Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Self-acceptance trumps self-improvement


Robert Holden, in his book, Happiness Now, writes, “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”  He went on to write,

Without self-acceptance, peace is impossible,
with self-acceptance, peace is yours.
Without self-acceptance, love has to wait,
with self-acceptance, peace is welcome.
Without self-acceptance, there is no happiness,
with self-acceptance, you know happiness.
Without self-acceptance, truth hurts,
with self-acceptance, truth heals.
Without self-acceptance, you can accept no one fully into your life,
with self-acceptance, you can.
Without self-acceptance, you are always hiding,
with self-acceptance you spirit is gliding.
Without self-acceptance, nothing is enough,
with self-acceptance, you are enough.
Without self-acceptance, you are not free to grow,
with self-acceptance, your potential is free to flow.
Without self-acceptance, there is no chance,
with self-acceptance, there is always a chance.

To live free I must let go of holding onto shame and set myself free to Love.

I can do all sorts of work to make myself kinder, happier, even more physically strong. But, if I don’t accept myself the way I am, if I carry any morsels of self-hatred, regret and shame, I will still be caught in the trap of believing the past is the present and I am my shame.

Yesterday, I had to give two TV interviews on the issue of the ‘homeless spikes’ that have been sprouting up in cities around the world. I am comfortable in front of a TV camera. I have given hundreds of interviews over the past years of working in the homeless sector, and am confident in what I have to say and how I come across.

Yesterday, in spite of my familiarity with the subject matter, and my passion for inspiring others to shift their perspective of homelessness to a more caring and collective understanding of our human condition, I didn’t want to do the interviews. I didn’t want to be on purpose.

Over the past few months, I have allowed some pounds to creep back onto my body. I think they may have snuck in while I was sleeping because I don’t remember inviting them but regardless of how they managed to take hold, I don’t like them. And rather than do anything about it, I’m doing my best ostrich imitation and avoiding the issue all together!

It isn’t that I’m saying mean things to myself, it is that I am avoiding everything about those extra pounds. While that includes listening to the self-chatter about what a loser I am to let those extra pounds creep in, it also means I am avoiding thinking about what I can do to reclaim my homeostasis. I am refusing to step into my power to take action — of any kind. And in my lack of taking action to create the more I want in my life, I am forcing myself to stay just below the level of true consciousness in the land of ‘if I pretend it’s not happening, it’s not happening.”

Ahhh, if only I could believe in make-believe I’d be able to make myself all perfect and shiny all the time!

I don’t need make believe to let go of shame. Regret. The Past.

All I need is a willingness to accept myself today, just the way I am, and know….  I am enough.





Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

3 thoughts on “Self-acceptance trumps self-improvement

  1. Louise, it sounds more like you got a bit disconnected from your self. That happens when life takes over sometimes.
    Take time to re-connect and you will find that you are more than enough.
    You SHINE 🙂
    Val x


  2. Self acceptance? Absolutely one of the hardest and ongoing lessons us humans learn. Thanks for the inspiration, Louise.


  3. It is interesting how we can have the awareness that we need to accept ourselves unconditionally, yet we impose conditions on ourselves, and tumble backwards when we feel we have failed our own self-imposed standards.
    “All I need is a willingness to accept myself today, just the way I am, and know…. I am enough.”
    Great message!


This conversation needs your brilliance to shine. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s