Being told to accept things as they are can be a confusing notion. After all, why should you? It is entirely up to you how you react to something, right?
But hear me out. As “unacceptable” as some things may appear to be, when you learn to practice acceptance in difficult situations, you are actually working toward your own well being.
What am I talking about? Well, it’s quite simple really.
Life tends to work in mysterious ways, which can make enjoying the present moment pretty challenging at times.
One day, you are the happiest person alive, and the next, negative thoughts overwhelm you and your peace of mind vanishes without a trace.
This is precisely why learning to cope with negative situations is crucial.
The power of acceptance allows you to recognize a particular situation for what it is and helps you truly understand someone else’s point of view.
Bad things will happen and your current situation can be compromised in the blink of an eye.
So how do you cope with the way things are without losing your sanity?
Here’s your foolproof guide to preserving your inner peace in the face of the most negative situations.
The Power Of Acceptance & 8 Steps To Achieving It
Acknowledge what you’re dealing with
The first step toward inner peace is learning to recognize what it is that you are dealing with and its actual gravity.
A great number of people I know are constantly shocked by the situations they find themselves in.
They’ll be like: “Oh my God, how can this be happening?!” or “I don’t understand why this is happening to me!”
And that is a result of not being willing to face what is in front of them.
We all get so caught up in our heads that we foolishly believe something is manageable, when in fact, it’s the opposite.
And then, when an unfortunate situation presents itself, we are caught by surprise, gasping in disbelief instead of being prepared for different possible outcomes.
People have a tendency to create a bubble of self-delusion and distance themselves from reality by believing that something “simply needs to work out”.
But seldom does it work that way. Life has other plans and that bubble is burst before you get a chance to enjoy the illusion.
This is where you need to step up and see things for what they truly are.
You cannot allow yourself to be presented with facts and foolishly negate them because they don’t fit your preferred idea.
If you are given a red purse and you keep claiming it’s blue, it’s not going to change color – no matter how deeply you want it to.
There is no point in being shocked and caught off-guard by something by refusing to acknowledge it for what it is.
You’re in this situation whether you like it or not.
You have two options. Recognize its importance and gravity or keep pretending it isn’t so.
You can spend two and a half years deluding yourself or you can face the music.
Try to channel your negative emotions into finding something positive about it.
Like Buddha said: “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”
So dig deep within yourself and try to figure out why you’re having such a hard time with non-acceptance.
Are you merely holding onto lost hope and is it time to accept reality and move on?
Empathize with yourself throughout the process
It’s perfectly okay if you don’t see the point in acceptance at first. It can be daunting and difficult to imagine.
So don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it challenging.
It’s not a crime to find it hard to make peace with something you’re not happy about.
And you are perfectly entitled to feel however you feel during this particular situation.
But by learning to accept things as they are, you are granting yourself the ability to open your mind to things you never believed you’d find okay.
You are going to go through an array of emotions and stages before you’re able to fully embrace them. But that’s okay.
It’s not a marathon. It’s a journey that’s going to be challenging to say the least.
Allow yourself to breathe and take a step back every once in a while.
You are going to have an occasional freak-out (we all do) and you’re going to struggle at times, depending on the situation.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up and criticize yourself for not being okay with certain things.
Life gets messy and we all get stuck, but that should never stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Here’s what I do whenever I’m in a difficult situation that is preventing me from being as happy as I know I deserve to be.
I visualize myself on a sunny, warm island. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I’m lounging on the beach, sipping my Martini.
There’s a mild breeze and an overwhelming sense of calm.
And nothing can go wrong here. I’m in paradise, completely at peace with myself and my surroundings.
And this is what helps me stay focused on the task at hand during hard times.
I know that one day, this is going to be my reality. Maybe not today, or even in the coming year.
But one day I am going to be sipping that Martini, rid of all worries, knowing everything is okay.
And do you know what? It will be. Whatever you’re going through, visualize your happy place, and concentrate on what awaits you.
I promise it’ll help you cope.
Don’t take things personally (you’re not a victim of life’s cruel circumstances)
Let’s be honest here. We’ve all (at one point or another) had this annoying feeling like we’re constantly being targeted by life.
