Instructions: This exercise is designed to help you challenge your belief that, if you have failed at something or if someone criticizes or rejects you, then you are a totally hopeless failure as a person.
To overcome this your irrational thinking that leads to low self-acceptance complement the top half of the circle by filling in the appropriate spaces with plus (+) for the things you do well at work or at minus (-) for the things you do not do so well. Then you complete the lower half of the circle by writing down the things you do well and things you like about yourself as well as the things you do not do so well or do not like about yourself.
School! Work! Other things in life.
To counteract the tendency to make yourself low when things are not going so well, ask yourself these following questions:
1. Does this bad situation (mistake, failure, rejection, criticism, cold) take away my good qualities?
2. Does it make sense to conclude that “I am totally hopeless” due to one or more negative things that have happened?
Thoughts that help myself to increase my self-acceptance of myself
1. I’m not a bad person when I do something bad. I’m a person who’s done something bad. Distinguish between thing (do) and person (s).
2. I’m not a good person when I do good things and do things. I am a person who has done things and accomplished things. Distinguish between thing (do) and person (s).
3. I can accept myself regardless of whether I win, lose or catch a cold.
4. It is better for me not to define myself completely by my behaviors, by other opinions about me, by the fact that I feel hung over or have a cold or something else under the sun.
5. I can be myself without trying to justify myself and my existence.
6. I’m not an idiot because I act idiotic. If I were an idiot, I would never be able to learn from my mistakes.
7. I’m not a customer because I shop a lot.
8. I have many faults and can work to correct them without blaming myself, condemning myself or cursing myself for having them.
9. Correct, yes! Condemn, no!
10. I can neither prove that I am a good person nor a bad person. The wisest thing I can do is simply accept myself.
11. I’m not a hare because I shop hairy.
12. I cannot “prove” human worth or worthlessness. It is better not to do the impossible.
13. Accepting myself as human (and thus fallible) is better than trying to prove that I am superhuman or “subhuman”.
14. I can specify my weaknesses, shortcomings and failures without judging or defining myself with them.
15. Seeking self-esteem, confidence or value leads to self-assessment and possibly to self-blame. Through self-acceptance, you avoid these self-assessments.
16. I’m not stupid because I act stupid. Rather, I am an “stupid” person who sometimes produces stupid behavior.
17. I can correct my behavior without reprimanding myself.
18. I can praise my behavior without praising myself.
19. Hack on your behaviors! Do not hack yourself.
20. I can feel my mistakes and hold myself accountable for making them, without devaluing myself for having created them.
21. It is unwise to judge myself favorably from how well I have managed to impress others and get their approval or how well I perform and achieve.
22. It is just as unwise to judge myself unfavorably from how badly I have managed to impress others and get their disapproval or how badly I perform and achieve.
23. I’m not ignorant because I act ignorant.
24. When I unwisely lower my spirits, I do not need to lower myself even more because I lowered my spirits.
25. I do not have to let my acceptance of myself be a grace from my circumstances.
26. I am not a toy for others’ judgments and I can accept myself separately from other evaluations of me.
27. I may need to be dependent on others in practical matters from time to time, but I do not have to be emotionally dependent on anyone to accept myself. Practical addiction is a fact! Emotional addiction is something made up!
28. I am not indebted to anything or to any person for being able to accept myself.
29. It may be better to succeed, but success does not make me a better person.
30. It may be worse to fail, but adversity does not make me a worse person.