First, be proud of every attempt you make to become a better you. Remember, no matter how successful you become, you will never be satisfied if you are not able to accept who you are and where you come from. Do not be ashamed!

I came from a single parent home, a world of very humble beginnings. In wanting to do better and be successful. I was able to achieve many of my dreams. Later I began to forget who I was and where I came from. Money became important, and so were the friends that came with it. Things looked great and everyone wanted to be around me. At least I told myself that. Soon after, nothing I did had a good taste. Moving forward, I found no passion in anything I did. Then I began losing the little bit of me I had left. I held on to every compliment and ego booster I could get. At the end of the day I was still empty and craving more than I had.

Success is not a bad thing, but make sure you are able to accept who you are before and after you have achieved success. If you do not accept who you are during the process of gaining success, you will have to pay a high price later.

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life's challenges vigorously. Don't numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” -- Jon Kabat-Zinn

Welcome self-acceptance into your life; it is an eternal and priceless gift. Self-acceptance can’t be solved with shopping or plastic surgeries. It would not be solved with meaningless love acts, and it will not be solved with denial. The expensive dress you purchased and the trophies you won will not give you the acceptance you need.

Always remember that no one is made perfect. But if you accept who and what you are, you will feel perfect.

The following exercise is geared toward helping you accept the gift that was given to you. Look in the mirror while you read the following:

- I have the power to change my behavior without changing myself.
- Making mistakes does not make me stupid.
- What I see in the mirror is a gift that was given to me.
- I can love who I am without proving myself to everyone.
- I may do and say the wrong things, but acting badly does not make me a bad person.

Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. While your eyes are closed, think about your everyday life. How do you feel when you are alone? How do you feel when you are around others? Define the real you.

Do this for two to three minutes. When you are done, add a list of things you want others to notice about you.

Copyright © by Sandra Graves, 2008.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Sandra I. Graves, pronounce as g-r-a-v-i-s-s. I am bilingual, born in the Republic of Panama and move to the United States of America at the age of 15. Today I live in the United States of America with my three loves: two children Emmanuel and Saashah, and my husband Sedat.

In my life I have experienced great success and losses; during the process I have always held God deep in my heart. I have survived due to my faith in God, while learning from my mistakes and the mistakes others have made. I am a strong believer in staying positive and constant growth. Music and poetry has always brought joy and comfort to my life.

Today my passion is motivating women, by sharing my experiences and returning the generosity God has shown me.