Questions & Answers

About the Foundation Self-Acceptance

How did the Foundation for Self-Acceptance begun?
The Foundation itself was founded in 2006 by Robert A. Bolwerk. As expert, Bolwerk realized what the added value would be if more publicity and information would be present with regard to the phenomenon of Self-Acceptance. Also his situation led to trouble, he wanted to be different, looking different just to meet an ideal picture. The confirmation of experts that many thousands of people struggle with their Self-Acceptance and the actual situation that there was almost no information available on the subject, triggered him to change this. Up to that time the word “Self-Acceptance” had no status, no entry and no official meaning. In October 2006 Bolwerk visited the Bike Motion Benelux Trade fair in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht with two good friends. During lunch the subject spontaneously became the topic of conversation. It was that time that he expresses his ideas. Encouraged by his wife and friends, Bolwerk decided that evening to execute his ideas. It was chosen to be the front-office and all social activities should be carried out under a legal entity of a foundation. The digital directions Self-Acceptance was launched in 2006.
How does the Foundation Self-Acceptance gather its information?
The Foundation has a large network of knowledgeable people, working among other things in the spiritual and social care and business. It also uses information made available from public sources. As expert, the founder and President of the foundation has much knowledge and experience.
Has the Foundation members?
No, the Foundation has no members. The Foundation makes use of volunteers to realize its objectives.
What is the registered place of business of the Foundation Self-Acceptance?
The registered location is Ede, in the province of Gelderland (country: Netherlands).

Point of views and methods

Lead the efforts of the Foundation to results?
Sure. The word “Self-Acceptance” has been acknowledged by both the Van Dale and the Institute for Lexicology. The Foundation’s website is visited by many thousands of visitors each year. The brochure “visibility” has been developed and realized as well as the information film “the art of Self-Acceptance”. In 2015 the international symbol Self-Acceptance has been launched.
How does the Foundation obtain income?
The Foundation obtains income from donations, business gifts and grants. The Foundation receives no structural public subsidy. Therefor it depends on private donations and business gifts. A gift to the Foundation Self-Acceptance, big or small, will contribute to achieve the objectives of the Foundation Self-Acceptance.
Is a donation/gift to the Foundation tax deductible?
The Foundation Self-Acceptance is considered ‘Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling’ (ANBI) as per January 1, 2008 by the Dutch tax authority. This means that donations to the Foundation Self-Acceptance are income or corporation tax deductible.
What is the position of the Foundation on plastic surgery?
Answering this requires some care and nuance. Of course everyone is free to use plastic surgery. The Foundation recognizes that certain situations desire plastic surgery and may have added value. For a correct assessment of a situation it is important to know which motivation and motives lead to decision making. Strive for the “ideal image” to meet social expectations and or standards is not a correct approach nor starting point. Shortcomings will always be there and continue. It can always be “better”, “different” or “prettier”. The solely use of plastic surgery will never increase the acceptance process of the shortcomings. Accepting the “less” good qualities and/or characteristics forms the basis to learn to deal with them. The self-confidence will increase. A solid foundation is laid to function properly. With reference to the letter of the Ministry of health: cosmetic procedures (both surgically and non-surgically such as injections of fillers) can cause considerable damage. By poor and unsafe products, inept treating physicians and the risks that can occur with a surgery.
Does the Foundation also gives training and/or therapies?
No, the Foundation does not give training nor therapies. The Foundation acts as a front-office, a digital guide which provide information on Self-Acceptance and the various possibilities to realize full Self-Acceptance. The website has links to additional foundations, associations and/or companies which make a positive contribution to the promotion of Self-Acceptance.

