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Accept Yourself

ACCEPT is an acronym you can use to help yourself create constructive statements that you can say to yourself to deal with self-critical thoughts. I call these statements 'Balancing Thoughts'. In the extract below, I explain how to use the ACCEPT acronym.

ACCEPT stands for:

A ccept yourself
C ounsel yourself as a friend
C onstructive approach
E xplore alternatives
P repare for the worst
T ry to focus on something else

Using the ACCEPT acronym to Help you Create
an Attitude of Self-Acceptance

If you find yourself adopting a non-accepting attitude towards things you do or don't do, or thinking self-critical thoughts, write down exactly what your thought is then use one or more of the techniques indicated below to create and write down a balancing thought to help you put the original negative thought in perspective:

Accept yourself:

i.e. Don't be so hard on yourself. What would you say to yourself if you were being a little more forgiving towards yourself? Write this down as your balancing thought and say it to yourself.

Counsel yourself as a friend:

What would you say to a friend in your situation or what would a good friend say to you? Write this down as your balancing thought.

Constructive approach:

If you were asked to say what positives might come out of the situation or what you might learn from it, what would you say? Write these comments down as your balancing thought.

Explore alternatives:

What alternative interpreations might there be of the actions behaivour or events that are leading you to jump to negative conclusions about yoruself? Could your negative judgement about yourself be a bit exaggerated? What would be a more balanced or moderate interpretation of the significance of the situation? Write this down as your balancing thought.

Prepare for the worst:

Face your fears! Imagine that the worst were to happen - how serious would it really be on a scale of 1-10 compared to other possible life events? And how could you respond to it if it did happen? Write down your asssessment of seriousness and of how you could react or deal with the eventuality as your balancing thought.

Try to focus on something else:

Is it really worth expending all your emotional and mental energy over this issue? If you can't resolve the situation in your mind then consider doing something active or focusing on something else altogether for a short time, to give your mind some respite from circular or unproductive thoughts that may be affecting your self-belief and feelings of self-worth.

 

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