Accepting All Versions Of Yourself

Self-acceptance. Easy to say, easy to write, easy in theory- hard as hell to do. 

Like most people I've struggled (and still struggle) with self-confidence and self-acceptance and obviously there are lots of ways you can improve upon the way you see yourself, but I think one crucial step to gaining confidence comes with accepting all the different versions of yourself. I'm talking about all of the completely unique, polar opposite parts of you, the versions you show the world and the versions you keep to yourself. Sometimes it can be really easy to get so caught up in trying to be the kind of person that you think you should be that it becomes very difficult to actually accept who you are and everything that comes along with that.

So if like me you're on the quest for confidence and for more happy days than sad ones then it's all about embracing who you are now and who you have been throughout the different points in your life. You'll probably find that everything has happened for a reason and that every 'version' of you has had or still has a purpose. By accepting all the different versions of you, any feelings of blame, guilt, shame or embarrassment that you have toward yourself should dissolve.

Take me for example, if I pull apart a few key versions of myself that I've embodied throughout the years I can already see their purpose-


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VERSION 1: The 'Baby'-
I've been called a 'sook' or 'drama queen' since I was little because I feel things very deeply and often get emotional. Trust me when I say that this version of me is one I've spent a lot of time and energy feeling ashamed about. Even as I've gotten older I'm still a sensitive person (typical Pisces) and I've hated that behind closed doors crying is my knee-jerk reaction to a lot of situations. Genuinely, I've felt so embarrassed about this part of myself that I've wished I could be a different person, someone who never cries or gets upset or even cares for that matter. At 23, although I'm still coming to terms with it I do now fully accept this version of myself. I know now that I am an intuitive, empathetic, sympathetic person and those are highly regarded qualities that for a lot of people don't come naturally. Being sensitive and empathetic doesn't make me weak, it makes me strong.



VERSION 2: The Student-
Friends: "Do you want to watch a movie?" 
Me: "...No, I'm studying."
The studious version of myself is one that up until a few years ago was basically all I knew. The majority of my academic life was spent studying- so much studying, the staying up till 6.30am kind of studying. Hitting the books is all well and good but I often got major FOMO (fear of missing out) as a result and spent countless hours over the years playing the "what if?" game. From this sprung some shame and regret about this part of myself, I became embarrassed about a part of me that I really shouldn't feel embarrassed about. So yeah, the 'perfect student' version of myself has some flaws but honestly, this time in my life gave me a killer work ethic and showed me that when I put my mind to something I can do a hell of a lot more than I give myself credit for. To be the most cliche that I possible can, it showed me what I was made of.

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VERSION 3: The Anxious Wreck-
How many times have you heard or read the word 'anxiety' in the past year? I bet it's a hell of a lot of times and it's because anxiety is something a lot of people struggle with, myself included. Some people like to think that anxiety is a trend or way to grab attention but (aside from that being ridiculous) if you've ever actually had anxiety then you'll know it's something you quite literally would not wish on your worst enemy. In the past I've had such intense anxiety that there was not a single thought in my head throughout the day that wasn't plagued with worry or fear. Anxiety is like having a voice in your head that plays you every troubling thought you've ever had on repeat, it twists your rational thoughts until they become an unrecognizable, worrisome mess.

Although it's nothing like it was before I do still deal with anxiety issues and that's why this version of myself is one that takes the most patience and effort for me to accept. When I think about it though, every awful moment and every panic attack I've ever had forced me to reflect on my life, my coping strategies, the people around me, everything. So as hard as it is for me to accept it, my anxiety ended up bringing me something I never thought it would, self-growth and gratitude. I now have a much deeper understanding of myself and I am extremely grateful for where I am in my life now and how far I've come.

how to love yourself

how to start accepting yourself

VERSION 4: The Optimist-
One of the things I think people really don't understand about me is that I'm either a glass half empty person or I'm so positive and optimistic that I will happily talk your ears off for hours about some theory I have which is about how the whole point of life is just to learn and find happiness.
Sometimes this version of myself makes me feel naive, like everyone else knows more about the world than I do and I'm just an idealistic 20-something who doesn't really know what's what.

