With self-acceptance, you can be happy. Accept what you’re capable of achieving. You don’t need everything you desire now.
“The new iPhone 13 is now in stores. Life would be a drag without it!”
“I have to find me a date for the prom. All my friends are going so I can’t miss it for the world.”
“Definitely, I NEED to get my class ring. I would be a big nobody without it!”
Do these statements sound typical? They are examples of voices that flow through the heads of teenagers every day. Adolescents often have high expectations of themselves. They know what they want and will do just about anything to get it.
The motto of the average teenager: “Do it or die!” You may believe that if you don’t get what you’re after today, you never will. That is one big fat lie!
Yes, I was a teenager back in the early 80s and I used to think that way myself. Though we didn’t have half the gizmos we have today, there were still many things I wanted. I was really into rock music so I wanted a component stereo system and hundreds of record albums. Also, I wanted to go to the prom and get a class ring, but because I was unable to find a job where I lived, I couldn’t afford to have any of these things.
Still, I kept on trying to get the things I wanted. This made me hot-tempered and selfish. I would demand people buy things for me because I had no money. Like the mean guy who pushes his way through a heavy crowd just to get to his destination sooner, I would behave the same way. And it was like, I didn’t care who got hurt. That’s just an analogy.
Well, that was over 40 years ago and I realize that I never really needed these things as much as I thought I had then. I wish someone would have taught me self-acceptance.
Don’t Make High Demands of Yourself
Stop setting high expectations for yourself! I’m not saying that you’re incapable of achieving these things because I don’t know you personally. However, you must realize that things don’t always go as you plan them and you’re bound to encounter difficulties along the way. Things are going to happen that you can’t control.
For example, you may lose your job, incur expensive car repairs, or need to care for a sick parent, and the possibilities are endless.
As a teen, you are growing from a child into an adult. There are still a lot of things you have yet to experience. Obtaining anything you want is not quite as easy as it seems. You’re bound to encounter obstacles as you attempt to achieve your goals.
And before you can expect to succeed, you’ll have to pay the price. The final “price tag” for your newfound achievement will be so high, it will shock you.
Never envy your peers. Life isn’t easy for them either. They don’t always walk into a store, plop their money down on the counter, and waltz out with their brand-new thing-ama-jig. Granted, they must work hard for whatever they acquire.
Consider How Your Parents Live
I heard teens talk like they need to drive expensive high-class cars. However, they never gave any thought to how they would pay for that Mercedes Benz or Lamborgini. And with teen auto insurance being so high, how can they afford it?
But in reality, their parents don’t own a luxury car. Why do these teens feel they must?
Now, look at the lives of your parents. Consider the house they live in? Think about the kind of cars they drive? What do they do for a living? How many possessions do they own? Would you be satisfied just owning everything they have and nothing more? Could you picture yourself living in their shoes?
If you say no to the last two questions, it’s time to learn self-acceptance..
It’s likely that most of the things they own are aging and maybe obsolete. This may be their furniture, TV, appliances, stereo equipment, etc. Maybe they just own the basics and nothing fancy. Do they seem to be content with what they have? Would they ever talk about buying new things?
Even if they seem content with everything they own, more likely they’re not. Still, they make do with what they have because it meets their needs.
Furthermore, do your parents rant and rave about owning the latest things? Most likely not! They lived through years of hard work and struggles. It’s not that they don’t want new things, but know they can’t afford them. They certainly don’t want to rack up more debt than necessary. Hence, as long as what they have works, why replace it?
So, do you think your parents’ lifestyle is inferior to yours? Don’t! You must accept their standards as a realistic blueprint of how your life will be when you reach their age group.
You Can’t Do What You Can’t Do
Right now you’re going through many changes in your life: emotional, physical, social, and mental. Seemingly, your emotions are in the lead playing tug-a-war with your well-being. It’s like your head is exploding with a sudden influx of wants and needs.
Still, you face many limitations and obstacles. And if you’re fortunate enough to have a job, you can work only so many hours as you must attend school. Because you lack the skills and experience to land a high-paying job, you must manage on a part-time income. Auto insurance for you is high because you are still a new driver. So now, you must devote time to homework and help your parents out around the house.
Taking all these things into account, you must realize you can’t have everything you want. So, if you have lofty dreams, they’ll have to wait until you find the means to make them come true.
Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to your peers. So, some of your friends drive new cars and you’re stuck with a 20-year-old beater. Maybe they come from well-to-do families who can afford them, but you don’t. Perhaps, they were lucky enough to have relatives that gave them good-paying jobs. Then there’s that possibility they’re lying and these cars really belong to their parents.
Nobody can have everything they want! This rule of reality applies to all age groups. Adults fall into hard times, lose jobs, and face various other obstacles. They then have no choice but to swallow their pride and make do with what they own.
So for now, you can’t do what you can’t do. That doesn’t make you inferior or a worthless individual by any means. There are millions of teens that are in the same boat you’re in. In fact, some teens come from impoverished households while others are homeless. Thus, you’ll have to learn to accept your life as it is and find some means of entertainment you can afford.
Hear Your Parents Out
You must not forget that your parents were adolescents too. They went through many of the same things you’re going through. So rather than argue with or ignore them, hear what they have to say and try to understand why they’re saying what they’re saying.
Above all things, remember, nobody in this world cares more for you than your parents do. Your parents will stand by you through thick and thin. They want to see you live a long healthy life beyond your fifties.
On the other hand, your friends, sweetheart, or other casual acquaintances never give your well-being in the future a single thought. While these people are only temporary, your mother and father will be with you until death do their part.
So, if your parents strongly forbid you from participating in certain activities, try to understand why. They’re not out to ruin your fun, they care about your safety.
Peers will tell you about times they got drunk or stoned and everything went OK. But, if you think nothing tragic can happen to you, think again! A countless number of teens have been killed in drunken driving crashes over the last six decades and I can bet you that none of them thought it would happen to them.
In Conclusion: Self-Acceptance Is Key
My advice to you is to get through high school the best you can. Your first priority should be studying hard and getting the best grades you can get. Adult life can wait until after you graduate.
Also, remember that every venture you take is a learning experience as most of the things you do, you’re doing for the first time. You’ll make mistakes when going through with your plans, and you may stumble, but you can always get back up and try again.
Making mistakes is normal and inevitable, but you’ll learn from them. The only bad mistake you can make is the one you don’t learn from.
And never think that if you can’t have something now, you’ll probably never have it. Opportunities to do things like travel or meet someone new may pass you by due to circumstances beyond your control. Even though unforeseen events occur, you may not be able to do what you want now, but you’ll find many opportunities to do them again.
One final note, your adolescent years are only a temporary phase in your life. So you went to the prom, bought a class ring, and purchased a yearbook each year. You have something to feel proud about. Or maybe you couldn’t do any of these things. Maybe you regret that.
Will that matter later in life? Most likely not. Once you become an adult, you’ll have so many other things on your mind that your high school years will be nothing but history. After all, high school is only whatever you want to make of it. I never went to the prom or got a class ring, but do I care now? Absolutely not.
And once you’ve been an adult for so many years, high school is nothing but memories. Your friends live far away, your sweetheart is another man’s wife, that cool car you remember having is long gone, and your former employers are now out of business.
Still, life goes on. Nothing from your adolescence has any effect on your life today. And for all those things you still want to do, you can still do them now.
Have you found this article helpful? Do you now accept yourself as you are? Feel free to leave a comment if you wish.