Self-ac­cep­tance key to un­lock po­ten­tial

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - LIFESTYLE - CALODAGH MCCU­MISKEY’S

I re­cently went to the IBEC Keep­well sum­mit in Dublin. There were many high­lights but a par­tic­u­lar one for me was Nigel Owens, the Welsh Rugby Ref­eree shar­ing his story. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in the room of 350 peo­ple, and many were touched to tears by his pow­er­ful life story.

He started with: ‘They say you make your life…. but first of all, … life makes you’. Life is what you make it …. but we are primed and molded by our ex­pe­ri­ences first. He spoke at length about his upbringing, his fam­ily life and par­ents, his school­ing, be­ing bul­lied, work­ing, at­tempt­ing sui­cide and later, com­ing out. He is a pow­er­ful speaker and one I would highly rec­om­mend if you ever get the chance.

After taking us on a long jour­ney – a per­sonal ac­count of his own life, he ended with something uni­ver­sal – something we could all iden­tify with. He said the hard­est thing he has ever done is to fully ac­cept him­self.

It is I feel true and something I have strug­gled with. At times, I have found it eas­ier to ac­cept what has hap­pened and what oth­ers have done but harder to ac­cept how I have be­haved and who I am. For Nigel Owens, he said it was his great­est chal­lenge, big­ger than any of the matches he has ref­er­eed, pro­fes­sional heights he has reached or other ob­sta­cles he has faced. Only you will know how is for you.

In work­place well­be­ing pro­grams, there is much talk about bring­ing your ‘full’ and ‘best self ’ to work. It is also part of the ap­proach I use. In or­der to bring your full and best self to work or to any sit­u­a­tion, ac­cept­ing your­self is fun­da­men­tal. If we don’t, we can at best bring a part of our­selves to sit­u­a­tions. And it is a con­flicted part if you don’t ac­cept your­self. In­ner peace is not pos­si­ble. Peace comes when what you think, feel, say and do are all in har­mony and bal­ance.

We en­able oth­ers to bring their best self to sit­u­a­tions, we when ac­cept and em­brace who they are. Love is love. View­points are view points and di­verse teams are way ahead in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity met­rics.

Be­fore you look out­ward too much, it is im­por­tant to look within and ac­cept who you are. Look­ing at your­self in the mirror, eye to eye and be­ing good with that is a great start. We all have great qual­i­ties and we have lessor ones or a shadow, more self­ish self. The parts of the brain re­spon­si­ble for growth and learn­ing shut down when we feel guilt and shame. When we can fully sit with our­selves, we can sit with any­thing. Med­i­ta­tion is a great tool to help you learn to sit with your­self and build self-ac­cep­tance. Self-ac­cep­tance is also foun­da­tional for chang­ing your­self. With­out it, it is not pos­si­ble to trans­form and be who you want to be.

In par­ent­ing, Dr. Harry Barry, au­thor of the book ‘Self-ac­cep­tance’ be­lieves it is far more im­por­tant to fo­cus on ‘un­con­di­tional self-ac­cep­tance’, while taking full re­spon­si­bil­ity for our be­hav­iour. ‘If I fail I am not a fail­ure, I simply failed at a task. The only fail­ure in life is not get­ting back up again’.

He calls this: ‘a revolution­ary ap­proach to men­tal health’ . It is re­silience in prac­tice.

The road to self-ac­cep­tance comes more eas­ily to some than oth­ers de­pend­ing on our start in life. But it is one that is key to travel if you want to have both ful­fil­ment and achieve­ment in life.

Calodagh McCu­miskey de­signs and de­liv­ers be­spoke well­be­ing at work pro­grammes to grow peo­ple and com­pa­nies. She also of­fers reg­u­lar med­i­ta­tion classes, per­sonal devel­op­ment work­shops and well­be­ing con­sul­ta­tions to help peo­ple thrive 053 9140655 | [email protected]­i­tualearth.com | www.spir­i­tualearth.com

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