Life can be complicated, there are so many pressures and influences on us that we spend our time responding to that it can be hard to know ourselves, what we really think and feel. It can often be that we have a public façade that we put on to face the world that is very different to what we feel inside. We can be left wondering, who are we really?
When who we are on the inside is quite different to who we are on the outside it can indicate a lack of comfort revealing our true selves, and this can be for many reasons, including our own lack of self acceptance. Many people talk about the importance of self esteem, however self esteem is largely based on external factors such as achievements and acceptance from others. From a CBT perspective it isn't self esteem that we strive for, it's self acceptance - knowing that we are okay the way we are, in all our imperfections, regardless of what we have and haven't achieved. It's this place of self acceptance where true inner peace can be achieved.
A great way of working out where we are on the path to self acceptance is to complete the following exercise.