If you’ve been in a situation that you feel shouldn’t be happening and you continue to fight against it, you may have had the experience that things keep getting worse. The harder you try to change it the more stressed and anxious you feel too.
Acceptance is not giving up. It’s simply acknowledging that “yes, this is happening,” and now you can open yourself up to solutions and possibilities. If you think about it energetically, by accepting that it’s happening, you attract solutions and by resisting you push them away because you’re so busy fighting against what’s happening that there’s no room for anything else.
Resistance brings fear, and acceptance brings clarity.
Think about Bill who is working for a company that is laying people off. He could say “this shouldn’t be happening, it’s not fair,” and he could get angry with the company and with management. Every day Bill would feel more and more stress, anxiety and anger. He would carry this with him and it would begin to affect his life at home, and his relationships.
The other alternative is that Bill could acknowledge what’s happening and the fact that he could be next to go. Then he could consider what might be the best course of action – perhaps he could be looking for another job now, before the worst happens. Or he could make the decision that it’s better to stay and see what happens. Even if he chooses to stay, he can still be on the lookout for other opportunities.
What I’ve seen happen time and time again is that someone who takes the approach of acceptance in this way will often find another job opportunity, or things will open up in such a way that leads them to something that’s even better – something they may not have thought of before.
Think of it this way – acceptance gives you energy to do what you need to do and to be in the right frame of mind to attract and notice opportunity.
Resistance, however, takes up all your energy. It depletes you and, as the saying goes: “what you resist persists.”
If you don’t like the word ‘acceptance’ because it feels like giving in, then choose another word, like ‘acknowledge.’ “I acknowledge that this is happening, now what do I want to do about it.” That’s a much more empowering way to be.