Bad things keep piling on and it’s as if someone has it in for you. But I’m sorry to let you know you’re just dealing with some bad luck. That’s all.
Last year was probably one of the worst years of my life.
I had one problem after another, from losing a loved one to work issues, to having to move three times. It utterly sucked.
But I didn’t let it get to me. I knew that life had dealt me a lousy hand and I had no choice but to accept it and learn to cope.
Did I like it? Absolutely not. But did I think that the world had conspired against me? Again – no.
So whatever you’re going through and whoever is causing you disarray, just know that most of the time it truly isn’t personal.
When people treat you poorly in any capacity, it’s merely a reflection of how they’re feeling inside.
Remember that. Real life can definitely suck sometimes.
But the only way to self-improvement is through recognizing that you need to accept things as they are.
Not because it’s good for you and not because you have to like it.
But because if you don’t, you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder. This too shall pass.
Life doesn’t have it in for you and you haven’t been put on this earth to suffer eternally.
You’re just experiencing a particularly lousy period that is preventing you from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
But there is a light, scout’s honor! Just hold on a little while longer and start practicing the power of acceptance.
Just because you accept it doesn’t mean you have to like it
Okay, here’s what most people get wrong about this. Accepting things as they are doesn’t mean you have to like it in any way, shape, or form.
Don’t let anyone delude you into thinking that just because you’re trying to be okay with something, you’re suddenly a fan of it.
Acceptance doesn’t have anything to do with your preferences. You are merely accepting a situation exactly the way it is.
You’re not trying to change it because you know it’s futile.
And that’s a sign of maturity and progression.
Sure, in an ideal world, everything would be exactly to your liking and you wouldn’t have to struggle with accepting negative situations.
But we don’t live in an ideal world. Things don’t always go to plan, and sometimes, you’ll have to compromise.
And the best way to enjoy the present moment is to make peace with things you cannot change.
How many times have you denied yourself happiness because you were dwelling on something you wished were different?
And what good did it bring you?
I think I already know the answer. So from now on, instead of dwelling, start accepting.
You don’t have to like it in the least. But you do have to accept it for your own well being. The only way forward is through.
So save your mind from unnecessary overthinking, accept things as they are, and live the life you love.
Some things are simply beyond your control and that’s okay.
See acceptance as a form of self-control
The way things currently are doesn’t have to be ideal. And I bet that it isn’t.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t accept it even though you cannot affect it? Quite the contrary.
You see… we all should fight for what we want and believe in. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?
Finding the thing that sets your soul on fire and persevering until you achieve it?
But sometimes, you’ll hit a bump or two. Sometimes, it’ll be manageable, and other times, the obstacles will be insurmountable.
And in those very moments, you get to decide how it will all unfold.
Will you keep chasing something that is proving to be elusive (to say the least) or will you throw in the towel?
In my experience, it’s always best to know when it’s time to cut your losses and move on. You can’t win them all.
And when you learn to be truly at peace with that, you’re going to achieve a level of self-control that not many possess.
That will help you go through life with more peace and tranquility.
Situations won’t always be desirable, but when you cannot affect the outcome, it’s best to just accept things as they are and move on to something better.
And yes, it’s possible to find the peace within by acknowledging that some things just cannot be changed. This is how:
• By distancing yourself from the situation once you realize it’s out of your hands. A healthy separation will help you heal.
• Understanding that you shouldn’t punish yourself for something you had zero control over.
• By allowing things to unfold the way you know they should regardless of your personal preferences.
• Letting go of your toxic habit to react instinctively. It’s always preferable to count to 10 before making any judgments.
• By finally knowing not to expect anything positive out of a negative experience. Some things aren’t meant to go your way.
• Choosing to remain calm amidst it all. You are the one who decides how you let it affect you. Choose wisely.
• By not agreeing with it but at the same time not being against it. Simply let it be the way that it is.
This way, you are learning the power of self-control that will help you live peacefully.
Not letting your negative emotions control the way your life turns out is the key.
Acceptance can yield unexpected yet positive surprises
Have you ever considered what could happen should you choose to stop fighting something you cannot affect?
I know it may seem silly, but there are many hidden blessings even in the most challenging situations.
