Did you know that studies show that self-acceptance is one of the most important keys to happiness? Did you know that most of us do not accept ourselves as we are?
Think about it. How often are you happy to be who you are, warts and all? How much do you appreciate your astonishing body that does so much of what you ask of it, your mind that helps you navigate the ins and outs of your day with incredible ease (most of the time)? How much do you value your personality, your quirks, your interests (the ones you really have, not the ones you think you're supposed to have), your hobbies, your dreams, your aspirations?
Not what your boyfriend, girlfriend, magazines, blogs, TV, your mother, your hair stylist want you to be. Those that tell you what you should be and the goals, dreams, interests you should embrace. Or where you should spend your time, money, efforts. What you should do with your life. They have opinions about all of it, ever eager to expound on how right they are about your life.
Instead, think about what you, deep down within the recesses of your soul, think is terrific about you and best for you. Don't fight it! Be you. Unabashedly, unapologetically, you.
Nobody was ever great by being somebody other than their amazing self. Take anyone you admire, I don't care who: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Steve Jobs, the Buddha -- they all were/are 100% accepting of who they were/are. They dove into their lives appreciating the uniqueness they had to offer to the world without a second's hesitation. They frankly didn't care what anybody else thought. This is who they were, period, end of sentence. I'll bet that even among the not-famous in your world, those who stop you in your tracks because they are so "Wow!" are those who value their uniqueness rather than shy away from it.
Now you may say, "That's because they were amazing to begin with." Hardly. That's putting the cart before the horse: "It's because of their uniqueness they became successful," and guess what? You and every other single individual on the planet is absolutely unique.
So you have the same opportunity as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and any other number of "greats" to be utterly amazing. In your own way. Figure out what that is. Spend some time thinking about what do you think is pretty darn cool about yourself. How much of you do you really accept wholeheartedly? What dreams, talents or abilities would you go for, if you didn't let one someone else's opinion of you stand in your way?
That's the secret: when you pursue your own way, nurture your uniqueness with passion and perseverance, you cannot help but succeed. And one thing for sure: you will succeed at being happy and fulfilled.
Not too shabby, eh?