Use Acceptance as a Jumping Stone

In all change programs, from one-to-one to workshops and to all kinds of personal development courses/seminars, there usually is a step which seems much straightforward conceptually, but is usually the hardest to apply when it comes to the real world context. This step is called Acceptance.

It is usually hard as most people have problems accepting

  • Life Experiences
  • People they deal with
  • Themselves

The first happens especially when the situation is abrupt, negative, or unexpected. It also happens in rare positive cases. The second happens at all levels of closeness and in all relationship types, especially when the other does something that creates negative emotions. The final one very frequently happens when you come into deep awareness of yourself of some sort. You come across a big hurdle that you yourself have created—accepting who you are, your core being.

As children, most of us have been brought up with messages of rejection rather than acceptance. From the time we were born, because of our necessary adaptation to a larger society, sometimes we needed to behave, think, and feel differently from how we desired. Our parents, who felt responsible for our actions during our developmental period, had to put limitations on us so that we could be adaptable citizens. Therefore, it was easy to learn to reject rather than accept who we are so we could function effectively in this world. This might seem to be a very well-known fact, as it goes without saying, but I can’t tell you how much block this creates in the way of life re-creation. It becomes nearly impossible to discover who we really are.

As a second step, acceptance may not be so easy because of our past issues and the way we are used to seeing ourselves. It requires changing the perspective such as from complaining to really observing, from being problem-oriented to solution-oriented, and from feeling like a victim to feeling like a creator. No matter how hard it might be, it requires accepting others with their faults or mistakes, and also accepting ourselves, all of who we are.

But we all should not be misled by thinking that acceptance is about tolerating the problems or enduring pains. Truly, acceptance is about our own experience so that we are able to move on to the next level.

Acceptance is usually the missing ingredient in our change and transformation process.

Now, what do you find hardest to accept?