It is human nature to seek acceptance. People have many goals in life, but most will admit that they are pursuing happiness. Recent studies have confirmed that the clearest path to happiness is to learn self acceptance. As logical and trite as that piece of information may sound, it is not as simple to accomplish as one might think on the surface.

The power of acceptance is unquestionably important to most people. With society, family members and friends weighing in with their expectations for you, it is not always simple to stay true to yourself and embrace self acceptance. It is far too tempting to fall prey to “people pleaser” urges that will take you off your path.
While accepting yourself for who you are sounds so simple, it is not that easy for most of us.

Proven Steps to Acceptance of Yourself

Be Kind to Yourself
Forgive Yourself
Release the Past
Acknowledge Your Strengths
Quiet Your Inner Critic
Establish a Support System

Treat Yourself Well

Most people are nicer to other people than they are to themselves. The power of acceptance means you must treat yourself with the same kindness as you treat your best friends and family. Edit the thoughts in your head. If you would not say those negative and cruel things to others, then you should not be saying them to yourself.

We all have an inner monologue that is critical and judging us for every thought and action. This voice undermines your self-esteem and makes acceptance of your actions difficult.

Be True to Yourself

From the beginning of life, we are programmed to be responsible citizens, good children, dedicated students, loyal friends and a loving brother or sister to our siblings. The pressure starts building at an early age to live up to the expectations of others. This explains why it is so difficult to listen to your inner thoughts that can guide you to your authentic self.

Acceptance of what our elders tell us early on causes us to doubt our own thoughts and desires. Schools often teach us how to conform. At an early age, children learn to repress their true nature so they will “fit in” as expected. If you want to be happy, you need to allow your true desires and personality to surface.

As adults, our lives become even more complicated placing many expectations on us. We are led to believe that we can find happiness by marrying the perfect person, having a family and working hard at a job that will reward us for that hard work.

Forgive Yourself and Others

We’ve all made mistakes. It’s called being human. Stop punishing yourself by thinking about all of your failures and disappointments in life. You have to quiet your inner cynic if you want to enjoy life.

Mother and teenage daughter giving each other a big hug.

Once you stop looking backwards, then you can open yourself up to an exciting future where you can shine. Tap into your strengths and passions so that you can offer your unique gifts to the world and live the meaningful life you were meant to live. Approach your future with a positive attitude, always remembering to honour who you are and what you want.

Create a Positive Support System

If you crave acceptance and happiness, then you have to surround yourself with positive people. It is far too easy to fall into relationships without deliberately selecting the people you want in your life. Work associates and family members aren’t typically hand picked by you.

All you need to remember to manage these key relationships is to limit the time you spend with negative people. If you have family members who bring you down, then you should limit your time around them, or in the worst cases, eliminate them from your life altogether.

Carefully select friends and romantic partners based on how they make you feel. Do they build you up, or tear you down. If you want to be happy, you have to spend time with happy people who make you feel good about yourself. It’s that simple.


Self acceptance and happiness go hand in hand. We all deserve happiness, but we often are the very person who is unintentionally pushing those good vibes away. By taking some deliberate action and following some of the tips above, you can transform your life.

While happiness is something we all want, it is important to distinguish between being able to accept yourself and wanting the acceptance of others. Happiness is at your fingertips always, when you follow your own path and do the things you love. Spending time with upbeat and supportive friends and family members rounds out a pleasurable life experience.