How to set your 2018 on fire: Part 5 of 18
5: In 2018 I will (sometimes) accept the unacceptable
There are absolutely times to stand up and fight the unacceptable. To reassert boundaries and say “You know what, that’s not okay for me.” To muster courage for a scary conversation or make a big, brave leap and leave a situation that is not serving you or safe for you. There are absolutely times where something is not acceptable and we need to change it. Much of my work is helping people to stand up and be counted in their own lives and to make those choices and changes with confidence and clarity. There are times to fight, to dig deep and make a radical change to the unacceptable, head on.
Conversely, there are times where the brave choice is not fighting but acceptance of the unacceptable. Occasionally the stuckness we feel is because we are permanently wrestling with the unacceptable, that it “should” be another way, but it simply cannot be. The energy that goes into resisting reality can be incredible. The thing is, if you are resisting the present with all your might, you have very little capacity for building the future.
Stop the struggle, I say. Gaining clarity in which unacceptable situations are ones you can change or leave, and which ones you have no option other than to accept for what they are, is key to releasing feeling stuck or trapped. If you cannot change it or leave it, you need to accept it. You have a fact, not a problem. A problem has a solution (might be hard but it’s there). A fact is what it is. And so if you are going to have to accept it, sooner is often far better than later.
If you have a situation that is unacceptable (e.g. your partner has left and is absolutely not returning; your company is being forced into receivership; you have been made redundant; your sister is a drug addict; you had plans drawn up for your dream house but you can no longer afford to build it; there has been a change in management with sweeping policy changes, etc) do you put your energy into fighting the unacceptable tooth and nail, or into creating something new? You only have so much capacity. Do you throw it forwards or do you stay stuck with it in the present?
Refusing to either change or accept the unacceptable creates stuckness. If you want to feel free, sometimes the only way out is to accept the unacceptable. That doesn’t mean admitting the current situation is satisfactory in any way, it means accepting it as a reality. It means agreeing it’s a fact and moving on. The key question is where do you want to keep emotionally investing — in an outcome you can’t change or building a new one with whatever you have left at your disposal?
Do you have a situation in your life that is wholly unacceptable to you but that you are tolerating, wrestling with or feeling stuck about? Clear the path in 2018, and stop struggling with it. Either step up and make the necessary big, brave choice to improve it or leave it, or, if those options are not open, acknowledge you have an unpalatable fact. Accept it. Accept the unacceptable. Set yourself free with as much grace as you can muster. And move on with what you still have to create a better 2018.
More columns in this series
- See How to set your 2018 on fire: Part 1
- Part 2: I will face forward
- Part 3: In 2018 my body will move my mind
- Part 4: In 2018 I will speak up, not eat up
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing