding aspects of self (negatively)
- Painfully internalizing feelings of rejection (having overly critical parents)
- Extreme self-critiism
Dr. Leon Seltzer, Ph.D., author of The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance, believes that if the parental guidance we grew up with was consistently full of negative criticisms, disapprovals, and put downs from caregivers/parents, siblings, other relatives, teachers, and/or peers, it will have lasting, adverse effects that show up in adulthood. This shows up as:
- Affliction with negative bias
- Chronic “virus” of self-doubt
In the pursuit of unconditional self-acceptance, there are things that boost our self-acceptance. First, we need to accept the negative parts of ourselves, acknowledge the positive things, be less critical and develop self-compassion. Next, we generate a positive regard for who we are and rise to the challenge to accept ourselves and embrace imperfections.
Thank you for joining this episode of Self-Acceptance. Just so you know, I will be doing more subsequent articles like this one. So, stay tuned. I hope you enjoyed this topic. Feel free bookmark it and share it with your friends and relatives. Let me know how self-acceptance resonates with you. I know we all have amazing stories to tell. So, please drop me a few lines by email or leave your comments in the space provided below. I will get in touch with you ASAP. Let’s conquer life together.