More contentment through self-acceptance or does that reduce the motivation?

Accepting oneself as the key to happiness and personal development

Does self-acceptance reduce motivation?


Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we truly are. And we stimulate personal development this way.

More contentment through self-acceptance


Psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire conducted 2014 a survey. 5,000 people were asked to rate themselves on the 10 habits identified in a study as keys to happiness.




10 keys to a happier life


As the 10 keys to a happier life are named in the Study (external Link).

Giving: Doing something for other people
Relating: Connecting with others
Exercising: Moving the body and taking good care of it
Awareness: Living consciously
Trying out: Trying and learning new things
Direction: Setting appealing goals
Resilience: Getting on your feet with inner strength
Emotions: Figure out what’s good for you
Acceptance: Accepting oneself
Meaning: Being part of something larger

Together, the ten keys of happiness result in the acronym GREAT DREAM.




What’s missing? Self-acceptance!


The most interesting result of the study: The participants’ self-assessment was largely positive. The only habit that many people failed on was self-acceptance. Almost half of the participants rated themselves on a 10-point scale with 5 or less.






In our culture, there is enormous pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes dissatisfaction and fear. It is intended to motivate us to perform better.




How can we learn from that insight?


Many people consider discontentment to be the most important motivator. My observation: We are happier when we learn to accept ourselves as we are. The fear of losing motivation through self-acceptance is not only unjustified, but the opposite is true. Self-acceptance also makes it easier for us to evolve naturally.

The insecurity and pressure resulting from comparisons and lack of self-acceptance hinder personal development. Exactly the opposite is achieved through pressure. Positively formulated: practicing self-acceptance removes obstacles so that personal development is easier to achieve. It is worth paying attention to self-acceptance.




Practicing self-acceptance


It is important to treat ourselves as benevolently as we treat other people. This also includes considering one’s own mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Those who tend to be overly critical of themselves should practice recognizing and appreciating their strengths.

To be at peace with yourself, it helps to take time to get to know and like yourself.

If you constantly compare yourself with other people, it is easy to underestimate your possibilities and characteristics. Each one of us is unique. However, what we take for granted, we easily overlook and underestimate.

Just ask me personally


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What are your thoughts on the subject? What is your attitude towards yourself and self-acceptance?


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Future: That time when our business is doing well, our friends are loyal and our happiness is secured. Ambrose Bierce

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 29, 2020
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 29, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:

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