Acceptance sounds easy, but in reality it’s quite difficult.
Acceptance is an important part of transforming your limiting beliefs and self-defeating prophecies, and I’ll talk about it a little in my webinar on April 22nd. Before we can transform our beliefs, we have to be able to be honest and accepting about “what is.”
Grin & Bear It. Bloom Where You Are Planted. When Life Knocks You To Your Knees, You’re in the Right Position to Pray. It Is What It Is. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade.
At a deeper level, however, acceptance only comes with clarity and honesty.
When I encourage clients to accept some reality, I don’t mean to just make the best of a bad situation. I mean be honest about what is real and what can be done about it.
I like to use the example of weight because most of us struggle with weight – not that we need to, but that we choose to.
Currently, I weigh about 160 pounds. When I got married over 10 years ago, I weighed about 140 pounds. I know about gaining weight, and losing it, because last year at this time I was only 150 pounds.
Here’s what is real, what is factual. My clothes fit me better, and I’m happier with my body, when I weigh 150 pounds. However, I weigh 160 pounds. I have two choices. I could decide to lose 10 pounds through diet and exercise. In that case, I would need to make some small lifestyle changes and be consistent with them for about three months. OR I could decide to accept my weight at 160 pounds and focus my energy elsewhere. How do I make that decision?
Let’s go back in time a little. In January, I weighed 160 pounds, and I was going to do something about it. I had a plan in place to implement some gentle exercise. I had made my decision: to lose 10 pounds by April. And then I tripped and fell on my desk and bruised a rib.
My reality shifted.
Have you ever bruised or broken a rib? It HURTS! I realized that the shift in my reality made workouts, even gentle ones, impossible. I needed to rest and heal. So I chose to accept my weight for a few more months.
It was tempting to think that I should stick to my goal and try to lose weight. After all, I’m not a quitter! Besides, I “should” be able to tolerate gentle exercise. BUT: I have a toddler who likes to cuddle and be picked up. I have a commitment to cook 4 meals a week for family dinner. When I thought through my commitments, it was clear what I wanted to use my limited energy on: my family. Playing with my daughter and cooking dinner was all my injured body would allow. If I had tried to include exercise, I would’ve prolonged my healing time, and played less with my daughter. Whenever I looked at my body and felt discouraged about my weight, I reminded myself that I had chosen my family over my appearance for my season of healing. (My weight loss is entirely for appearance reasons, not health).
THIS is the key to truly accepting reality, even when that reality is not at all what you want or enjoy.
If you are, great, then go ahead and change it! (And if you want help, check out my Weekly Accountability program). If you aren’t, then embrace where you are investing your time and energy. And give yourself a deadline for when you will revisit the issue.