What is Self-Acceptance? | The Ultimate Guide to Self-Acceptance


We’ve seen Pamela Anderson in the news a lot this week! Stories about her going make-up free and her talking about self-acceptance. This got us excited, self-acceptance has been a big part of our lives over the last 7 years, so we decided to create this ultimate guide to self-acceptance.

“It’s all about self-acceptance,” shared Pamela Anderson in a conversation. She added, “Since I really walk out the door as me, I feel relief—a weight off my shoulders… I’m dressing for me now, not for everybody else.” Stories like this show the power of self-acceptance.

Growing up we were in a constant battle with our bodies and self-image. Carla’s first diet was at age 11, she had 2 nose jobs and I (Emma) developed bulimia at age 17. 

We’ve spent hours thinking about diets, calories, workouts and hating our bodies.

We used to look at our reflections and zone in on all the ‘imperfections’. We always desired to be thinner, prettier and ‘perfect’. We compared ourselves to the models in the magazines. For some reason, we both were under the impression that thinner and prettier promised a better life.

I remember thinking… if only I lost 5-10kgs then all my problems would become easier to deal with. 

Of course, now we see this kind of thinking and living with a far more rational perspective. We know deep in our hearts that perfect is not real. 

We know that our weight and external looks do not define anything about us. But it took a lot of time and energy to move to this point. It took daily practise to accept, celebrate and love ourselves for exactly who we are!

It took time, energy and effort to discover the freedom and true confidence that self-acceptance offers.

And it was worth it!

Here’s a photo of us, my sister Carla is on the far left with brown hair. I am on the right with blonde hair. We are pictured here with a bunch of amazing MerryBody Members!


What is Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the conscious choice to embrace yourself. The good, the bad, the light and the dark. It’s the realisation that you are enough just as you are. Should we repeat that?

You are enough, just as you are!

It means accepting yourself as a whole, and we are not just talking about your physical body, it’s also accepting your mind and emotional self too. 

Self-acceptance is being kind and compassionate towards yourself, practising self-care and acknowledging that you are unique… and this is a great thing!

In the end, self-acceptance lets you feel at ease being yourself. It’s a practice that frees you from self-judgement.

Why is Self-Acceptance Important?

Oh so many reasons and we could go on and on… but here are just a few reasons. 

Self-acceptance boosts mental well-being

Accepting yourself reduces the internal battles of self-criticism, it leads to less anxiety, less stress and more peace. As the stress and anxiety reduce, your mind becomes clear. There is more space for your self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem to grow. 

The flow on impact of self-acceptance creates better relationships

When you accept yourself, you’re less dependent on external validation for your own confidence. This leads to less anxiety about your relationships and therefore, healthier relationships.  

You get faster at making decisions

Self-acceptance leads to clearer thinking and faster decisions. You’ll find yourself overthinking less because you’ll feel more connected to your true values. You’ll begin to make decisions for yourself rather than from a place of fear from perceived judgements from others. 

You become stronger and more resilient

When you accept yourself you are better equipped to handle the difficult times. You don’t connect your self-worth to your ‘failings’ and instead look at them as part of the ebbs and flows of life.

Better physical health

We’ve already mentioned the improvement in mental health that comes with a self-acceptance practice, and this ripples out to your physical health. By reducing stress, this positively impacts every system in your body! When you are less stressed, your digestion works better, you sleep better, and your nervous system is in a calm state. The cardio, respiratory and endocrine systems all function more optimally. The list goes on. Less stress leads to better physical health.

Things To Remember About Self-Acceptance

There are some misconceptions about self-acceptance…

It’s not complacency!

It’s not like you accept yourself now and stay like that, no way! You don’t stop growing and evolving. You still make big changes and work towards your goals (if you want!). It just means you grow from a place of contentment and love, rather than criticism and self-hate. It’s a much more enjoyable journey!

You don’t ignore your shortcomings and flaws

Self-acceptance is about recognising your imperfections without letting them define your worth. Every single aspect of you adds depth to your character. By bringing awareness to all these aspects with self-acceptance, it leads to deeper self-understanding and more self-compassion.  From this point, you become clear on what you want to work on and you realise that those ‘flaws’ are not even flaws afterall! 

How To Be More Self-Accepting

The first step is to remember, it’s a practice. You can’t accept yourself today, in this moment, and think YAY, I did it!

Although that would be great!  

You must practise self-acceptance each and every day. This is especially important if you’ve struggled with years of self-criticism.

You’ve spent years strengthening a self-hating mindset about yourself, so it will take time to unlearn those and re-learn the truth… that you are enough, just as you are! 

Everyone’s self-acceptance looks different, however, we’ve refined our own method, so feel free to take it! It’s really, rather simple! 

We linked self-acceptance to our daily Yoga, Pilates and Meditation routine. 

Every time we roll out the mat to do a class, whether it’s 5 minutes or 60 minutes, it’s a practice of self-acceptance. We infuse this acceptance intention into each class. It works so well because these practices welcome presence and self-connection. This then amplifies and strengthens self-acceptance tenfold.

So next time you roll out your mat to move your body, set the self-acceptance intention.

Next time you sit in your meditation seat, inhale self-acceptance and exhale self-doubt.

Make a habit of this and soon you’ll notice your internal voice of self-doubt gets quieter.  You’ll realise your feelings of self-acceptance and confidence become louder.

If you’d like extra help and you’re still not completely sure what self-acceptance is and how to practice it, check out our MerryBody App. It’s filled with over 550 Yoga, Pilates and Meditation classes. Each class is created to help you practise self-acceptance.

Follow the curated weekly plan and day by day you will step towards more self-acceptance. The App makes your self-acceptance practice simple and fun. 

Sign up here for your free 7 day trial. 

Always merrymaking,
Emma + Carla 

Ps. here’s a video from a few years ago about MerryBody! Self-acceptance has been a very important part of our lives!


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