And when you stop fighting it and start accepting it, you’ll see what I mean.
You might actually learn a thing or two about how something in particular works or better yet, improve your own abilities that will allow you to react appropriately.
I’m sure you’ve heard the inspiring saying: “Every cloud has a silver lining”. And it truly does!
Here’s my personal example that I feel fits perfectly here. A few years ago, I broke up with my then-fiance.
Needless to say – it was bad.
At the time, it was truly a devastating period that I couldn’t imagine yielding any positivity.
And for a while, it didn’t. I was lonely, sad, depressed, and hopeless.
I had just lost the love of my life, the one person I whole-heartedly expected to grow old next to.
What was I supposed to do now? How was I ever going to meet someone who’d understand me so deeply?
But just like in the movies, I met someone when I least expected it.
I was still reeling from the break-up, completely unfit to be with anyone at that point in time.
But as life would have it, he pursued me until I agreed to go on a date, and boy, am I glad I did.
This guy was everything I never thought I needed and more.
He helped me dig myself out of my bottomless pit, patiently waiting for me to get to a place where I could reciprocate his feelings.
And just like that, one of the worst experiences in my life brought me the best person I’ve ever known.
Things will seem dark for a while. Then one day, you’ll start seeing a glimmer of light.
You will realize that whatever happened had to happen in order to bring you something better.
This may not always be the case.
But doesn’t the mere fact that it is an actual possibility make the current situation at least a bit more manageable?
Flaws and weaknesses are a part of everyone’s nature
Here’s a scenario. You’re walking down the street, minding your own business, and you see a dog with its owner approaching you.
You think to yourself: “Oh what a sweet doggo, I have to pet it!” which you do with a smile on your face the minute they pass you by.
But instead of the cuddle that you expected in return, the dog bites your fingers (just barely), barks, and crawls back between its owner’s legs.
Now, clearly, the dog did not want to be pet (as is his right).
But in this situation, you don’t go off on the sweet furry creature, because you get it.
You understand that you probably should’ve asked if it was okay beforehand.
So you say that you’re sorry and give the dog a reassuring look, feeling really badly about assuming it would be okay with unsolicited attention.
See where I’m going with this? People are oddly similar to dogs in this particular sense.
You know that it’s in a dog’s nature to react (by barking or biting) if it feels threatened in any way.
But it only causes you distress or annoys you if you refuse to accept it as a normal (and quite expected) part of their behavior.
In this scenario, you can fully accept things as they are.
Apply this to your relationship with humans in your everyday life and watch the way things suddenly start improving.
Let’s face it. Accepting that people are all flawed is much easier than constantly being flabbergasted by their actions.
You can easily achieve this by merely observing those in your midst to figure out their nature.
Once you do, it’ll become increasingly easier to accept them as they are and stop wasting time on being annoyed and mad.
And the same goes for circumstances.
Depending on the particular situation you’re in, you learn to embrace things that you cannot control quite quickly.
You know what can be expected, therefore, you don’t allow yourself to lose sleep over it. Why?
Because you’ve trained yourself to see it coming, which makes life that much easier.
Whenever you’re in doubt remember that this too shall pass.
“Pain is your friend; it is your ally. Pain reminds you to finish the job and get the hell home. Pain tells you when you have been seriously wounded. And you know what the best thing about pain is? It tells you you’re not dead yet!” – G.I Jane
Think about it. You have survived every heartache, every insurmountable hurdle, and all the challenges life has put you through.
Every single time you thought that you couldn’t pick yourself up, you did.
Every time you were sure that life would never be the same, you proved yourself wrong.
Every time someone broke your heart and you felt like the world had stopped, you were able to move on. What does that tell you?
You’re a survivor. You go through hard times and you don’t let them chip away at your hope.
You hold your head high and manage to crack a smile even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
You know that procrastination leads nowhere good. You know that feeling sorry for yourself is counterproductive to your well-being.
And every single time you feel like life has defeated you, you prove it wrong. Doesn’t that make you feel strong and badass?
All the pain you feel is temporary. However lost you feel right now, it’s going to be okay within weeks.
It might be hard to accept it now, but your whole life you’ve been proving this to be a fact.
