For those of you who have attended my workshops, I am sure you have heard me talk about one of the biggest obstacles we face when trying to change. The obstacle that I am referring to, which gets in the way is when we “slip up” or revert back to an old behavior we often feel very angry and frustrated and so we give up trying to change. This however, is really just one side of the coin, and for right now I want to focus on another very important aspect of change and that is ACCEPTANCE. I know what you are thinking, what does acceptance have to do with changing?
I will tell you that I did not realize the importance of acceptance until I experienced it first hand in my own life. I thought if I accepted the situation then I would not be able to change it. And so, that is what I felt on an emotional level and therefore perpetuated in my life, while my logical mind and the coach in me, believed otherwise. It was in fact my emotions, which were fighting my reality and as long as I continued to fight my reality nothing changed. You see, we often get so driven and busy in order to escape our present day circumstances in an effort to achieve our goals, that we expend a lot of energy fighting “what is” present in our lives. From working with many clients, I know they are eager to change some aspect of their life, but at the same time they have not fully understood or accepted what is happening for them right in the moment. When you try to fight off what is currently happening in order to make it go away you actually bring more energy to it instead. And it is precisely this resistant energy that keeps you stuck. What this challenging situation really needs is to be fully heard, experienced and ACCEPTED. Once this occurs, one can liken it to a pressure valve that finally gets released. Your energy that was tied into the situation shifts and transforms allowing it to move through you rather than remaining stuck.
Now, I am not saying this process occurs overnight or easily for that matter. However, I do know a few things that will help facilitate the process, so begin by practicing the following techniques:
- Acknowledge the feelings and allow yourself to feel them. It is okay to be uncomfortable with the feelings and sit with them until they subside.
- Talk about your feelings and the situation, also shout them out or cry them out.
- Write about the situation and how you feel.
- Visualize yourself accepting the situation and then see yourself moving along on your journey to your next level of accomplishment.
- Move your body – any physical movement helps to shift your energy.
- Get physical touch in the form of massage, acupressure, reflexology, etc.
Remember, change is inevitable so loosen up your grip and allow it to happen.