The practice of self-development can be sought in both internal and external factors. In regard to our health it is important to look beyond behavior modifications and at the self that is contributing to our choices. Behavior modification has been used time and time again to distinguish un healthy habits and replace them with new ones. Although behavior modification can be successful it neglects a truth behind our behaviors, it neglects the self. We don’t just want to be healthier because we were trained to be. Health should not be an automatic response, it should be a mindful understood choice. Self-acceptance helps us approach our health with truth and honesty. It allows us to overcome the challenges in our nature. It allows us to be stronger than our obstacles and live a healthier life style both mentally and physically.
You are not me, and I am not you. Sometimes this a difficult thing to grasp as we often ponder why some people can, and you just cant. The truth is we are all not the same. We all are human and have different strengths and weaknesses. We have different habits. We have different battles. Comparison can make a healthy lifestyle difficult to achieve. How one person attains health is not the only way to do it. People make the mistake of not becoming personalized with their health. We hold ideas and concepts we feel we can attain by simply just having the motivation to do so. Motivation can make us feel superhuman, but unfortunately, we are not. This ultimately sets us up for failure. How many times have you told yourself you would go the gym after work and never really got there? How many times have you said you were only going to have a slice of cake and wound up having 3? Failure can be very discouraging. It can make the attained goal feel impossible. It can make us give up on what we truly want.; a healthier lifestyle. Understanding your self is where your success lies. This means fully accepting the good and the bad. Once you know who you are working with, it will be that much easier to put in the work.
Getting honest with yourself is not an easy process. Holding ourselves to unrealistic expectation can be self-sabotaging. But if you honestly want to be healthy, you have got to get honest with your approach. Who are you? Do you hate greens? Do you have issues with commitment? Is drinking water unfathomable? Do you tend to over eat when you are stressed? As these may all be looked at as negative attributes to our health it is important to be honest while acknowledging the good and the bad. Although your list of obstacles may seem to turn you to more feelings of discouragement, getting honest can lift some pressure off your back. Initially it may be a hard pill to swallow, however there is nothing more powerful than the truth.
Self-acceptance is beyond just stating who you are. Self-acceptance is acknowledging it as you make your next move. I will give you an example.
A very hungry man walks into a candy store.
Although he is trying to not eat sweets, once he entered the store he was doomed.
After eating large amounts of candy, he felt quite ashamed and disappointed.
He justified his actions by saying, “I was starving, and everything looked so good”.
The next day he walked by the candy store again. This time the man was not starving.
He decided to walk in, with hopes, due to his full tummy he could bypass the candy.
Unfortunately, he caved in. Finding himself even more disappointed this time he fell into self-loathing.
He thought to himself “there must be something wrong with me, how come others can walk into a candy store and not eat candy?” ….” I am a horrible person I have no self-control”.
The man would continue to encounter the candy store and battle this battle.
Until one day the man came to a conclusion.
“ I have HUGE sweet tooth”.
In his typical routine he walked by the candy store again.
This time he stopped and looked in.
He continued walking.
Later that day he felt confident and happy.
He was proud of himself. He was proud to be a man with HUGE sweet tooth.
The man became successful with his encounters of the candy store because he was able to accept who he was, a man with a HUGE sweet tooth.
Once we accept who we are and the negative attributes we carry, we can move in a way that overcomes these obstacles. In contrary once we acknowledge the negative, and accept it, overtime we give these negative attributes less power over our lives. We become stronger than it. It no longer threatens our life, our goals, or our health. Self-acceptance is not a matter of admitting your weakness and falling victim to them. It is a matter of acknowledging our weakness and what role they play in who we are becoming. The idea is to acknowledge who you are, to become who you want to be. When we accept who we are we are no longer a part of the problem, we become a part of the solution.
This month I urge you to get honest with yourself. I urge you to accept all that you see. I urge you to find a solution to what hinders your health, I urge you to become all that you are becoming.