We all walk through life carrying a backpack of thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, the weight of this backpack feels light, and we march forward with confidence. 

At other times, it feels like we’ve packed bricks instead of feathers, and every step becomes a struggle. 

A lot of this weight comes from how we see ourselves, how we judge our actions, and the voice inside that tells us if we’re ‘enough’ or not.

Imagine a world where every morning you woke up, looked in the mirror, and thought, “I’m proud of who I am.” It’s a world where every decision, every step, and every dream is fueled by self-belief. 

The good news is, this world isn’t a fantasy. It’s very much achievable. And the journey to reach there is all about understanding self-approval.

What is the Meaning of Self-Approval?

Self-approval refers to the positive regard and acceptance one holds for oneself, independent of external validation or opinions.

It’s an inner confidence and assurance in one’s worth, actions, and decisions. Unlike external validation, which is based on feedback from others, self-approval is an internal compass, guiding and affirming one’s sense of self.

It’s the ability to feel good about oneself, even in the absence of accolades or praise from the outside world.

A Guide to Self-Approval 

A Guide to Self-Approval 

1. Embrace Your Individuality

When you look in the mirror, you’re witnessing a one-of-a-kind creation. There’s no one else out there with your specific blend of experiences, aspirations, and talents. 

Revel in that uniqueness! Society often pushes standards and ideals that don’t resonate with everyone. Yet, it’s your individual peculiarities that make you remarkable.

Being different isn’t a shortcoming; it’s a superpower. It’s what gives flavor to the world, bringing in diversity and depth. The most memorable people throughout history were the ones who stood out, who dared to be different. 

Don’t hide or suppress your individuality. Instead, let it shine brightly.

2. Celebrate Small Victories

Life isn’t always about massive triumphs. Sometimes, the smallest wins can bring the most profound joy. 

Did you manage to get up early today? That’s worth celebrating. Managed to have a healthy meal? Give yourself a pat on the back.

Every little step forward is progress. Recognizing and valuing these minor accomplishments can build a strong foundation for bigger challenges. 

It’s akin to laying bricks. Each small win is a brick, and as they accumulate, they construct a robust structure of self-esteem and self-worth.

These little victories also serve as reminders. On tough days, recalling the smaller accomplishments can reignite the drive to push through challenges. Life might throw curveballs, but acknowledging even the tiniest steps forward fuels perseverance.

3. Listen to Inner Wisdom

Deep down, everyone has a well of intuition. It’s that quiet voice that whispers advice, insights, and wisdom. 

This inner compass is a remarkable guide, grounded in past experiences and genuine understanding of oneself. Honoring this voice can lead to a deeper sense of self-approval.

When external opinions become too loud, it’s easy to forget our own values. By tuning into personal intuition, choices become clearer and align more with personal beliefs and desires. 

Actions grounded in self-awareness and inner guidance often result in more authentic outcomes.

Taking time for introspection helps. Whether it’s through meditation, journaling, or simple reflection, it creates space for that inner voice to be heard. 

[Related: How To Start Loving Yourself]

4. Cultivate Gratitude

Cultivate Gratitude - self approval

Gratitude is transformative. It shifts the focus from what’s lacking or imperfect to what’s abundant and beautiful in life. Starting a day with a sense of thankfulness sets a positive tone, influencing interactions, decisions, and perspectives.

By appreciating the good in life, it becomes easier to recognize personal worth. The realization that so many aspects of life are going right can boost feelings of self-worth and self-approval. 

Simple joys, like a hearty laugh or a warm hug, become gentle reminders of the blessings in life.

5. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are not barriers. They are, instead, clarifications on what’s acceptable and what’s not. By setting clear boundaries, you send a message to yourself and the world about what you value and respect.

When boundaries are in place, there’s a profound sense of security. There’s clarity about one’s limits, leading to healthier relationships and interactions. 

Moreover, by honoring these boundaries, there’s an affirmation of self-worth. It’s a statement that says, “I value and respect myself.”

Every boundary set and maintained contributes to a deep sense of self-approval. It shows a commitment to personal well-being and reinforces self-respect. 

Whether it’s in relationships, work, or personal habits, boundaries ensure a balance between giving and preserving oneself.

6. Forgive Yourself

Mistakes are a part of the human experience. But dwelling on them can lead to a spiral of self-doubt and guilt. To truly approve of oneself, it’s essential to practice forgiveness. 

Holding onto past errors can be a heavy burden, pulling down self-worth and self-belief.

By letting go of past missteps, there’s space for growth and learning. Every mistake is a lesson in disguise, offering insights for future choices. Embracing this perspective makes it easier to move forward without the weight of past regrets.

Self-forgiveness is a journey, not a destination. It’s a continuous process of acknowledging imperfections, understanding them, and choosing to move forward with love and compassion. 

This journey paves the way for true self-approval and peace.

[Interesting: 25 Questions to Ask Yourself to Increase Your Motivation]

7. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Surround Yourself with Positivity - self approval

The company we keep has a profound influence on how we perceive ourselves. 

