Which takes more time and energy, simple acceptance of “what is” or resistance, staying safe and comfortable, while building barricades and fighting facts?
What is happening in your life and in the life of your group? What are the assets that contribute to your success and the liabilities that keep you from realizing your full potential?
How do you and your group:
- Develop and maintain the social relationships required for success?
- Muster the energy for organizational management, leadership, and teamwork?
- Communicate with each other and those outside your group?
- Organize your tasks and time?
- Set realistic expectations that keep you satisfied with your work outcomes and results?
The Power of Acceptance
To accept is to recognize what is true, genuine, and real. Accept first. Before you acknowledge, act, or react, you must accept what is real: things, events, facts, and people. When you accept “what is” you neither discount nor ignore, you simply notice without judgment. You open yourself to what is present and true in each situation. Acceptance builds trust that leads to greater growth, insight, and understanding. When you accept others, you encourage them to participate fully in the life of your group to work, create, participate, and contribute their best.
Engage, Detach, and Accept
The opposite of acceptance is resistance. You resist what you refuse to accept. Resistance can work against you when you refuse to face uncomfortable truths. Detachment means freedom from bias, prejudice, or judgment. It’s neutral and objective, an open stance. To engage and accept “what is” with detachment is to be an objective observer. You accept people and situations without interpretation or evaluation. You suspend your feelings, prejudices, and judgments. You shift into neutral.
A manager thought that one of the men who reported to her resented working for a woman. She wanted to fire him. She judged his straight face, plodding ways, and lack of lively interaction during meetings with her as signs of disapproval and resentment. When she was able to detach from that judgment and see that he was like that with everyone, not just with her, and that his thoughtful, deliberate approach had helped the team through several difficult situations, she changed her mind. She began to listen and even to consult with him. She accepted him.
Resistance keeps you comfortable, bound within the confines of your opinions, assumptions and biases. Acceptance releases you to explore new truths and different worlds.
Practice Accepting “What Is”
Here is a list of 10 things that you can practice accepting:
- Yourself, others, and situations as they come
- What people say and do, no matter how strongly you disagree with them
- Conflict as a fact of life
- That sometimes you feel jealousy and envy, pride, and anger
- Praise and criticism
- Apologies and forgiveness
- Fear (of flying, failing, succeeding, death, illness, what other people think)
- The weather
- Acts of kindness
Three Steps to Acceptance
Detach from your hot buttons: assumptions that cause you to feel and react in certain ways.
- Shift into neutral: observe each situation with an impartial mind to learn what’s going on.
- Let the story unfold: remember that what others express represents their point of view, no more and no less.
When you accept you give yourself a chance to observe what’s happening, think about what’s happening, and gain clarity that leads to wise choices and what action is called for. Accept first then do what’s best.
Four Skills that Strengthen Acceptance
Here are four skills that strengthen your ability to accept “what is”
- Stress tolerance, to cope with stressful situations
- Reality testing, to be objective, to see things as they really are
- Empathy, to understand and appreciate how others feel
- Self-regard, to respect yourself, feel confident
From Multi-Health Systems EQi 2.0
Accept “what is”. Suspend your judgments and assumptions. Not forever, just long enough to gather complete and accurate information that you can use to focus your energy and resources where they belong to fulfill mission and produce desired results.
Ladder of Inference shows that the data we observe and accept influences our actions.
The “Blind Men and the Elephant” story uses different perspectives to beg the question,” what is true?”
The Serenity Prayer relates to acceptance, change, and trust.