What happens when you accept yourself

Places in Europe
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We live in a world of self loathing. We admire others, see the best of their life through an instagram feed, and frown upon our own lives for being less perfect, less picturesque, less admirable.

We are prone to comparison, competition, and dare I even say it, we are riddled with jealousy.

It’s an ugly trait. But we’ve all felt it at some point.

We begin to see ourselves as less perfect, less successful, just less. But instead of being not enough of something, we forget that we are too human, too real, too raw.

We’re judging our tracksuit and ice cream out of the tub couch day with someone else’s red carpet moment.

But there comes a day in our lives where we learn self acceptance, we look in the mirror and smile instead of cringe, we stop coating our face with make up, we dance in front of the mirror, we sing in the shower with pride, we skip down the street without fear of what others think. This is what happens when you accept yourself.

For me, that happened today.


Solo travel has been my outlet to finding myself and my place in the world, despite never considering myself ‘lost’.

Why is self acceptance so important?

When we accept ourselves and love ourselves fully, only then can we truly love another and be loved in return.

What happens when you accept yourself?

I wish I could offer a glamorised story of how I was walking through the woods solo and this sense of ‘knowing’ just came over me and it was a fairy tale moment (like the display photo of this post suggests).

I was actually just sitting in my hotel room in Dublin eating my dinner and drinking my pepsi max. I hadn’t put my room key in the power socket so I was sitting in silence with only daylight in the room – it was all very non-romantic-like. I was thinking about the week that had proceeded this moment… I had been road tripping around Ireland for the previous 5 days, prior to that in Spain for 5 days, and prior to that had been on a press trip with the Australian media team in South Africa for 12 days. It was a great trip and I had a really great time, but by the time it was over I found myself looking forward to some time alone again – to my surprise I was missing my independence.

Then it all just kind of hit me – I have learned to stand on my own two feet (entirely), I have learned to understand myself, to appreciate my talents, to love myself for exactly who I am, who I have become, and who I am evolving into. That’s one very happy little lady in case you’re wondering.

For some time before this moment (trouble teen years) I was unsure of myself, I wore too much make-up, I didn’t always like what I saw in the mirror, I cared too much what people thought of me, I was completely and utterly unimpressed by myself, no matter what I achieved in my life.

Sitting there (all unromantically, eating my supermarket dinner and drinking my bubbly soft drink), it all just kind of made sense for once. I’m an overly analytical person by nature, and all of a sudden my thoughts aligned (probably for the first time in my life) and I felt peace with myself, I had learned to accept myself – flaws and all.

I guess it’s been coming for a while without me realising it – I wear much less make-up now than I used to, I don’t do my hair very often (hence why I’m always wearing hats), I don’t care if my outfit is a complete mismatch of ‘I woke up like this’, I generally just don’t value the exterior as much as the interior when it comes to my self.

I instead pour all my energies into living life to the fullest, loving every minute of it, and with the sole purpose of inspiring others to do the same. I’ve learned the value of success is different for everyone, and for me, I find happiness in travelling the world full time and in doing so, encouraging readers from all around the world to travel more often. I believe in being educated beyond education – learning what they don’t teach you in school from your own experiences.

At 22 years old I've learned to embrace myself in my natural state - I have pale skin, freckles, and my eyes are brighter in natural light.

At 22 years old I’ve learned to embrace myself in my natural state – I have pale skin, freckles, and my eyes are brighter in natural light.

How to learn to accept yourself

There’s nothing wrong with you.

Think of it in relation to everything else you know and how our human brain works. I prefer dessert, you might prefer savory meals. I prefer to walk, you might prefer to take the bus. I like movies better than books. We all have preferences. Okay, so you’re not six foot tall with hair down to your ass that is silky smooth like a pantene PRO V advertisement. Guess what? That’s not everyone’s idea of beauty. That’s not everyone else’s preference. You don’t like working out and starving yourself to the point where you question the point in life if you don’t get a piece of chocolate in your body before you collapse? That’s okay, but forget the rock hard abs. Again, you don’t have to have them anyway. Personally I like ice cream too much to ever have a ripped six pack… but I take my hat off to anyone with the willpower and dedication to achieve one. You aren’t as smart as your friend who’s flying through university with scores that would rival Einstein? That’s too bad – but you’ve probably got a much livelier social life and you’re also likely to have less signs of stress and age. You don’t have a tan that resembles a Brazilian super model? Me neither. In fact, I morph into a lobster after a day sun bathing… so I don’t do it. But I do love the odd coat of fake tan to give the illusion of sunkissed skin. Your eyebrows don’t rival Cara Delevigne? The chances of that happening are slim anyway – quit while you’re ahead.

It just doesn’t get much simpler than realising there is nothing wrong with you.

We are all different. Embrace your quirks. They make you who you are.

Realise your imperfections. Now let them go. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

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    December 1, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Self-acceptance is so important and plays a great deal in your happiness. A great post and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing, Brooke!

    Raza from

    November 29, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you SO much Brooke for this post and for all the others! You are SUCH an inspiration considering your young age and you should be proud of what you do, your guts and the message you send to us.

