Self-acceptance is something we're all told will make us happy. If we could only come to terms with ourselves and all our faults, we could stop being so stressed out and our lives would be easier.
This is all well and good, and people should strive to be comfortable with where they're at in life at any given point in time. Why get attached to things we aren't willing to change? But that's just it. It is common for people to confuse self-acceptance with its sinister counterpart, complacency.
On the surface, both look the same. A person who practices self-acceptance will appear as relaxed as the person who is complacent or has otherwise given up on their goals in life. Beneath the surface, there are very different things happening. True self-acceptance is without regrets, without lingering self-doubt, and is totally healthy. Complacency, on the other hand, is based on an unwillingness, or a perceived inability to change.
Self-acceptance gets a bad rap from the hustle community because it sounds a lot like complacency. Someone who is hell-bent on improving their life usually has little interest in enjoying where they are right now. This is because there's some latent fear that if they become happy with who they are right now, they will cease to make progress. To this success-obsessed crowd, self-acceptance = complacency = stagnation. But this doesn't have to be how it is.
In fact, self-acceptance takes all the stress out of hustling. At least, the stress that stems from self-criticism will vanish. It's not only possible to enjoy life moment-to-moment no matter what you're doing with your time, it is a smarter way to use your energy. Stressing out takes up so much mental energy and wears us down. The accompanying self-doubt can make us backpedal on our goals instead of steadily moving forward like we would if we saw ourselves in a healthy light.
Complacency and stagnation are not good. Sure, not everyone resonates with that "hustler" mentality, but as human beings, I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves and to society to continue growing as people. It doesn't matter what ways we grow, only that we continue to do so. It can be growth in terms of career for some people, health for others, or social skills, or even something as simple as doing more random acts of kindness.
So don't settle for less just because life seems to be getting too difficult. Push through, but remember you don't need the growth. The growth needs you. You're already enough. You don't need to change, but positive change within you will do so many wonderful things for the people you interact with. You'll transmit fewer bad moods to people around you, you'll inspire those who are on the fence about believing in themselves. If you give up on growth, you're kinda giving up on yourself, right? Because we miss 100% of the shots we don't take.
Take your shot! You might miss, but as long as you keep trying, you haven't failed. If you feel bad about all your failures, listen to yourself, and process those feelings. It's okay. You'll have all the time in the world, but if you spend that time on things you don't value, you'll have all the regrets in the world, too.
Make this year a #NoRegrets kinda year. But don't feel terrible about yourself if you don't complete everything you set out to do. You'll regret it! :)