Radical Self-Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Abdicating Responsibility

Karen Ann Bulluck resting on the grass in a tan leather jacket with fall leaves around.

Share This Post

Radical Self-Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Abdicating Responsibility

(Part two of the Daring to Transcend™ January Theme: “Acceptance”)

In last week’s blog, I talked about the importance of total self-acceptance. (Read it here if you missed it.)

Self-acceptance means loving and valuing yourself exactly as you are in this moment. It’s a pathway to self-love and a pathway to truly thriving in a way that’s meaningful to you!

Self-acceptance means being happy with who you are, what you look like, and everything about yourself as it is now.

What it doesn’t mean is abdicating responsibility for who you are.

  • It doesn’t mean accepting bad behavior from yourself or anyone else.
  • It doesn’t mean self-indulgence to the point of damaging your health or well-being.
  • It doesn’t mean self-absorbed arrogance that you are perfect and superior to every other human being.

But, as women leaders, we’re often afraid of those things, aren’t we?

We’re afraid that we’ll turn into monsters if we allow ourselves to love ourselves. Because that’s what we’ve been taught.

Well, many of us anyway. We’re taught that we need to be nice. We’re taught that we need to put other people’s needs first – all the time. We’re taught that we must look a certain way to be popular, act a certain way to be accepted, and keep the peace if we’re going to be successful.

Other people often tell us we’re not good enough to be loved or valued or even treated well.

So, we learn not to accept ourselves.

Total self-acceptance doesn’t mean being blind to our imperfections, it means loving them.

This is what complete self-acceptance means:

  • It means valuing yourself enough to make good choices for your health and well-being.
  • It means taking care of yourself by setting strong and appropriate boundaries.
  • It means saying “no” to destructive things and people.
  • It means letting ourselves dream about what we truly want in life and then supporting ourselves in making those dreams a reality.
  • It means treating ourselves like we would treat a treasured child or pet.

Do you do that last one?

Last week, I introduced step one in the self-acceptance process: Looking at yourself in the mirror and loving who you see. Stopping all the negative self-talk.

Step two is to treat that person in the mirror as if you truly loved her.

Nurture her. Be kind to her. Encourage her. Support her. Give her what she needs to thrive.

And you know what? She probably doesn’t need some of the things you’ve been giving her, and she probably does need things you haven’t been doing for her.

Make a list!

What do you need to be healthy, happy, and thriving?

Pick one thing on the list and start doing it. Next week, add another. Before you know it, you’ll truly be your own best friend!


If all of this seems daunting and you don’t know what you truly need to thrive, that’s what I’m here for. I’m Karen Ann Bulluck, and I have a six-week Clarity Intensive to help you Explore What Matters and create a plan to get those things into your life. Go to https://daringtotranscend.com/services for more information or send me a message from https://daringtotranscend.com/contact.

More To Explore

Woman walking in a park between trees. The leaves are gold and the ground is covered with leaves too.

Mastering Emotions Is NOT a Matter of Willpower

As leaders, especially women leaders, we’re usually taught to mask our negative emotions and be positive, upbeat, and energetic. After all, we’re setting an example for our teams and colleagues.

But what if you don’t FEEL positive and upbeat?

We’re supposed to power through, use our willpower to paste that smile on our face and maintain that “can do” attitude, right? How does that work for you?