Radical Self-Acceptance

Trina Ramsey
  • No more putting off our dreams because we don't think we're smart enough, good enough, or other ways that we diminish ourselves and don’t value our worth.

What would it mean if we would accept ourselves just as we are?  

No more second guessing.  

No more people pleasing.  

No more putting off our dreams because we don’t think we’re smart enough, good enough, or other ways that we diminish ourselves and don’t value our worth.  

What if we would just trust our instincts?  

Imagine with me for a moment….  

I am writing this as a woman in her 50s. Now that I look back on my life, I realize just how much I was grappling with self-esteem most of my life. As a coach and founder of the Just Do You! Institute for Women’s Empowerment, I work with women over 40s to let go of the baggage of their past and embrace new possibilities. I run into self-worth issues all the time, even among the most successful, articulate and bright women.  

Self-doubt and self-loathing contribute to keeping ourselves small. We may abandon our dreams or do things to our faces and bodies to try to improve on the perfection that God created. Not to put too fine a point on it, some of us are miserable. We’ve created prisons with invisible walls that keep us trapped. It’s time to free ourselves my sisters!  

Let me tell you a little about myself.  

I was groomed for success. It’s in my DNA. As the eldest of 3 sisters, I was always bright in school. My family encouraged me to use education as my ticket to success, and I did just that. I’ve achieved most of the things I’ve attempted – if not the first time, after learning some lessons and trying again. But now that I look back, I realize just how much I was covering up. There were things in my past that I was ashamed of, including growing up poor, and other factors from my childhood. I realize now that I spent a lot of my energy overcompensating for ways I didn’t feel good about myself. I did this by leaning into my strengths and pushing to succeed. I leaned into my intelligence and drive, my competitive nature and natural leadership skills. And it worked – for the most part.  

Don’t get me wrong! All these things have made me the woman I am today. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. And I know now that the bumps and bruises along the way served to make me stronger, more resilient, and more determined. As I matured and became more of a leader, I made people uncomfortable, including my ex-husband. Those who know me know that I am not a mean-spirited or overly pushy person. But I am not a shrinking violet either. I am determined and a natural leader. However, as I realized this dynamic, I started shrinking myself.

I would wait and let others speak in meetings. I kept diminishing myself and my voice in my marriage to fit more of my husband’s expectations. I was disappearing! It wasn’t until in my early 40s that I got my wake-up call. An amazing woman, Robin Lynn, founder of Momentum Education, called me out. She made me face what I was doing and embrace my strength and power again. For that, I am eternally grateful. Robin is no longer with us, but she remains a beacon for me, and the phenomenal work she started empowering people continues to this day.  

Now, let’s talk about YOU.  

Does any of this sound familiar? I know I’m not the only woman who has had this experience and has covered her pain with a successful track record, hoping and praying that would be enough to heal the wounds of the past. The question is, when are we ready to say, “enough!” and do something about it? Well, my dear, today is our collective wake up call. Today I encourage us all to begin to practice radical self-acceptance and shed the negativity of the past.  

LOVING THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR  

Women have other ways in which they do not accept themselves. A major issue is our appearance. How many of us look in the mirror and truly love what we see? Or are we judging ourselves for being too fat, too thin, too flat-chested, or focusing in on our supposed imperfections. We may see a big or crooked nose, crow’s feet, big ears or other features we don’t like. Many women opt for plastic surgery, Botox or other fixes.  

And then there’s hair. I know women who have curly hair who have longed for it to be straight, and vice versa. Black women have our own issues with our hair. As a “naturalista” myself, I am happy to see women embracing their God-given locks. Many women of color also rock weaves, braids, relaxed styles and wigs. I have some friends who change up their looks frequently. It’s fun to see the transformations. Part of the fun in being women is having fun with our appearance – experimenting with hair, makeup, clothes and accessories. The only problem is when there are underlying issues of self-loathing. If we are trying too hard to fix ourselves or become perfect, it becomes a slippery slope.  

See Also
The Power of Saying “No” 

I’ve had body issues all my life. Being naturally curvy, I have never been thin. Even when I was a size 8 or 10, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a fat girl. I never wore a bikini, but I certainly could have. I blame Barbie. Seriously! I grew up in an era where the unnaturally boyish figure with the big boobs was the standard of beauty. By today’s standards, Barbie was probably anorexic. I am happy to see that Mattel is now producing dolls in different shapes, skin tones and with more ethnic features. It’s one sign of progress.  

Now that I’m much older and over 50 pounds heavier, I would kill for my 18-year-old body! Occasionally I look in the mirror and say, “girl, you look good!” However, more often than I’d like to admit, I have the opposite reaction. Truthfully, I do need to take better care of my body, get more exercise, and release some of the weight. It’s a balancing act, and I continue to persist in taking care of myself, mind, body and spirit.  

IMAGINE A WORLD…  

Imagine with me if we could all let go of judging ourselves. Who told you that you were not good enough, pretty enough or smart enough to have what you want in life? Whose life is it anyway?  

It’s time to take back your personal power. Look in the mirror until you see your authentic self, smiling back at you. She’s been waiting for you to acknowledge her existence. Take a good look. reacquaint yourself with her and embrace what lies ahead.  

You’re worth it. Because you are already enough.  

Here’s to your unending love, peace and joy… 

 

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