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I speak and work with many amazing women — they’re smart, talented, and curious. They also feel that they are all wrong the way they are. Self-acceptance can be a bitch.

This is a feeling that hits home with me. In fact, working on it has been my biggest transformational journey.

self-acceptance starts earlyI grew up in a home with an alcoholic mother who could not accept me for the person I was. There are many deep reasons for this, but I think the primary one is that I was a carbon copy of my grandmother, who suffered from extreme depression. I think my mother feared that was my path. That’s a guess. My mother passed away before we ever got to a place where we could have that conversation.

The reason I share that is because every day of my life, until I was about 22, in some way she told me I was wrong: I was fat, I wore the wrong clothes, I had the wrong hair, my voice was too soft (or loud, high pitched, or low pitched — she really hated my voice!). I was lazy, I was sloppy… it goes on and on.

That vision of myself stayed with me for a very long time (50 years to be exact). In fact, it still triggers me when someone comments on my appearance or voice, or any of those things. (I’m working on self-acceptance, but that stuff takes time!)

Self-Acceptance is an Inside Job

Honestly, I still don’t get much affirmation that I’m just fine the way I am. Why? Because I march to my own beat. I don’t fit in. I’m a little bit quirky, and even I don’t get my sense of humor half the time,?.

I share this because I think there are many, many women out there who experience the same thing.

Not fitting in is rough.

Or looking like you fit in when you know in your heart you know you don’t really.

It’s tough to live your happiest life possible when messages that you are fundamentally wrong bombard you every minute of every day.

So this is for every woman who feels like she is less than whatever she is supposed to be: You F-ing rock. You are so flipping cool I can barely handle it. You deserve all the good things that come your way. You are perfect exactly as you are.

Please don’t change. The world needs women like you.

Make yourself happy. Do what you want to do. And if those around you at work or home judge you for it, reach out for some support. There are a ton of us and together we are strong. If you want to work on your self-acceptance and would love some relentless support, join The Gutsy Happiness Project Facebook group… we’d be THRILLED to tell you exactly how much you rock.