"The curious paradox is that when I can accept myself just as I am, then I can change." -Carl Rogers

One of the core practices of psychologist Carl Rogers' approach to therapy is unconditional positive regard, which focuses on encompassing acceptance of a person no matter who they are, what they say, or what they do. Take that stance towards yourself, and you will have the ability to change.

Oftentimes, we are swept into a more critical approach towards ourselves and others, whether that means from our parents, teachers, or peers. When do you learn to truly accept or love yourself? Who teaches you that? Who models that behavior? The only context I can think of would be in a therapeutic context, a more humanistic approach to healing the mind.

We tend to make broad generalizations about ourselves based on small parts of who we are, and that can be either limiting or freeing. For example, a person may have failed an exam and, as a result, lost complete faith in themselves as both a student and a person of great potential and promise. Accepting that blunder as okay allows that person to relinquish the failure's authority over their overall character and move on in their lives, perhaps to do much better academically.

When you practice unconditional positive regard in relation to your everyday life, your everyday interactions with friends, family, peers, colleagues, you learn to accept yourself for yourself and believe that you indeed have the power and strength to improve.

Here are a few tips to implement this in your own life:

1) Accept that you are perfectly human (cliche, right?)--or flawed, but that's redundant. You are not exempt or held to higher standards in comparison to everyone else.

2) Accept that enacting change in your life takes immense time, energy, and discomfort.

3) Accept others in order to accept yourself--how you see others tends to reflect how you see yourself.

Put little notes up in your room to remind you of these points. Maybe you want to journal about them or talk about them with a friend. It's up to you, but I hope this helps!