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What is Self-Acceptance?

Recently I got told by a colleague that I was ‘very intense’. This was not meant as a compliment. It felt like a judgement and it led to me judging myself. It didn’t feel good.

Instead of being defensive, I sat with the feeling of discomfort and started to explore my intensity. I would love to say that I am light hearted, frivolous, laid back but unfortunately, these are not my dominant qualities. However, I am focused, super passionate, driven and supportive. I care deeply about what I do and it has led me to building a business, employing people, and helping others transform their own lives. 

This is intense work. 

These skills and traits that I possess are in part because of my intensity. So there we have it, I’m intense! It may not be for everyone and for sure some people will be turned off by it, but I am grateful for my intensity.

Self-acceptance is a huge part of personal and leadership development. It is about being honest, with ourselves and others about who we really are, showing up authentically with all our range and owning our light (our ‘good’ side) and our dark (our ‘bad’ side) whilst understanding the paradox that there are gifts and limitations in each. 

When was the last time you felt your character – your very being – was being reviewed by another?  How did it feel? What was the truth in what they were saying? What are the gifts of the behaviour?

In our Conscious Leadership Model, self-acceptance is a foundation because it is where we need to start on our own development journey. Awareness of our behaviours, our values, our fears and our patterns is the first stage and then accepting ourselves as we are is stage two. This doesn’t mean we can’t harness other behaviours, or diminish ones that do not serve us anymore, but it does mean that we start to honour our own truth, our authenticity and accept who we really are, celebrating the bits we cherish and acknowledging the bits that we struggle with. Knowing and honouring ourselves is the first 

step to behavioural transformation.

Self-Acceptance - A conscious leader has deep awareness and acceptance of their behaviours, patterns, strengths and limitations, and how to develop these.


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