Our future is influenced by factors we can’t control – Fighting that causes pain. Accepting the things we cannot change doesn’t mean we stop trying to reach our goals…it means GAINING the power to go in the best direction available.
WHY IT’S BETTER to Let Go of the myth of control:
When change happens we judge it; we decide whether it is good or bad.
If we’ve determined that WE alone are the creators of that change & we don’t like it, the ONLY one we can blame is ourselves.
This is both an unfair & unrealistic conclusion because we aren’t the sole authors of our fate and circumstance.
Accepting the things we cannot change doesn’t mean we stop trying to reach our goals…
– rather that we don’t need to DEFINE ourselves by their outcome.
For all of our efforts, our circumstance doesn’t always end up looking like we thought it would, which is why it’s so important to accept the ones we get.
There is where we dig in and grow.
We don’t blossom when we plan something & it happens exactly as we thought it would.
After that, there’s a great feeling, but it doesn’t last that long & we don’t change that much.
We blossom when it all goes to crap.
When our plans turn out nothing like what we hoped – that’s when we find out what we are made of.
We don’t create who we are through our planning. We create who we are by how we PIVOT, how we accept what we can’t change. How we respond to those things we never wanted, never asked for & didn’t plan on.
Moreover, in reality, this is most of life.
When was the last time that your plans worked out the way you wanted them to? (If they do, then would you please wave your magic wand my way?)
SO much of life is outside of our intentional directing.
It’s dangerous to pin your self-worth on something you can’t control & truth be told, that is anything outside of yourself.
Relationships end, things get broken, money comes & goes, accidents happen.
When our worthiness depends on the randomness of life, our self-worth is walking a tightrope. It will get knocked off with the next winds of change.
11 WAYS to accept the things we can’t change:
1. We don’t control our outcomes as much as we’d like to think. If each time our plans did or didn’t work out the way we’d like them to, our worth would see-saw with it. Thus, the big trouble.
Anchoring to something outside of ourselves is dangerous territory. We don’t control circumstances, but we have power over the way we move through them.
2. There is no such thing as a wrong choice (see also: Make Confident Choices & Stop Stressing So Much.). There is only what I chose at the time. If I accept myself, I love my past, present and future selves equally.
3. A Circumstantial existence. I haven’t chosen all of my circumstances until now, & there will be more that I don’t choose, but I can choose to influence them. I can choose to think, feel, and act on my desires regardless of circumstance.
4. How I want to respond to my life is up to me. When I accept that the change around me was never in my control, I free up energy to focus on the things I can affect in my life. I stop wasting time reacting & start intentionally responding to life.
5. If you are changing, you are a healthy person. We change. Our wants, needs & preferences change in life & so do our choices. If we’re changing, we’re a growing, evolving human being. This is A GOOD THING, not a bad one. It means we’re a growing, stretching human being.
6. We are flexible. We are the most adaptable creatures on the planet. Fact.
7. Life is far less predictable and more random than we like to think it is. We can set goals, work hard, do all the right things to get what we want & still not reach where we wanted to be. That’s not a reflection of our effort; it’s a fact of life.
8. We don’t change when it all goes our way. Unlike plants, we don’t grow as much when the garden is sunny. Like plants, we grow in the rain.
9. Life isn’t fair. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Those sayings we have heard all of our lives have real meaning to them. They were thought up for a reason: because people experienced them.
10. My worth is not contingent on my circumstance. It is intrinsic & stable. My worth doesn’t shift with shifting outcomes, and I don’t earn it. I was born with it. Concluding that our current circumstance reflects our self-worth is unlikely to be a successful strategy for mental health because our current circumstance is always in flux.
11. Acceptance leads to trust. When we accept, there’s a feeling of openness that happens within us. It’s a feeling that’s an anathema to resistance. We allow ourselves to entertain a new response that is in direct opposition to fear & resistance.
Why do I want my circumstance to define who I am?
- Need for control.
- I need to believe life is predictable. That I can always draw a straight line from A to B.
- A (false) sense of safety.
Challenge those needs with this call to action:
- Try ENJOYING missing out. The concept of FOMO really speaks to me of a lack of self-worth. When missing out on something damages you, or makes you shake or creates fear and an anxiety reaction, you know you’ve fused emotionally with being included. You’ve fused your worth to it.
- Watch where you get VALIDATION from.
I can’t change it, but I sure can accept it.
What areas do you try to control your circumstance the most in?
Which ones make you the most nervous when you think of letting go of them?
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