Many clients ask: What does it mean to be in Acceptance in order to change? Isn’t change only desirable if you “won’t accept” something?
While it may be true that your desire to change something comes from understanding you don’t want a current result, but in order to change it, you must work through acceptance first for a number of reasons I will explain below.
I think many people confuse Acceptance with giving up, so let me explain…
Acceptance means you acknowledge that something exists, that is it happening, or that it is. It has occurred in the universe.
It means acknowledging something exists without resistance, so that you can determine how you will respond to it. If you are in an “unaccepting” place regarding a circumstance or result, then you won’t be able to do much about it since you are not acknowledging that it is even there!
How can you work on changing anything you don’t really think it is there to change?
You Are Here
Let’s say, for example, a client does not want to “accept” her body weight because she doesn’t like her weight or the fact that her doctor told her she needs to lose 30 lbs for health reasons. She may be basking in judgment, denial, fear of change, blaming her circumstances for creating her weight, looking for evidence that he is wrong, denying there is a health problem, etc. She won’t be able to steer her response or results to a new place without first accepting the facts and acknowledging this is where she is at and making decisions from there. Without acceptance, she will just be spinning in her stories. Spinning in stories will not create change.
It’s like having a map in front of you but you don’t have the “You Are Here” button to know where exactly you are! Or you don’t even care about the map, you just want to throw it away.
But if she comes to acceptance, then she can actually figure out where she is and choose from many more options, see where she would like to go, and start making steps to get there. Acceptance is like having that “You Are Here” button available.
Steps Toward Change
The steps toward change always starts with Acceptance.
- Take Responsibility
- Live Deliberately
Once you get to acceptance, then the next step is taking responsibility for your life, your behavior, and where you want to go. Taking responsibility means dropping ALL blame, excuses, or resentment toward yourself or circumstances (including other people) that may be going on and taking FULL reins over your own life.
Then you get to start living deliberately, meaning you are the one in charge of your experiences and results. You are making deliberate choices about how you want to think, feel, and act, which will create the results of your life!
Get Curious, Drop the Judgement
But an important characteristic through this WHOLE process is never to be in judgement and always choose curiosity. If you are judging yourself or others, first of all, it does not feel good. It depletes your energy and drains the fuel you need to empower yourself to make changes.
Secondly, judgement always closes you down. You will not be as open to the world or to possibility if you live in judgement. It’s harder to make decisions, more difficult to change, and impossible to persevere if you are always beating yourself up or even judging everyone around you. You close down the learning and understanding on what is working and what is not working in your life.
If judgement is a pattern you experience, then just know that these thoughts are simply sentences in your brain that you have learned over time. You can witness them without indulging in them. Shift your focus toward being curious.
One way to do this is to look at what is going on as if you are the “watcher” of the story. Separate true facts from stories, witness how you or others respond to the facts, and then from a place of love, decide how you want to be regardless of anyone else’s opinion or behavior.
The process of acceptance, taking responsibility, and living deliberately with self-love is a journey worth pursuing.
If you need help, consider hiring a life coach to guide you through this!
Send me an email to find out more about coaching!