For those with conditional self-acceptance failure is a big problem. From a practical standpoint humans will never achieve all their goals. We will error. Sooner or later some other human will outperform our finest efforts and in some goals we will come up short. This pretty much is inevitable regardless of how gifted one is. If we attempt to measure our personal worth on the basis of goal achievement we will feel emotional upset in the form of depression or shame when we fail at our goal or purpose. We also will be anxious before we set out to perform the behavior leading to our goal because our ego is on the line. We may fail and if we do we will then define ourselves as a failure. This is conventional reasoning in our society that is very self-defeating.
If we were to unconditionally accept ourselves our ego would not be on the line as we pursued our personally valued goals and purposes. Failure would be appropriately sad and disappointing but never depressing or shameful. Before we set out to perform we would be focused and concerned on performing well but not feel anxious about performing well or possibly poorly. We would pursue valued goals for healthy reasons as they are personally meaningful and would not pursue goals because they prove we are saintly or better than thou. Our ego would not be on the line.
From a philosophical standpoint the argument for unconditional self-acceptance is unassailable because all standards of judging a person and his worth are arbitrary. There is no universally accepted standard of a person’s worth and therefore anyone who claims greater worth as a person on the basis of possessing some trait, characteristic, or ability to perform a particular behavior is making an error in reasoning. Yes we differ in our skills and abilities. Some are blessed and are in possession of some abilities and skills which are highly valued in this society. However, there is no basis for concluding greater worth as a person simply because people can do some things better than others. We are not our actions pure and simply put.
REBT encourages people to unconditionally accept themselves and others. We are all fallible humans. REBT does not toss out responsibility. We are responsible for what we do so it is prudent to act legally, ethically, and effectively if we want to experience the rewards of such behavior and avoid the punishments associated with acting illegally, unethically, and ineffectively. With that said it is fine to rate what we do, reflect upon it, and attempt to improve those performances. This is how we learn. However, stop the rating game there. More money, a thinner waistline, more wins, fewer losses, greater height, higher SAT scores, a bigger house, larger muscles, and thicker hair all may be good things to strive for due to the pleasure they bring but the achievement or the failure to achieve these things has no impact on your personal worth. None are valid ways of measuring you or others. Each of us are much too complex to rate in total. To side step a great deal of self-inflicted emotional pain think in a sensible way and only rate what you do. Then do what you want. Select your personally meaningful goals and life purposes and use your life to enjoy yourself rather than to prove your worth as a person. In the end I am confident you will be glad you took this unconventional and rational path.