I’ve kind of wanted to write about this for a while now…
Just wasn’t sure how to structure it.
I have seen many posts on my Facebook feed on the topic of “accepting yourself” and “staying positive.” I realise not everyone would agree with me (which is completely ok), but phrases such as these can be some of the most self-destructive behavioural patterns imaginable (speaking from first hand experience, too).
Of course, there are factors that you cannot control: socio-economic circumstances you may have been born into, genetic predispositions you have (I have legs the size of a sausage dogs), family issues, etc...you get the idea. But, for the most part, you can control your perception about yourself and the choices you make.
Heres what I believe: if you simply tell yourself you are ok as is, you are actively avoiding personal growth. You are avoiding those difficult moments in life that require deep inner self-reflection — because lets face it, confronting our flaws takes testicles the size of Travis Pastrana’s — its fucking scary and 99% of people would rather accept the way they are than try and learn, grow and strip that stupid ego that is so profoundly attached to our identity.
Do not avoid yourself. Confront yourself head on. Be honest with yourself — counterintuitively, this will liberate and free you — it won’t make things worse. This is because you have confronted your identity and you are no longer passively fooling yourself with self-destructive behaviour.
Having said all this, I would like to add: not accepting yourself and allowing space for growth is not the same as not accepting reality and always trying to alter things not in your control. The former is fully in your locus of control — you can always change your perception about something — the latter, is not.
Most of these "self-acceptance" posts on Facebook are from my female friends. Although, I'm sure my male friends would post similar stuff if they didn't have inflated egos the size of hot air balloons. I'm sure it take real strength to repost a quote about "accepting yourself" and telling your friends list you are now "enlightened..."
What takes true grit and strength is grabbing a fucking pen, and writing down the aspects of your life that need work.
I urge you to take a hard honest look at yourself and journal on it.
I find daily journaling — literally a line or two — can put shit into perspective very quickly. Day by day, doing this will cultivate a sense of tangible self that is impossible to match if you just sat on the couch and “thought about it.”
As I've said many times before, this certainly isn't me telling you what or how to live - only you can answer that question. It is me sharing my experiences of personal growth. So many people would rather sit in painful uncertainty than try and test growth strategies themeselves. Because, if there is one thing this year has taught me, it's that real growth requires serious discomfort.
Go and get un-fucking-comfortable.
Josh, 2018/08/17 - Observatory, Cape Town