Part 3 | Strengths and Self-Acceptance

SelfAcceptanceLifeEDITApril 8, 2016


5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action

Thinking about self-acceptance and experiencing a greater amount of it doesn’t need to be a mushy-gushy process. It’s mostly a conversation that we have with ourselves about our self-limiting beliefs and how to overcome them.

After all, we cannot address a challenge, obstacle, or limit until we acknowledge it, name it, and accept that it’s there. So, we overcome our self-limits with self-acceptance. Once we’ve accepted a thing, we can consciously do something about it.

Just as there is a language for our strengths, there is a language of self-acceptance. It can sound a few ways—mainly, it uses words and ideas framed around the principles of: patience, teachability, humility, and courage.

Taking a look in the mirror and loving ourselves enough to be honest and pro-active requires each of these. Acceptance means being patient as we grow and evolve; being willing to be taught new ways of thinking and acting; having humility enough to see where our lives need work; and having the courage to do something about it.

Putting these ideas into action begins when we ask ourselves in moments of frustration and joy, “Am I being patient, teachable, humble, and courageous?” Like so many lasting changes, they start with a question and evolve into an action. Dive in, fine-tune along the way. Right? 

Three Questions

What would my ten-year-old self tell me are my best qualities today?

What would my ninety-year-old self tell me are my best qualities today?

What is my favorite song of all time and why? 

An Action

Desired Result: Relieve Boredom

Concrete Action: Play a Private Game of Six Degrees of Separation

Ever notice how one thought connects to the next and then the next and the next until we are somehow thinking about something totally random? It’s like, we start thinking about a specific memory or idea and all of a sudden tons of these other memories and ideas start coming to the surface. Best part is that you can play a game with this process, and you can do this pretty much anytime and anywhere you find yourself feeling bored. It goes like this: Set the timer on your phone for three minutes, write down a word, any word, and conjure an image of it in your mind and hold it there. Start your timer and then relax your mind, let it run free. Don’t try to control where your thinking goes, don’t “grab” any thoughts as they float by, just let your mind wander. When your timer goes off, check in with your brain and locate the dominant thought. That is, where did your mind wind up after the three minutes? Write it down next to your original word. Are they the same? Similar? Juxtaposed? Chances are, your mind started in one place and wound up a thousand miles away…in just three minutes.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen


4 thoughts on “Part 3 | Strengths and Self-Acceptance

  1. Self acceptance is so crucial for our well-being and progress in life. And what an interesting exercise for three minutes, I bet the thoughts would be so completely different to each other. Another excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miriam! I’ve been connecting with a lot of folks lately in your neck of the woods. I love the energy that so many of you seem to create there. The enthusiasm and clarity of the folks I am beginning to connect with is beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

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