Granted I am only 23 and have a lot of life experience and wisdom left to gain I have also been through a lot in the time I've been on this earth. I've travelled to over 18 countries, had life-changing experiences, been through my fair share of issues and the fact that I see the good in people and in the world is something I should feel proud of. The optimistic version of myself is one I currently accept with open arms (especially given the state of the world at the moment.)

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I'm a mix of all of these versions and so many more. I could go on all day with this post but I guess what I'm trying to put out there is that if you're trying to gain confidence and you're learning to accept yourself, realise that no one is one-sided and we all have different versions to us. Everyone is so much more dynamic than they may appear and we're all just learning and evolving as we go. So drop whatever perceptions or expectations you have about who you thought you would be at this point in your life and respect all the versions of yourself.


What do you think about accepting all of the versions of yourself?

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61 comments:

  1. Beautiful post!

    http://www.solmarimarrero.com/

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  2. Gosh Julia, you sound like me! (Well, except for the perfect student part. I did apply myself at school, but seemingly fell short.) I didn't begin to realise (and except) my highly sensitive nature until I was on the cusp of 30, so hats off to you for recognising it at a younger age. I feel that I've begun to accept myself a lot more as I've got older & especially since coming into my 30's (not sure why, but I feel like there's something about getting older that provides one with wisdom). Sure, I still struggle with some not so great parts of myself, I still struggle with anxiety & I still have pity-party-for-one moments, but would I trade all of that personal growth & self-acceptance? Definitely not.

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    1. Well let me just say I am looking forward to that wisdom that comes with age! I definitely have a pity party for one sometimes as well (love that saying by the way) but at least we both seem to be at a stage where we can reflect and recognise all of our growth as well :)

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  3. The more I read your blog, the more I feel like we are similar. I can completely relate to everything you wrote, and I loved reading this post. :) Made me feel like I wasn't alone.
    I'm also a Pisces and tend to cry in reaction to a lot of things. I struggled with this a lot when I was younger, because I felt like nobody would take me seriously. But I've just accepted that I'm an emotional person, and that even though it can be annoying, it also makes me more creative and thoughtful. I'm also SUCH a student (I'm in college right now, but I'm a pretty serious Hermione), and I'm such an anxious mess.
    Anyways, thanks for writing this. I totally agree. Often times, there's only one part of myself that I'm proud of, and I pretend like the others don't exist. But they do. And they're fine.
    Julia || Julia in Bluhm

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    1. Wow that's getting scary similar, we're both sensitive, both Pisces, both named Julia!

      Honestly though the more Pisces that I've met it seems like we're all pretty sensitive and have struggled at some point with people not taking us seriously or not understanding, whereas for another Pisces it's so easy to understand.

      Sometimes I hide the other parts of myself as well which is why I wanted to write this post so I'm really glad you could relate and felt the same way as me :)

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  4. Firstly, may I say congratulations on such a well written, heartfelt post ! Secondly, the black and white photos are fantastic! I especially like the first one, and I felt you chose photos that really enhanced and supported your writing (as well as being nice to look at visually):)
    This was such an original and inspiring piece of work that I really related to and I am much older than you! You are obviously a very creative and deep thinker.
    An author/speaker I really admire emphasises that the longest relationship you will ever have with anyone is with your self, so the time we spend on developing a good relationships with our self is so important and it definitely helps if we can like, love or at the least accept every version of ourselves :)

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    1. Thank you Phoebe, I wasn't too sure how people were going to like these photos or not so I'm happy you liked them and thought they suited the post (that was definitely the point of them!).

      That author reminds me of one I love as well called Louise Hay, and I completely agree that we should all strive to make our best relationships the ones with ourselves. I'm really working on self love at the moment/this year so I'm trying to be so conscious of all the things you mentioned!

