Self-Acceptance: Is Self-Improvement Necessary?

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Recently, I had a discussion with a client where they were frustrated in deciding if self-acceptance meant that their self-improvement journey was over.   “What’s the point?”, he said.  “If I fully accept all of who I am…the good and the bad, the light and the dark…then why would I bother with self-improvement? I’m fine the way I am.”.

His question was simple:  If we are to fully accept ourselves, should we bother with any more personal development?

The thought surrounding self-improvement implies that something is wrong with a person and is loaded with negativity and baggage around ‘work’ that needs to be done.  It’s a grudging bothersome task that many decide just isn’t for them.

But what if self-acceptance opens the door to self-improvement in a different way?

What if by fully accepting ourselves we are able to choose to work on those aspects of us that we want to change, from a perspective of wanting to change and not having to change?

Self-improvement can become consuming because there’s always room to improve.  But it’s our choice to engage in self-improvement that changes how we feel about ourselves and about personal development.

By focusing on self-acceptance, we let go of the need to fix anything. I’m beautiful just the way I am, including all of my flaws. I can tell you from experience that self-acceptance gives you a lot of freedom. Freedom from worrying what others think, trying to get things perfect, or feeling judged for my work.

Being compassionate around our flaws and shortcomings doesn’t suggest complacency with who we are.  These two are mutually exclusive.

Self-acceptance is about deciding your worth.

It’s is about already being okay with who you are. No qualifications needed.  It’s not about being complacent. It’s about accepting ourselves exactly as we are…good, bad and even those hard-to-love aspects.

Our sense of worth is not earned based on the changes or improvements that we want to make, it’s unconditional.

Accepting yourself completely is powerful.

It empowers you to change.

Focus on self-acceptance, and let self-improvement be a by-product of loving yourself.


If you’d like to talk about how coaching can help you with your self-worth, self-acceptance or general personal development, let’s have a conversation.

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Katrina Murphy

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