And now, for your own peace of mind, pick yourself up, remind yourself that there isn’t a challenge you cannot overcome and move forward.
One day, you’ll be laughing about this. Scout’s honor.
10 Ways Your Life Will Start Changing For The Better
In life, there are so many things that are beyond your control.
People leave, unfortunate things happen all the time, and you encounter obstacles that sometimes feel bigger than you can handle.
But when you learn to accept things as they are with the help of the aforementioned steps, this is how it’ll change your life.
You will start believing in yourself more
If we’re being honest, the only person in your way is none other than you. You choose how you let things affect you.
So when you train your mind to accept things and embrace the uncomfortable facts, you’ll start having more faith in yourself.
You’ll see that you are capable of taking on problems of all magnitudes and live your life peacefully, regardless of them.
And all of this will make enjoying the present moment so much easier.
You will train your mind to react to things from a rational perspective
We are all guilty of reacting passionately instead of rationally sometimes. That’s just in our nature.
But how much easier would your life be if you found a way to react in a way that doesn’t relieve you of your peace of mind?
By going through the steps above, this can become your reality. This is your ticket to a no-stress life (with occasional exceptions) and fairly smooth sailing.
Give it a shot and see how good things can be for a change. Not being fazed by things is the dream, and it’s well within your reach.
You’ll finally replace that fake smile with a genuine one
Sometimes it feels like we have to force ourselves to be happy every day, doesn’t it?
For work, for our parents, for our friends going through their own thing…
But it becomes really tiring. At some point, you just want to be genuinely happy. And this is your way of getting there. Accept things you cannot change.
Make peace with circumstances beyond your control and live the life you want to live.
Once you do, you’ll notice that fake smile disappearing and a real one forming.
Moving on will stop feeling like an impossible task
And isn’t that kind of the entire goal here? Moving on unaffected?
You’ve probably fooled yourself that you were okay more than once. But this mantra will help you actually be okay and move on.
You’ll realize that you should’ve done this a long time ago…
But you’ll be okay with the fact that you didn’t! You will understand that this is your moment and the timing couldn’t have been better.
Now you’re much stronger and more resilient, therefore, you’re able to accept it all and let it go just like that.
You’ll start oozing confidence
And people will notice it too. You’ll be much more confident in yourself and it will show.
There will be a new sense of pride within you that won’t go unnoticed.
That’s what usually happens once people get to this point.
Unimportant things stop mattering, the big things don’t seem so big anymore, and the notion to enjoy the little things is no longer lost on you.
You’ll start being more goal-oriented
Your brand new perspective will greatly help you with that.
Your motivation will be on par. Your goals will finally start seeming closer and your attitude will thrive.
You’ll understand that life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but that doesn’t mean you should lose your cool.
The power of acceptance will lead you through life and you’ll be motivated to do things you used to fear. The sky will be your limit.
You’ll be as close to healthy living as ever
The occasional drink you used to have after a draining day won’t seem so alluring anymore.
The fast-food that was your comfort will be replaced with a healthier diet.
You’ll start making small (but important) changes to your life that’ll jump-start a path to healthy living.
Be it cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy food….you won’t find it so hard saying no anymore.
Your brand new outlook on life will completely shift your life.
You’ll find yourself sleeping better
Stress is known to affect our life and our ability to sleep at night.
And if you used to have trouble sleeping, don’t be surprised if it all starts changing.
Sleepless nights will be replaced with a night of full rest. And do you know why? Because you won’t go to bed anxiety-ridden.
There won’t be a million issues rummaging through your mind.
You’ll know what deserves your attention and when to accept things as they are. And life will be peachy again.
And you will be much better equipped to help a loved one in need
And is there anything better than knowing that you were able to help someone you love?
People around you go through their own stuff, but your anxiety often prevents you from truly noticing.
So once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, your eyes will be more open to this.
The way you’ve managed to change your life will help you make a change in someone else’s.
And once you do, it’ll be ten times more gratifying than anything before.
Changing your own life is important enough.
But once this encourages others to make necessary adjustments in their own lives, it’s on a whole other level.
There is always a way to turn things around. You just have to be willing to open your mind and see it.
“If you’re feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning. The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton