What was your first experience with true self acceptance? Do you know what that feels like? Not when someone else accepts you for all that you are and all that you are not, but when you actually do it for yourself. What impact would this have had on your confidence and ability to overcome what we all dread, the limiting imposter syndrome, believing that you are less than what other people see? I remember my first experience with self-acceptance and what it looked like and felt like, and this came up for me over the Thanksgiving holiday, as I'm surrounded by family. And as we all know, it's sometimes hard to accept things about you that didn't feel like they fit in with your family. But this teacher that I had back in high school was very special. Her name was Mrs. Cadman. She was my high school psychology teacher, and she was literally one of my angels as an awkward student, going through some pretty chaotic times.
I remember going to her class before and after her school sometimes to talk through some challenges I was having, she helped me feel okay with myself and to productively process, some pretty painful and shame inducing things. I don't know about you, but I think we all have some of those high school. She was the closest thing to a therapist and why I've come to experience through some really good friends as well. I remember as I was graduating and we were saying goodbye, she said something to me that I never forgot, but I was very appreciative of. And it was a defining moment and understanding the power of self-acceptance for me. She told me that she wasn't good at keeping in touch, but that I was very special to her. And it was like a daughter and she was grateful for our time together. She said it was such self acceptance for who she was and such great self-awareness that I may not have liked it.
And yet an understanding that it was really true for her because she was so honest and accepting of herself, it made it easier for me as well. And she was kind enough towards me to tell me the truth. She was at peace and because she was so was I, and I never processed it personally when I would write her a letter and I wouldn't get a response because I knew she wanted to hear from me, but she just wasn't good at keeping in touch. I was so grateful for our time together and grateful for everything that she taught me about self acceptance. And it was one of my first very memorable experiences outside of a few family members of unselfish empathy. Now I wish I had internalized her message right then. Instead it took a while to integrate that. And to really embody that when I finally internalized it had such a positive impact in being able to accept things about myself that aren't mainstream or conventional, we all look a certain way.
We all try to fit in a certain way. And yet there's parts of our personality that we keep hidden and understand that they are truly unconventional. So when we accept ourselves, we're able to show some of these parts of ourselves and let each of us be seen without judgment. When we accept ourselves and each other true connection is actually possible. And this creates such great results on teams and families and friendships and partnerships. What have you worked on accepting about yourself that you're ready to allow people to see it may be unconventional or who has been one of your greatest teachers in this area around self acceptance. Share with someone who needs a little bit more self acceptance in their life right now. And we hope you enjoyed the holidays.