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How to Cultivate Self-Acceptance: Tips and Techniques from Therapy and Beyond

A young confident individual

Self-acceptance is the conscious decision to embrace who you are, without judgement or conditions.

Accepting ourselves fully is a lifelong journey that requires deep self-awareness. Many of my clients struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression or childhood trauma that may hinder self-acceptance. Through evidence-based techniques like mindfulness, journaling and inner child work, we uncover core beliefs, feelings and self-judgements causing the damage within the relationship they have with themselves. This builds self-knowledge essential for self-acceptance.

As self-awareness grows, you can identify the unrealistic expectations and perfectionism driving self-criticism. Letting go of judgement creates space for self-compassion to arise.


Self-acceptance involves treating yourself with the same patience, care and respect you would give a loved one. When you make a mistake, talk to yourself like you would to a trusted friend. Respond with understanding rather than embarrassment or anger. Accept compliments rather than brushing them off. Stop comparing yourself to others. Follow your own path.

a group of women laughing together and feeling accepting of their bodies

Accepting your body and appearance is part of self-acceptance. This means releasing rigid ideals of beauty perpetuated by the media. Your body serves you well, so care for it through healthy habits while accepting its natural shape and capabilities. Disordered eating patterns often indicate a lack of body acceptance. In therapy, we explore the roots of body dissatisfaction and build body positivity.


Even personality traits viewed as weaknesses are part of your identity. For instance, sensitivity and introversion are often perceived as flaws to overcome. However, self-acceptance involves embracing your natural tendencies without judgement. You can develop new skills while accepting yourself fully - exactly the way you are. My clients learn to appreciate their unique traits. For example, many judge themselves for being highly sensitive and struggle to accept their emotional nature. Through therapy, they explore how sensitivity is a natural temperament and a gift, not a flaw to fix. As clients practise self-compassion, they learn to value the empathy, intuition and creativity that arises from their sensitivity. By accepting this aspect of themselves, they feel free to express their needs and feelings rather than shrinking or suppressing themselves to avoid judgement.

A person feeling free and content. Someone who is happy to exists and accepts themselves

To reach true self-acceptance, you must also make peace with your past and forgive yourself for past mistakes or regrets. Living in denial or refusing to acknowledge painful memories prevents integration and causes further suffering. Therapy helps to compassionately process memories of trauma, failures, losses or shame. This leads to self-forgiveness as we understand how these experiences shaped us. Rather than feeling defined by the past, we learn lessons from it. Self-forgiveness is the gateway to self-acceptance.


Acceptance must be complete and unconditional, without exceptions or resistance, in order to produce inner peace and emotional freedom. We cannot accept only certain emotions, behaviours or life events while rejecting others that we deem 'negative' or unacceptable. Partial or selective acceptance breeds inner conflict and turmoil. In therapy, we practise openness, allowing and making space for the full spectrum of human emotions to arise. This means sitting with discomfort until it naturally passes, rather than resisting. With this radical self-acceptance, emotions lose their power over us. We understand they are temporary states, not reflections of our worth.


The foundation of well-being is self-acceptance, and it ripples out to benefit all your relationships. When you embrace all of who you are, you can have more compassion for others too. Self-acceptance allows authentic self-expression and nurtures positive connections. You are now free to boldly follow your purpose, undeterred by self-doubt! 

As a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist in Leeds, I empower clients to develop self-acceptance through online and in-person talking therapy and hypnosis. My trauma-informed and heart-centred approach creates a judgement-free space for self-reflection and healing.

Let's walk this path of self-acceptance together, one step at a time!

Love & light,


Hypnotherapist and counsellor

Founder of Holistic Transformative Therapy

Leeds, Harrogate, London

Get in touch with me!

mobile: 07849 580021

Instagram: @holistictransformativetherapy

Facebook: Holistic Transformative Therapy


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