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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Accept Yourself


Earlier this morning, when practicing self-improvement through physical training, I heard a line from rapper ANoyd’s song “Mama Porch,” which states, “If you lonely when you alone; that mean you don’t like you.”


For more times than I can remember, I’ve addressed a similar concept when practicing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). In particular, I try to persuade clients to use unconditional self-acceptance (USA) to improve their lives.


The basic gist of USA is that you are a fallible human being. You’ve always made mistakes, you frequently blunder, and you’ll never be perfect while in your current physical form—ever.


USA isn’t about liking or loving yourself. Rather, at its core, this principle values tolerating and accepting yourself for the flawed individual you are. So what, you fucked up for the thousandth time! Can you endure the experience of being imperfect?


Perhaps when you’re alone in a room and consider yourself to be in bad company, you’ve adopted the irrational belief that you shouldn’t, mustn’t, or oughtn’t to be as flawed as you are. Unhelpfully, your mood may rely heavily upon conditions you’ve set for yourself.


You likely believe, “I refuse to tolerate my shortcomings, because doing so is nothing more than an excuse for mediocrity,” or, “I’ll accept myself only when I make no mistakes.” With each violation of your rigid conditions, you experience unpleasant consequences.


These outcomes include impoverished mood (e.g., sorrow), uncomfortable bodily sensations (e.g., a heavy feeling throughout your body), unhelpful behaviors (e.g., sobbing uncontrollably when driving), and bothersome experiences (e.g., loneliness).


Through an REBT lens, it’s understood that the Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection is what creates your undesirable reaction. It isn’t the action of being alone that causes you not to accept yourself.


Instead, believing that things should be otherwise is what creates a disappointing aftereffect. Telling yourself, “I shouldn’t be alone, because I can’t stand the idea of others not liking me,” is what causes you not to accept yourself as is.


Adopting a healthier belief, using an USA perspective, may significantly benefit you. Suppose you alternatively told yourself, “While I wish I had someone to be with, I can tolerate being alone;” what might be the consequences of your effective new belief?


It isn’t as though USA promotes the act of lying to yourself, because you can acknowledge that you desire another person in your life. However, telling yourself that you “wish” for company is quite different from demanding not to be lonely.


In and of itself, desire doesn’t necessarily cause disturbance. Rather, it’s when you self-disturb with beliefs about unmet requirements and conditions that the consequences of your unproductive narratives will result.


The astute reader may argue, “Deric, you began this post by admitting that you practice ‘self-improvement,’ though you’re advocating unconditional self-acceptance. Aren’t you a bit of a hypocrite?”


While I accept that I’m imperfect, this doesn’t mean that I simply give up the pursuit of a better life. Physical training affords me the opportunity to prolong vitality, regulate my mood, it serves as part of my self-care regimen, and this activity significantly benefits my overall quality of life.


I don’t tell myself that I must workout. Simply, life is better when I do.


Presuming you understand the B-C connection and how USA may better serve your interests and goals, the next time you’re alone you may not experience loneliness or the act of disliking yourself. How does that sound to you?


Then again, you’re a fallible human being, so if you disturb yourself it wouldn’t be an uncommon occurrence. At minimum, can you tolerate and accept yourself as is? If so, building upon this default level through more productive usage of your time may help.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW



References:


ANoyd. (2019, June 21). ANoyd & Statik Selektah - Mama Porch (official audio) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ugKd20eVoLQ

Enriquez, A. (2021, October 25). Q. How does fair use work for book covers, album covers, and movie posters? Penn State. Retrieved from https://psu.libanswers.com/faq/336502

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, May 28). Desire and disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/desire-and-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2022, May 31). Holistic approach to mental health. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/holistic-approach-to-mental-health

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2022, December 9). Like it, love it, accept it. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/like-it-love-it-accept-it

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, June 27). Rigid terms of service. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-terms-of-service

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

Masquerade, The. (n.d.). Anoyd. Retrieved from http://www.masqueradeatlanta.com/attraction/anoyd/

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