Related topics

What role has Self-Acceptance on our mental health?
The World Health Organization defines mental health in a positive way: ‘ a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community (WHO, 2005, p. 2) In the subsequent explanation of this definition distinguishes the WHO three components: 1) well-being, 2) the effective functioning of the individual in the sense of self-realization and 3) the effective functioning in society. The definition of the WHO refers to self-realization as a second important component of mental health. Professor Carol Ryff, American psychologist, finally found six criteria that are essential in the general effort to realize your own potential (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Singer, 1998). The fifth dimension concerns Self-Acceptance: positive attitude towards yourself; recognition and acceptance of different sides of oneself including positive and negative characteristics; positive feeling about the past and the course of one’s life.
Can you achieve full self-development without Self-Acceptance?
No, without Self-Acceptance a human being shall not realize full self-development. With reference to the question above and the role that Self-Acceptance has in the effective functioning of the individual in the sense of self-realization and also approaches based on the needs pyramid (5 levels) of A. Maslow, each person runs through a certain pattern of needs in his life. According to A. Maslow, American clinical psychologist, self-development is the fifth and final level. According to this theory, a human being strives to satisfy needs that are placed higher in the hierarchy after the lower placed needs are fulfilled. When a staircase is missing or drops, a human being will comply this need before he or she can increase further. It is important to work on strengthening the basic trust because a lot of people are stuck at the level of the security needs, making them uncertain and many suffer from fears. Having Self-Acceptance is of fundamental importance. Self-Acceptance is a basis for a human being to function and to feel good.
What is the relationship between Self-Acceptance, bullying and discrimination?
Bullying and discrimination in our society, as we know, is serious business. It can cause “unrecoverable” personal damage. The consequence; major psychological problems and violent feelings of inferiority at many people which eventually can lead to committing suicide more frequently. Bullying and discrimination are focused on shortcomings of “less good” characteristics and qualities. It finds its origin in the urge of profiling yourself at the expense of others. A human being who’s satisfied with themselves and is feeling very well has no need to bully others nor to discriminate others for self-profiling. The impact of bullying and discrimination is less big if you accept your less good characteristics and/or qualities. Who has Self-Acceptance, is satisfied with itself. The person is more empowered against what other people think or say about him/her. Feelings of inferiority are limited and have little grasp to the person.
What relationship has Self-Acceptance with anxiety and perfectionism?
An individualistic society which have to be fulfilled with an ideal image that focuses on physical characteristics. Then you will not fail but meet the required expectations. It is important what others think and find about you. We want to fit in and not be rejected. Anxiety, fear of failure. To fall short or not to meet certain expectations set by yourself or others. Examples are: fear of failure in sports performance, cognitive performance (homework, test, driving test, or a final exam) or social activities (speech, giving a lecture). Their appearance, social behaviour or sexual performance can lead to anxiety at adults as well. Negative experiences or failures can increase the risk of anxiety. Anxiety has a crippling effect on your performance. Anxiety leads to perfectionist behaviour. Everything is being done to prevent failure. The bar should be set as high as possible. Who scores a 9 or a 10 knows that other people’s reactions will be positive. The compliment is the desired response. We receive no criticism. People who suffer from perfectionism often set unattainable high standards for themselves and others. In many cases caused by uncertainty. A perfectionist may also be ashamed when he cannot meet his own expectations and tries to hide it. It can lead to social isolation, under performance or even a depression. Whoever finds himself not so successful, is doubting their own qualities. The self-confidence is inadequate, and he or she will try to compensate this with perfectionist behaviour. The human being who has Self-Acceptance, finds it less important what others people find or think of him. Own characteristics and qualities are accepted, errors are human and may be made. The human being is less sensitive for criticism. The bar of performance can be laid at a level where a healthy balance is present.
What relationship has Self-Acceptance to feelings of inferiority and self-esteem?
We give everything a name linked to a definition. We paste a label/sticker, we categorize it and we give it a value judgement. In short: something is good, sufficient or bad. However, as a human being we are all equivalent to each other. The characteristics and properties differ. At Self-Acceptance the human remains intact and it is important that the individual characteristics and qualities are accepted. Self-esteem implies that we can ‘ upgrade ‘ or ‘ downgrade ‘ ourselves. We constantly have to keep track on whether we are still worthwhile. It is disastrous for our well-being and functioning when we ‘downgrade’ ourselves to worthless. We feel inferior. The person who has ‘ upgraded ‘ itself and has built up ‘ self-esteem ‘ is in an unstable position. The danger of write-down is a continuous threat. A valid question is: are assigned value judgements correct, who or what has determined them? We do not became more or less human being, right? The person who realizes self-acceptance, accepts his/her characteristics and qualities and has no inferiority feelings. Self-esteem is not an issue.
What is the difference between Self-Acceptance and self-appreciation?
Definition of the word acceptance: adopt, accept, acts and circumstances as inevitable. Definition of the word appreciation: to appreciate it, determining value. With Self-Acceptance the person remains intact and is it important to accept their personal and individual characteristics and qualities. It is, after all, the characteristics and qualities that differ from each other. Self-appreciation implies that we can ‘ upgrade ‘ or ‘ downgrade ‘ ourselves. We constantly have to keep track on whether we are still worthwhile. It is disastrous for our well-being and functioning when we ‘downgrade’ ourselves to worthless. We feel inferior. The person who has ‘ upgraded ‘ itself and has built up ‘ self-esteem ‘ is in an unstable position. The danger of write-down is a continuous threat. A valid question is: are assigned value judgements correct, who or what has determined them? We do not became more or less human being, right?
Can people with Self-Acceptance easier lose their excess weight and lose weight?
Yes. Overweight brand, makes that people have less self-confidence they are more often bullied. The questions aside whether someone is over weighted or not, and how overweight arise and is obesity unhealthy and must be countered. How do you approach overweight in a world in which a significant part or even a majority of people is too thick. As something bad, that should be avoided or if okay situation that people are all different. A matter of conflicting values. On the one hand we must accept ourselves, on the other hand we see ourselves preferably not too thick. We must look according to a certain ideal image. Both messages pass conflicts. Promotion of self-acceptance is most important. It makes no sense to compare yourself with someone with a very different body construction. They are all different. Discontent and not accepting the personal properties and/or characteristics creates a situation of out of balance. Resulting in the development of eating disorders. People who have Self-Acceptance function and feel good. The fight against overweight will be better and easier to be overcome.