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  5. What an interesting post. I am way older than you, in fact nearly double your age, but I can still relate do some of those versions, nothing wrong with them though!

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    1. Thanks Elena, I'm happy you found this post interesting and could relate to some of the versions of me :)

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  6. This is such a lovely post! It's so wonderful that you can decide to notice and love each of these parts of yourself! I can definitely relate to a couple of them - I like to think I'm an optimist, but I'm also a realist and worrier (not sure how that makes sense). I also get quite anxious sometimes and this can evolve into a kind of depression which I'm very ashamed of but like you've said, it makes us stronger - and I've recently got through quite a hard time in my life and that's helped me discover a new, stronger side of me!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

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    1. Yep that makes sense to me because I feel the same way sometimes and it's a little odd sometimes feeling really optimistic but then getting a huge worry wave isn't it? So sorry to hear that you've felt you need to be ashamed of your depression because I genuinely think people that deal with depression are extremely strong and have nothing to be ashamed of in the slightest. You're right, it makes you stronger!

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  7. Beautiful post. I love your photos and the first step to accepting and being more of what you want to be is being self aware and I think you have that. Learning to appreciate, grow and love yourself is so important.

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

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  8. Girl this post is so powerful - I love it! It's so true that we really do have versions of ourselves, it's so important to love and acknowledge each and every one! P.s you look stunning in these pictures!

    Hayley xo
    www.frockmeimfamous.com

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    1. Hayley you're way too nice, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  9. Great post and so honest. I agree you have to accept all versions of yourself - no one is perfect and we need to embrace that x

    franklyflawless.com

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    1. Definitely, I think it's so important to show other people that there are more sides to you as well :)

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  10. These photos are absolutely stunning, and perhaps more importantly, so are the words. I totally relate to the first one - I'm such a crybaby! I really like the way you frame it though. True, maybe I get upset over things easily, but I'd rather be known for my empathy than for apathy x

    Martha Jane | www.marthajaneedwards.com

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    1. Thanks Martha, I actually planned out these photos for a long damn time so that means a lot to me!

      Ah it feels so nice to hear from other sensitive people as well! I need to form some kind of a group or something for us, haha

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  11. I loved reading this, it seems like we have a lot incommon. The baby and the anxious wreck are definitely versions of myself too! Big versions. And I somehow always tried to push them away, which luckily now I don't do anymore. You are so right!
    WritingMonique

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    1. It feels so comforting to hear from people who relate and I've tried to push those versions of me away as well, I think it only makes it worse to be honest- that's why now I just try to embrace them.

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  12. I really enjoyed this post, I resonate with your words a lot. I've struggled with the same thing and I'm learning to accept myself too- thank you for your candidness.

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    1. Thanks Maddy, happy you enjoyed the post :)

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  13. This was a lovely read and definitely relatable. Accepting who you are is such an important step in life, and you've really hit the nail on the head. Amazing photos too! xx

    Tash | natashatodd.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Natasha! I'm glad you found this relatable as well, I was so nervous to hit publish!

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  14. This was so intersting to read. I'm glad that you accepted all versions of yourself.


    Nina's Style Blog

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  16. Wow I really like this post. I almost felt I was reading about myself in some ways. I'm learning over time to love the difference side of me. Thanks for sharing.
    www.comfycozyup.com

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    1. I'm loving that so many people seem to be able to find parts of this post they can relate to :)

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  17. very true - there are many versions of ourselves and we're always different towards different groups/people. i struggle from time to time in accepting some parts of myself that are not deemed 'good' by society's standards but i try to remember that society's standards ain't everything. i'd rather be true to me than live a lie tho! great post x

    http://www.fionnac.com

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    1. Oh for sure, I think we all either consciously or sub-consciously realise that society's standards don't matter but at the same time, it can be hard to go against that- if that makes sense?