    I am an argentinian that has been living in Oslo for almost 2 years now, came for love and stayed for myself after the first one not working out. And even though the stories are different, I feel I can relate a LOT to your way of thinking. I have a full time job in Oslo but I still see traveling as one of my major ways of happiness, liberation and self-growth.

    Keep on with this amazing work and your inspirational writing 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      November 30, 2014 at 3:19 am

      Thank you so much for such a kind comment 🙂 really made my day!

    August 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Just by reading the post, you actually feel like LoViNg Yourself again. 🙂

    July 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Your writing is so beautiful! Comparison really does steal our joy, especially comparing our ugly moments to other peoples red carpet ones. You are so wise and you’re only 22! Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed reading 🙂

    June 13, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Dear Brooke,
    This post touched the very core of me. I love how brave you are to have the courage to follow your heart and work so bloody hard to make your dream a reality. I’ve read so many comments on IG about how lucky you are – I don’t believe it’s about luck but rather creating the reality that we want to live and exist in. Once we are truly in the flow, what we seek starts to seek us and our dreams are manifested and realised beyond what even we could dream. Travel has opened up a totally new world for me and I still definitely have my training wheels on but once you start you are forever changed and for the better. Keep up the wonderful, inspirational work you are doing beautiful girl I can only begin to wonder (no pun intended!

    • worldofwanderlust
      June 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you SO MUCH for this lovely comment, you have made my day 🙂

    Joao Sa
    May 31, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I completely agree with everything you just said ! “When we accept ourselves and love ourselves fully, only then can we truly love another and be loved in return.” That itself does it. You are such an inspiration for me as a travel blogger. Thank you !

    May 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Like another commenter, I wandered onto your site via bloglovin and have really enjoyed reading this.

    This post pretty much sums up a lot of things I’ve been thinking about lately. We are all different, flawed human beings and I feel like we should embrace ourselves for who we are instead of focusing on the things we happen to like least and obsessing about them. Life is too short to be uncomfortable with who you are.


    May 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Fantastic post Brooke! I love that you promote self acceptance and express how grateful you are for everything you’ve achieved. I think gratefulness is the most important thing you can learn in life, and once you learn that you can get through anything.

    Yuliya xx

    May 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Brooke, thank you so much for writing this beautiful, inspirational post. You are absolutely right, I wish I was more self-accepting and less self-loathing. Hopefully I will reach that moment soon… When I get to travel like you do! (I wish!)
    Oh by the way, Brooke, if it makes you even happier, I think you are one of the most stunning people ever! Like a Victoria’s Secret model! ;)x
    Take care xx

    • worldofwanderlust
      May 28, 2014 at 12:38 am

      Awww thank you so much Mariam! SUCH a lovely comment to read 🙂 you are too kind xoxo

    May 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Brooke, thank you so much for writing this beautiful, inspirational post. You are absolutely right, I wish I was more self-accepting and less self-loathing. Hopefully I will reach that moment soon… When I get to travel like you do! (I wish!)
    By the way, Brooke, if it makes you even happier, I think you are one of the prettiest people ever! Even prettier than a Victoria’s Secret model! 😉
    Take care xx

    May 26, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Everyones journey to self acceptance is long, bumpy and probably full of tears but I think in the end we all get there. There is something quite refreshing about letting go of what others think and just being. When I realised that I didn’t care about others people, in the sense of how they looked, what they wore and all that, then it dawn on me that probably no one thought the same about me. Although it took me a lot longer to turn the situation around and years of being unhappy and uncomfortable in myself to do so. I’m glad I stuck it out and I did it.

    I think my moment involved a lot more ice cream and few more “well fuck you all” ‘s 🙂

    May 26, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Thank you so much for this inspiring post! It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about the last weeks. Your words made me feel good 🙂

    May 25, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It’s helped me a lot 🙂

    May 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

    thumbs up.

    May 25, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Loved this! Sometimes you just need to be reminded about accepting yourself, that’s so important! You left me with a smile 🙂

    May 25, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Love this! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us and leaving my here wit a good feeling and a smile on my lips 🙂

    May 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Wonderful post! At 22 years old, you are where I am at 37. And I consider myself lucky because some people will NEVER reach this level of self acceptance.

    I just started following you a few months ago. Loving your adventures. I also love to travel and finally have the freedom to do it. I’m adding destinations to my list every time you land somewhere new. 🙂 Cheers!

    • worldofwanderlust
      May 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      I’m so glad to have reached this stage – age is of course not a factor! So long as we get to this point, then we can truly be happy! 🙂

      Thanks Mylene!

    May 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Oh! Found you from bloglovin’ and have to leave a comment, because I liked your post so much. Such a inspiring post. Thank you. 🙂

    May 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

    This is simply beautiful! I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about all of these things you wrote about. We tend to focus on things in the past or in the far future, instead of enjoying the moment. I’m trying to get to know myself more, in order to decide what is it that makes me complete and happy and reading this post, made me one step closer! Thank you!