Self AcceptanceWelcome to Live Better with your host, Yasmin Shiraz. This week I wanted to share a nugget I gleaned from Oprah’s book, “What I Know For Sure.” For those of you who are connected to me on Goodreads, you now that I have a goal of reading at least 100 books per year. Well, Oprah’s book made it into my reading list this year. Her nugget about dealing with self acceptance is the focus of this week’s podcast. So, here are three questions for you:

1. Do you ever worry about what people say about you?
2. Do you ever adjust your actions because of what people are going to think of you?
3. Do you ever worry that your actions and beliefs will cause you to lose true friends or be resented by family members?
I know those are some heavy questions. But, it was Oprah’s book that really inspired this podcast and sparked some ideas in my mind today. In her book, she mentioned that she used to worry that people would say, Who does she think she is? when she didn’t acquiesce to the requests of others. But, as she matured and learned to accept herself, she stopped worry that people would say, “Who Does She Think She Is?” and began to embrace sending the message: “This Is Who I Am.” So let’s go back to our three questions.

Self Acceptance: The First Step To True Freedom

 I’m going to share my personal experiences in the hope that something I say resonates with you.
Do you ever worry about what people say about you?
Earlier this year I started producing and acting in a web series on YouTube called The Tisha Ariel Nikkole show. It’s a celebrity news show that allows me to showcase my comedic side. I’ve never been a person to share my humor on a large scale so I had a certain amount of fear in pursuing this endeavor. But, I must say, as I thought about producing the show, one of my biggest concerns was, “What will people say about me?” It took months of believing in the concept of the show before I actually started producing it. But, now, I must say, every week that I produce the show, it’s a highlight for me. And, I’ve earned new fans of my work who tweet me and tell me how funny the show is or how talented I am.  So, the lesson for me is: Don’t worry about what people are going to say. They might just say something positive.
Do you ever adjust your actions because of what people are going to think of you?
I’ll share another experience. I’m a long time entrepreneur and content creator. Three years ago, I decided I wanted to work with other people in creating their content and not simply producing my own. Though I was lending my expertise to others as a contractor, it could have been argued that it  was the equivalent of an entrepreneur becoming an employee. I couldn’t worry about what people were going to think or say. I moved forward in consulting with other production companies and have been so enriched by the process. In my case, I learned how entrepreneurial talents can be utilized in a collaborative nature. So, say for example, you want to try your hand at a different job. And, your friends and family tell you that it’s not a good fit for you… What do you do? Once you truly accept yourself, you know that you must do what feels right to you, not necessarily what feels right for other people.
Do you ever worry that your actions and beliefs will cause you to lose true friends or be resented by family members?
In Oprah’s book, What I Know For Sure, she mentioned how a celebrity asked her to donate to a charity and she didn’t feel a real connection to the charity. She didn’t want to donate but was concerned about how the person who asked her would feel about it. Would she lose that person as a friend, colleague, or business associate? You’re probably thinking, ‘Well, its Oprah, she can have as many friends as she wants…” But, that not the point. Perhaps, your parents are pressuring you to do something family related that you don’t want to do, are you worried about falling out of favor. That specific example is something that I face in my personal life. I often feel pressured by my family to do things that I don’t want to do. As I’ve gotten older, I do not acquiesce to what they want. And, I also feel I’ve received the cold shoulder as a result. But, I’d rather have a cold shoulder from a family member than to feel roped in to something that I do not support and don’t want to be bothered with. I’ve learned I’m happier when my heart is fully committed to whatever the goal, event, family occasion, etc. I learned to stop allowing shame, guilt, or fear of banishment to force me into doing things that I don’t want to do.
This was a heavy podcast today. I hope it helped someone out there. I titled this podcast: Self Acceptance: The First Step To True Freedom. And, I believe that is the case. There are so many forces at hand trying to take us away from loving ourselves, seeing ourselves and living a better life. I have found that accepting who you are and not worry about what others say or think about you, will bring you less stress and more happiness. Further, knowing your heart and acting in accordance to those feelings will lead you to the path of freedom.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Live Better with your host, Yasmin Shiraz. If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. If you’d like a specific topic addressed on this podcast, please email me: yshiraz@yasminshiraz.net  To learn more about me, my books, films, and webseries, please visit www.yasminshiraz.net
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Peace.
See you next time.
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