For many years of my life, I was self-critical, easily intimidated, had low self-esteem and low self-worth until I became more enlightened and saw that this self-deprecating behavior was the result of a lower ego in control.
When I connected with my soul, my Light body and my Spirit, I discovered through a change in perception that I approved of myself and that all the things I was critical of in myself were the persona/psyche/ego part of my being complex that are always learning and maturing and are not perfect. I came to accept my mistakes, imperfections, vulnerabilities and insecurities as part of my maturing humanity and looked at myself as a continuing work-in-progress, always learning how to be better.
Please understand that I did not use this new perception to excuse my human flaws. I did not purposefully seek to make mistakes, hurt people or be destructive and negative. I paid attention to my lower ego and when it went astray, I simply parented my ego by reigning it in, forgiving it, blessing it and learning from my mistake never to repeat it again. With this perception, I saw that this is an on-going practice. I must always be aware of my reactiveness and if I do fall into negative behavior, I realize I still have work to do on myself and that is the key: to know that the work on yourself is never finished. One day you will have released yourself from your shadow side and until that day comes, you must be vigilant in parenting your lower ego, not by putting yourself down but by recognizing this is you and it's OK as long as you are not acting with malicious intent toward yourself or others.
I approve of myself. I know I'm not perfect and I accept this as a part of being human and I don't look to attack myself when I am weak and behave badly because I know that it was a moment of weakness and I will look to not repeating it. In that weak moment, I forgive myself and move forward.