So far we have looked at the benefits to accepting our weaknesses and the psychological reasons we reject them. This week we explore how authenticity and accepting our weaknesses feeds into one another and how we can benefit from this. We’ll also take a look at a nifty exercise that will enable you to be more compassionate towards yourself when it comes to your weaknesses.
Authenticity and Accepting Your Weaknesses
When we fail to accept our weaknesses it naturally undermines our authenticity. After all, how can we be true to who we are if we are unaware of our weaknesses, which is part of who we are? True authenticity involves self-awareness and means both knowing and accepting ourselves completely, including our weaknesses.
When I failed to accept my weaknesses it raised my stress levels. It was subtle enough for me not to notice, but, when I accepted my flaws, I noticed a distinct difference. I felt lighter and more care free.
I realized that without even being aware, I was different around different groups of friends, causing me anxiety that one day I would be ‘found out’ as the odd one out. This is what not accepting our flaws does – it contributes to in-authenticity and causes us to wear masks, preventing us from establishing true intimacy with those we are close to and adding to our feeling of isolation.
In accepting our weaknesses we are free to drop the masks we wear and just be ourselves, increasing both authenticity and intimacy with those we care about.
If you think you could benefit from leading a more authentic life, please read my article titled ‘How to Stop Worrying What People Think and Start Being Authentic in 6 Easy Steps’.
Treat Yourself as you Would Those You Love
There’s a nifty trick I have up my sleeve every time I am feeling down on myself and it’s very effective. Imagine the one person you love the most is going through exactly the same thing as you are – down to every single detail. Now imagine she has confided in you. What would you say? How would you comfort her?
Now say those same exact things to yourself. Simple right? Sometimes. The trick is to really see yourself how you would see that person you love. Empathize. Feel and acknowledge the difficulty, frustration and even pain of both having the weakness and trying to accept it and from that emotional space be compassionate with her.
That person is you. You are just as deserving of compassion as anyone you love. So be kind to yourself. Once you have accepted the weakness, remember to be patient with yourself when working to improve it. Be your own best friend.
If you struggle to be compassionate towards yourself please read my article titled ‘How to Silence Your Inner-Critic and Be Your Own Best Friend Through Self-Compassion’.
Do you have any experience of having accepted a weakness and having it increase your authenticity? Did you do the exercise and if so, did it help you be more self-compassionate when it comes to your weaknesses? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.