Self-Acceptance: Seeing Yourself in a Realistic Light

Continuing thoughts from last Friday’s post, another reason why I’m not great with constructive criticism is that I always feel like I am getting graded. I was always concerned about my grades in school. I wasn’t the best in all the subjects, but I had straight As in math/science/Jewish classes which upped my GPA from my B+/A- grades in history and English. I also went to a small high school which wasn’t very competitive, so my GPA was a 96 and I ended up Salutatorian of my class.

This all supported my already present desire to focus on my strengths and ignore my weaknesses. So in college, I took psychology, linguistic and science courses—all of which I enjoyed and thrived in. I studied hard and it was material that came naturally to me (except for much of the pre-med hard sciences—that was more challenging), so I was able to excel.

I recently relearned about the concept of inflated ego: thinking about ourselves in rose-colored glasses. It is the other side of the coin of thinking down about ourselves—these two seemingly opposing viewpoints are related! They are both exacerbated views of ourselves—not realistic, on-the-ground ones. One goes in the negative direction, the other the positive, but they are both not based in reality, or self-acceptance. So too, thinking we are better than others is the other side of the coin as thinking we are worse than others. In one we feel worse about ourselves because we can’t keep up with others; in the other we feel better about ourselves for being better than others. They are each related to social comparison (which is a mental habit I’ve been trying to wean myself off of).

The point is: just be who you are; don’t inflate your ego, don’t deflate it; don’t compare yourself to others. Just Be. Learn. And grow.

Oh, SO much more easier said than done!

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