Other questions

What does the symbol means?
The symbol has been inspired by the painting “Self-Acceptance in society” from the educational film of the Foundation Self-Acceptance and visualizes the phenomenon Self-Acceptance. Self-Acceptance is the basis for a human being to function and to feel good. The different colours in the artwork expresses the relationship that Self-Acceptance has on each person. Self-Acceptance refers to each individual. We are all different to each other and therefor unique. The large figure has Self-Acceptance. It stands upright, is confident and balanced. The small figures with arms up however, have no Self-Acceptance. They call for help, have no solid foundation. They are not balanced and are uncertain.
What do we ask from businesses?

The Foundation asks businesses to take responsibility to further develop positive contributions. Companies have different ways to deal with people’s health. The impact of companies and organizations on the health of people is increasing and calls for more active policy of companies. Companies need health more central. They are after all the working people who makes a different in your company business. The Self-Acceptance foundation ask companies to have more attention for the phenomenon of Self-Acceptance. It’s is important that the topic gets more attention. This can be done to provide support employees and encourage in their process to come to full Self-Acceptance. Create a more enjoyable work environment where people dare to be themselves and where equality, integrity, trust and transparency are central. Coaching leadership is an important step in supporting people in their process to Self-Acceptance. Conversations in the environment of dialogue work constructive. Result: less absenteeism and higher labour productivity.

What does the Board members earn?
The Foundation Self-Acceptance is a non-profit foundation. Board members do not receive any financial reward for their work.
How many people are employed (both permanent and temporary) by the Foundation Self-Acceptance?
The Foundation has no employees. The Foundation only uses volunteers to realize its objectives.
Where can I find information for my speech or paper?
Information about Self-Acceptance for speeches or papers can be found on this website, in particular the brochure, information film and the strip are very useful.