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Self-acceptance means that I accept myself as I am. It does not mean that I accept or excuse my behavior. Self-acceptance is a prerequisite to making changes to my life. With self-acceptance I can clearly see my mistakes and can accurately measure the gap between how I want to be and how I really am in the world. When I lack self-acceptance I am more likely to be unaware in the very areas I want to improve. For example, I have worked with people who have a negative judgment on being mean. Because they lack self-acceptance they will disguise their meanness. They might talk in a quiet, sweet voice with a smile but the person they are talking to can see and feel their meanness. The whole room sees it but the person who lacks self-acceptance will be unaware. Their lack of self-acceptance operates as a disguise that only works for them. This is why family, friends and colleagues can often see us more clearly than we see ourselves. Our lack of self-acceptance causes us to hide our shortcomings from ourselves. People can do the same thing with qualities they want to embody. If someone lacks self-acceptance of their kindness they may not even recognize when they are kind or how much more they want to be kind. Self-acceptance is a great way to increase your awareness of how you are being in the word. 

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