People rob themselves of inner peace by focusing on perceived flaws instead of their good qualities. We compare ourselves to those who are prettier, thinner, stronger, and smarter. Then we allow idealism to dictate what we think beauty is. Countless young ladies have compared their reflections to the photoshopped covers of magazines, not realizing that the woman who posed for that photo cannot even compete with the edited photograph.
It isn’t your flaws that cause self-condemnation. It is allowing your self-identity to be shaped by others, your past, and unrealistic expectations. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Practical Ways to Find Inner Peace
Inner Peace through Self Acceptance
The first step towards finding inner peace is self-acceptance. The average person finds acceptance through the opinions of others. This is a recipe for failure. The truth is, people, accept those who are confident in themselves. However, it does not work the other way around. Depending on others for affirmation rarely produces self-acceptance. It merely makes us dependent on words of affirmation, which then causes us to conform to the expectations of others. When someone has peace within, their self-acceptance exudes their self-confidence to those around them.
A speaker once called a woman on stage and handed her a leaf. “Is this leaf perfect? If not, tell me why.” he said.
The woman examined the leaf and explained it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfectly symmetrical, one side was fuller. She went on to point out several minor defects in the leaf. The speaker then asked, “Who decided a leaf should be perfectly symmetrical and who decided these things were defects?”
She didn’t have an answer. It was her expectations that were flawed, not the leaf. We do the same things with others, and even more so with ourselves. Are your flaws truly defects? Or is the real flaw in the unrealistic expectations you are placing upon yourself? You shouldn’t be looking at yourself to find defects. It’s your good qualities you are looking for.
Once you accept and believe in yourself, you will find that inner peace, and others will be more accepting of those you. This won’t happen until you stop looking for mistakes and start looking for value.
Surround yourself with quality friends. A friend will never tear you down. Toxic relationships rob you of inner peace, and if someone cannot accept you as you are, then they are not a true friend. Friendship does not demand – it gives. True friendship looks for the good in others and takes pleasure in giving to the friendship. Love is a limited commodity when we demand it, but it is an unlimited resource when we give it.
Quality friends contribute to your inner peace by showing acceptance and giving you the freedom to be genuine. Pretentiousness is a thief of inner peace. A critical friend is not giving, but robbing you of happiness. It may be necessary to break free from relationships that are draining your confidence. Your identity is not dependent on who likes you. A life in confident rest produces the charisma that draws true friends.
Learn how to Forgive
Few things will steal the joy of life more than bitterness. It is a poison that kills happiness and inner peace. The biggest mistake people make is believing that forgiveness releases the other person from the wrong they have done. This is not the case, forgiveness actually releases you. You can never have complete inner peace while anger simmers in your heart.
Bitterness and anger is the glue that binds us to wrongs and prolongs the damage. Forgiveness breaks that bond and sets us free. Many people go through life with a balled fist from a hurt caused by a loved one. Because of the anger and feelings of betrayal, the wronged person puts up a wall of protection that robs all future relationships. Yet the only way to experience love is to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a risk, but the rewards are worth it. Don’t be the person with a shell around your heart. Forgive and let inner peace draw you back into living again.
Focus on the Right Things in Your Life
It is important to focus on the right things. Stop looking at your flaws! Let me repeat this. Don’t focus on what you perceive as a flaw. Look at the qualities you have been given, and let these be strengths that make you shine. Not everyone is born to look like a supermodel. Not everyone is born with extraordinary intelligence. Also, not everyone is born with your qualities. Stop envying others, learn to be at peace with yourself, and then let others envy your qualities.
Sometimes we need a little help staying focused. A life coach may be a good option for you to support you to find inner peace. These are people who are looking for your good, and can provide ideas and plans to guide you into a positive way of thinking, staying focused, and learning how to uncover your qualities that put you at peace with yourself. Everyone needs a boost at times. A good life coach can formulate a winning strategy for you, and teach you how to apply it.
To get your inner peace back on track, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.