Self-Improvement + Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance and self-improvement are not mutually exclusive. You can accept something you do not like about yourself, and still work on that thing. This is something I have really struggled with in the past. Why improve something that  I’ve already come to terms with? If something needs improvement does it even deserve acceptance?  The answer:yes.

 

 

I believe that self-acceptance should be a constant goal. For me, I only seem to regard myself in two ways: through the lens of self-acceptance, or through the lens of self-hate. So if I don’t accept my lack of hips. I hate my lack of hips. If I don’t accept the gap in my teeth. I hate the gap in my teeth. There is no room for indifference when it comes to my body image. So I chose acceptance. I accepted it all: my body type, my good habits, my bad habits, everything. I looked in the mirror and I saw nothing wrong. I also looked at my lack of study habits and saw nothing wrong. I accepted me. I still do. The only difference is now I realize that self-acceptance doesn’t have to be static.  I can look at my flaws through the lens of acceptance, and work on them! Improvement doesn’t belong to self-hatred, it belongs to me.

 

I do not believe I am the only one that struggles with balancing these ideas. I often see this dichotomy between improvement and acceptance in how people regard relationships. “If you accepted me, you wouldn’t try to change me.” This is a thought that I see and hear everywhere. It’s a thought I once believed myself. However, now I challenge it. I don’t want a partner that doesn’t want to see me improve, or elevate myself.  Accept me, but challenge me.  Help me improve. We’ll never be perfect, but that’s no reason to stop trying to get better.  The only thing better than glowing up, is glowing up with the love of your life. And “glowing up” isn’t just physical improvement, it can be anything! Like my GPA could use a young glow up right about now.

 

Anyway, I challenge y’all to think about how you view self-acceptance and self-improvement this year. You can have goals, and love your current life. You can shoot for the stars, and not hate the ground. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Elevate yourself.

 

Jazmine Bowens is a senior at Butler University. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Neuroscience and the Campus Corespondent for Butler University's Her Campus chapter. When she isn't in class, she's writing poetry, reading romance novels, or hanging out with her friends. Jazmine hopes to one day become an environmental lawyer and a published novelist.

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