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  18. This post is so important, yet still such a huge struggle to live by for so many people out there. Thanks for speaking up and inspiring others to accept themselves for every version they are <3

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE

    ~

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  19. Loveeeee how creative your photos are :D

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

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  20. Great post, I love how honest you are! These photos are so beautiful!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  21. This is one of the best posts I"ve written - your photos re all absolutely beautiful and the way you write is so elegant.

    I love how more and more people are supporting one another and accepting themselves for who they are. More often than not people aim to be perfect and that cannot happen - all we can do is be the best people we can be! :)

    Layla x

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Layla, your feedback is always so positive it honestly makes me so happy and so inspired to create new unique content- so thank you! :)

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  22. This post and photos are honestly so beautiful! It takes a lot to put that much honesty on the internet, and you have done it beautifully. What a lovely read, for a Saturday morning. Thankyou!
    Kate xx

    themakeupartistschoice.com

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    1. Thank you Kate that's so nice of you to say :)

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  23. Most of those versions of you are a part of me as well.
    I love everything about what you wrote, it's so true. And lovely pictures!
    LA VEINE

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    1. Thank you Marta! I'm glad you could see a bit of you in this post as well :)

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  24. I love this, it's so relatable and refreshing to read something like this. It really helps to know that there are other people that go through the same things as you, so thank you for this!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush♡

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    1. Well that comment definitely makes the nerves I had to publish this post worth it, thanks Hannah :)

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  25. I think it's sometimes an age thing as when I was in my early twenties I used to worry so much about what others thought, trying to please everyone and be the best version of myself. As I've got older, my circle has got smaller and I care less what people think. You only get one life and the choices you make are yours and yours alone. Can totally relate to 'the baby' as I was an only child for the first eight years of my life, I can be a bit of a diva and don't really like sharing. I find I am different with different people too, which is nice cos this brings out different sides to my personality.
    Thanks for sharing this post - enjoy being you!
    Jaz xoxo
    http://www.thelifeofasocialbutterfly.co.uk

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    1. I'm starting to hear that a lot and honestly it's making me excited to get older! I'd love to one day just genuinely not care about what anyone thinks of me, that's the goal.

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  26. Such a lovely post and I couldn't agree more! x
    A Blushing Beauty Blog

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  27. Great post. I totally agree, it's important to learn to accept all versions of ourselves. I can relate to being someone who is often overly optimistic, sometimes I think I should maybe be more realistic about certain things but so far in life, being optimistic has served me well and so I've always quite liked that part. And I could have done with being a better student whilst at University as I was the oposite a lot of the time and often got distracted by the fun, and still do a lot of the time, sometimes it's hard to find a balance with that isn't it.

    Samio x
    http://www.samio.co.uk/

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    1. I feel the same way, and in the end I think if the world were full of optimists that wouldn't be a bad thing!

      I still find it hard to strike a balance as well, although it's interesting that we seem to have opposite problems there :p

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  28. What a beautiful, beautiful post & also so relateable. I think we can all at some point struggle with our different 'versions' of ourselves. I do however think that those versions help us to develop and grow into the people we need to be. I think life is just one big learning journey that allows our experiences, life lessons, the good & the bad to shape us into the people that we are & that is most definitely an amazing thing.

    Ellie Xx | www.make-it-up.co.uk

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    1. Couldn't have put it any better myself, I've started seeing life as just one big opportunity to learn things, make mistakes and grow and thinking of things that way really gives you a different perspective on things.

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  29. I love how you point out how being sensitive doesn't make you weak. Before my grandad passed away, he shared one of his favourite quotes and it will always stay with me - 'never mistake my kindness for weakness'. :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. That's one memorable quote, one that I think will stay with me as well!

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  30. Such a beautiful post and so relatable; I realised that you listed all MY features and I'm really learning to accept them. Thank you! xx
    simplylucy101.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ah that's brilliant Lucy, so happy you could relate to this :)

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  31. Beautiful post. I love all your post they are so relatable and helps a lot. Thanks for sharing such an interesting posts.
    Anti-Aging Treatment by Revitol :)

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