Acceptance is the Key to Moving Forward

I was reading a magazine when I came across one of Andy Warhol’s philosophies and this has inspired this week’s mantra.

“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say “So what. “That’s one of my favorite things to say “So what.”

It begs the question of what acceptance means to you. Becoming an accepting person can be a difficult task, but as you adopt this value of acceptance and start putting it into practice it slowly becomes part of you. I am not advocating living in a passive state of acceptance all the time, rather becoming aware that there are certain things you can change and certain things you can’t.

The first step towards change is always awareness. The second step is acceptance. The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you. This includes accepting that we all have uncomfortable thoughts and emotions from time to time. It’s the chemistry and wiring of our brains, but it’s what we do with these thoughts that dictate the outcomes, choices and decisions we make on a daily basis.

Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap suggests three simple and helpful steps to accepting uncomfortable and painful thoughts, feelings and emotions:

  1. Notice the thought, feeling or emotion with openness and curiosity.
  2. Name it in non -judgmental language, perhaps with just one word
  3. Allow it- this means making space for it even if you don’t want it or don’t approve of it.

Even though I have quoted the serenity prayer before it is the perfect mantra for acceptance:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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