I used to spend a lot of time focused on gaining the approval of others. I was very successful academically and in my career, but I was too outwardly focused. As a consequence, my decision-making was often plagued by self-doubt. I tended to be cautious and emotionally distant from others.
I have learned to spend more time looking inside and have learned the value of being rigorously honest when considering my strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, I accept my demons. Accepting myself has led me to be much more accepting of others. I spend less time judging others and more time trying to understand their stressors and the problems they are facing.
I’ve also learned to be more accepting of what is. I now make decisions easier and faster, while understanding there is much I cannot control. As a result, I am more accessible to others. I now understand that if others don’t approve of me, it is their issue and not mine.
Acceptance of myself, warts and all, has improved my sense of self-worth, which is something I rarely worry about now. It has also allowed me to be more authentic. I don’t have to wear masks anymore. What I feel, what I think, and the way I act can all be aligned, both in my personal life and at work. I stick to my core values and find that it simplifies things. There is much less pressure and stress in my life. I am much more at peace.