In his book Think Again, Adam Grant talks about exploring concepts from a spherical perspective. That idea of looking at things from so many different angles as is possible in a spherical shape appeals to me.
In this second compilation episode on self-acceptance, I will be highlighting elements of interviews with seven different guests on the topic of self-acceptance. I’ll be weaving a thread between the episodes to help you understand different elements of self-acceptance and its relevance and application in your life.
The Elevator Pitch Video Exercise [01:15]
If you’re struggling with your self-image, you may find yourself avoiding video or photos. Rachel Tapscott takes us through an activity to create your first video and share it:
I’d call it the elevator pitch video exercise. It’s a few sentences and the first thing we do is say our name and a lot of people will skim over their name like it’s not very important. So the very first part of the exercise is say your name like you mean it with a full stop on the end. So instead of going, hi, my name is Rachel and I run That Camera Girl and I help business owners feel more confident on camera and you sound really nervous, not sure of yourself. Become sure of your name and what you do. And this can be like a thirty second video that you record. And once you get used to doing this, you can make an actual video with that information to put on your website or on your socials as an introduction video to you, which is the first video that I work with with a lot of my clients.
Defining and Telling Your Story [02:07]
The story you tell is related to how accepting you are of yourself and of your place in the world. This is reflected in the story that you tell of yourself. As Daralyse Lyons tells us:
I think sometimes it’s really wonderful to just make a start, you know, and then just kind of continue to practice that again and again and again. I think stepping outside our comfort zones is really important as part of growth as storyteller, and also part of just growth as we’re developing as humans.
But I think it depends on what someone has been through. If someone has been through a lot of external trauma, it might make a lot more sense for that person to just keep a journal for a while and start to really go inward, and really just express things to themselves. And for someone that has had those experiences, it might feel unsafe to share stories in a group setting. It might feel unsafe to try to get onto a stage and that’s going to be very different than someone who’s maybe they’ve had no problem, they kind of have been writing for a while and they’ve been talking about themselves, and constantly in their lifetime they’ve been met with affirmation. And so for them the perfect thing to do might be to look outside themselves and like, okay. well, what community writing group can I join? How do I step onto a stage because I’m afraid of public speaking but all the barriers are internal, and so how do I meet them?
Overcoming internal and external obstacles to climb Machu Picchu [03:50]
This is exactly what Michelle Kuei did, stepping outside her comfort zone, when she decided to face her fears and climb Machu Picchu.
So I decided in 2016, I’m going to be part of that conversation. I booked myself a ticket. I flew myself to Cusco, Peru, and I hiked through 26 miles of Inca trail with my two pink crutches to Machu Picchu. The highest point in Machu Picchu is at 14,000 feet above sea level. It’s all ascending; there’s a lot of stairs and you hike through the trail every day about eight to 10 hours. For most people, even that in itself is a lot. For me, you got to imagine going uphill and these are big stairs. So the height of the stairs, the stone is about the same length of my leg.
Gratitude for the Darkness [04:43]
She had to make her way out of the darkness of depression and then she decided to do something brave.
At some point, that aha moment is going to show up and you’re going to see how beautiful even the darkest hours of your life is. There’s so much beauty within that darkness.
Leaning on Community of Support [05:08]
Again, belonging comes up but Michelle discovered she had communities of support already. She needed to open herself up and accept that support.
This is a great opportunity to me, to really step out of my own comfort zone, my own fear, of stop shaming myself, show myself more love because I deserve it. I deserve this. And I think coming along, if I didn’t have all these people around me, who gave me the opportunity, who showed me and who led me the way, who were there to hold my hand and really support me along the way, I would never, ever have made it this far.
I’m getting really teary right now because the community, all these people in my life, friends, family, even the stranger who gave me a smile on the street, those are the people who make imprints in my life.
Resistance and Resistance [06:11]
The idea of community comes up in a later episode with Seanna Leath. She frames it within the context of resilience and resistance:
Richard Wright, way back in the day, said that black folks were incapable of authentic love because of white supremacy d because of racism, that so much had been taken from us that we were incapable of loving ourselves or loving others. And in the book, she talks about how James Baldwin, for instance, and Lorraine Hansberry and others challenged that and said no, in fact, there is so much joy and self-acceptance and love within black communities and it is from that resilience and resistance that that’s born.
Resistance comes up because:
Radical self-acceptance involves having to push against narratives.
Taking a soul-searching journey [06:56]
Many guests talked about their journeys. Aruna Krishnan spoke of her soul searching journey.
You could call it soul searching, but searching within to figure out, at 35, what has gotten me to this point where I feel like I’m not doing anything, right. I’m not able to fit in. I’m not getting acceptance, whether it’s from family or friends, all these different things around me that didn’t me feel who I truly was.
So I went through that soul searching journey. A lot of it was mindfulness. So with that, meditation, letting go of the past, first of all searching what was in the past that came to my present that brought me to that state and what I need to put away and what I need to move forward with.
She leaves us with this important advice:
Change only because you want to change.
Working Through Therapy to Heal Trauma [08:16]
Healing trauma comes up multiple times. Fatima Oliver shares how she carried the trauma from her childhood into adulthood, and the crucial role that therapy played in her healing.
I did the steps on paper and I looked at myself in the face and I was able to face my fears head on and not turn my face away for what I was seeing.
She also reminds us that we are worthy of love just as we are, right now.
I’m worthy of love like I am, as I work on other things. But still, I don’t have to get to those other things before I’m worthy of love. I’m worthy of love right now. And being able to accept that truth about myself, to me that is the greatest form of self-acceptance.
Therapy is One of the Tools in Healing [09:15]
Part of her growth discovery and healing happened in therapy:
Between the therapy and talking to someone and being able to really hone in on my faith and realign my life with my faith and bring in a spiritual aspect to my life that I hadn’t really tapped into as deeply, it was those accumulation of all those things that helped me to be able to get to a place where I could say I found freedom. I found peace. I don’t have those habits anymore. I still have difficult times, but I’m able to walk myself through the processes and, and get to the other side.
Select the therapy that’s right for your needs [10:28]
If you’re not sure where to start with therapy, Sarah Eames discussed the different types of therapy. She works with CBT, CFT and EMDR. Lots of acronyms in therapy. You can learn more by listening to the episode. The key is that there are many modalities and it’s important to choose the one that matches your needs.
I think that’s a really good point, isn’t it, that there’s so many different types of therapy, sometimes people feel flooded in a way with all the different information out there. Something that we do at Speakeasy is we offer a consultation first of all, for that very reason that when someone comes, the’re coming because they’re struggling with something in some capacity. For some, it’s anxiety; for some, it’s depression, whatever is going on for that person.
I think the first thing that we would always say is that you need to look at what it is you’re hoping to get from the therapy, so not the type of therapy, but what is your own personal goal? Is it more than I want to feel better because that’s a given, but more than that is it that you want to challenge your critical thinking? Is it that you’ve been through a traumatic experience? Have you lost someone; are you grieving. Trying to help you to establish that, and sometimes that’s the therapy in itself.
Celebrate to build new habits [11:18]
I think a great place to end today’s episode is with this final words from Sarah. It’s important to remember that when we pause and celebrate, when we recognize the progress we’ve made, we can actually start to build habits of sustainable and enduring changes in our lives. This is deeply connected to the work of BJ, Fogg and other researchers.
When will you be good enough? When will you be the best in the class or the best at this and the best at that? You’re never going to get there if you’re constantly moving the goalpost.
If you want to know more about the individual episodes, visit the links to the posts below.