Surrounding yourself with uplifting, encouraging, and positive individuals can be a game-changer. These are the people who see your worth, even when you might doubt it.

Positive influences uplift during challenging times. They offer words of encouragement, share joy in successes, and provide a safe space to be authentic. 

This supportive environment nurtures self-worth and self-belief.

Being in a positive environment doesn’t mean avoiding challenges or constructive criticism. It means being around those who genuinely wish the best for you. They push you toward growth while ensuring you remember your worth. 

8. Invest in Self-Care

You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” countless times, but its importance can’t be stressed enough. 

Taking time for yourself isn’t just about bubble baths and spa days, though they’re fantastic too. It’s about nourishing your mind, body, and spirit in ways that resonate with you.

Every time you carve out moments for self-care, you’re sending a clear message to yourself: “I matter.” Whether that’s through reading, walking in nature, or just taking a break from screens, these actions help rejuvenate and reset. 

Keep in mind that self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. Everyone has unique needs. So, explore different activities and find what truly makes you feel refreshed and cherished. 

As you make self-care a regular practice, watch how your relationship with yourself transforms.

9. Pursue Passions

Remember those activities you loved as a child? Maybe it was painting, dancing, or exploring the outdoors. Reconnecting with those passions or discovering new ones can do wonders for self-approval. 

Here’s why: 

When you delve deep into a passion, there’s a sense of flow. Time seems to fly, worries fade, and there’s just pure, unadulterated engagement. This experience is not only therapeutic but also reaffirms that you have unique gifts to offer. 

By routinely engaging in these activities, you’re reminded of your potential and worth.

Starting can be as simple as joining a local group, taking an online class, or just dedicating a few hours each week to your interest. As you immerse yourself, the joy and satisfaction derived from these pursuits act as a natural booster for self-approval.

[Related Article: How to Open Your Mind and Be the Best Version of Yourself]

10. Accept Compliments Gracefully

Accept Compliments Gracefully - self approval

This might sound easy, but for many, accepting compliments is a real challenge. Brushing off praises or redirecting them is common, especially when feeling unworthy. 

However, genuinely taking in compliments and believing them can significantly enhance self-approval.

The next time someone praises you, instead of deflecting, take a deep breath and say “thank you.” That’s all. It’s about letting the positive words sink in and truly feeling them. 

By doing this consistently, you start to internalize these affirmations, bolstering self-esteem.

Those offering compliments see something wonderful in you. They’re acknowledging it. So, instead of doubting their words, consider that they might be onto something. 

11. Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses

A solid self-awareness game can be a real game-changer. When you get a clear picture of what you’re good at and areas that could use a bit of polish, you’re already on the path to self-improvement. 

Remember that math test you aced or that time you made everyone laugh with a well-timed joke? Those are your strengths shining through. On the flip side, maybe you’re not the best at parallel parking or sometimes you forget names – and that’s okay.

Knowing and owning your strengths boosts confidence. These are the unique flavors you bring to the table. Revel in them. Flaunt them. But don’t stop there. 

Embracing areas of improvement doesn’t mean you’re lacking. Instead, it shows you’re human, just like everyone else. Plus, recognizing these areas means you’ve got a roadmap for personal growth. 

[Read: 7 Signs You Hate Yourself (& How to Stop)

12. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Each person’s journey is unique, filled with different stories, challenges, and triumphs. Comparing chapter 3 of your life to someone’s chapter 15? Well, it doesn’t quite add up.

Living in an age of social media, it’s almost second nature to measure our lives against those picture-perfect snapshots. But here’s a little secret: those are just highlights. It’s like comparing your daily life to someone’s highlight reel. 

Everyone has their struggles and low days—they just might not post them.

Focus on being the best version of you. Let’s say you’re on a road trip. You wouldn’t spend your time looking at other cars, right? You’d enjoy the journey, the changing landscapes, and the music blasting from your speakers. 

Life’s pretty much the same. Embrace your path, dance to your rhythm, and let others do the same.


What are some examples of self-approving behaviors?

Self-approving behaviors are actions and thought patterns that reinforce a person’s positive self-perception and self-worth.

These can include setting and maintaining personal boundaries, practicing self-care, celebrating one’s achievements, no matter how small, and listening to one’s intuition.

Additionally, standing up for oneself in difficult situations, seeking out activities that bring joy, and expressing feelings honestly and assertively are further examples. These behaviors are marked by a foundation of self-respect and a belief in one’s inherent worth.

Why is self-approval important?

Self-approval serves as a foundation for a person’s overall mental and emotional well-being. It provides a buffer against external criticism, allowing individuals to navigate challenges and setbacks without crumbling under pressure or doubting their self-worth.

When you approve of yourself, you are more resilient, as your self-worth isn’t tied strictly to external achievements or feedback.

Furthermore, people with a strong sense of self-approval often have healthier relationships as they can communicate their needs and boundaries effectively and are less likely to stay in situations that diminish their self-worth.

In essence, self-approval empowers us to lead authentic, fulfilling lives.


  • All photos from Freepik.com

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