At a recently concluded workshop, one of the participants asked me “Rupa, what stops us from accepting people or situations as it is? I know I should accept and that if I accept my life will become easier but I am simply not able to.”
Since we were running out of time, I had to give a quick answer. My answer was “Let go of the expectations which we tend to subtly have when we accept something – pure acceptance will not make the slightest room for expecting something in return”
This question resonated with me. I too go through times where I find it difficult to accept with ease. So what can ALLOW us to accept things with ease? I finally came up with the following framework that will ALLOW us:
A – Acknowledge & analyze the difference in input
Maximum stress happens when there is a difference in what we want and what is happening. We get sucked into the thinking “why does this keep happening to me only!” First step – Acknowledge the difference and analyze the situation vs. reacting to the situation. Connect the dots backward to see if there are differences in input from your end – the sooner you are able to see the input difference, accepting outcome becomes easier!
For example: You expected to get 95% marks but got 80%; maybe you were setting up for this difference by putting in lesser hours of study than required – Best to acknowledge the difference in input – this will make accepting outcome easier!
L- Lose the need to Control
Once we start analyzing, be careful of “But this should have been this way”. The moment you use these words you are trying to control the situation rather than analyze for a way forward. There are only so many things that are in our hands, so if something went the other way, let go of the need to control the situation to make things happen your way. To take things forward requires you to focus on only that which is in your hands. Lose the need to control.
L –Learn the Lesson
When people or situations don’t turn out as you wanted them to be and you find trouble in accepting this, try to learn the lesson. See what you can learn from the situation – perhaps you learn that a person is sensitive to such and such remark, perhaps you learn that the situation against you when you did xyz. When you analyze the situation, look for the lessons you can learn!
O – Operate objectively
Emotional disturbances rarely allow you to view things objectively. If you are not viewing things objectively, it will be rare that your actions will be for the desired outcome. When you are operating objectively, you will react lesser to the events and focus on how to get the desired outcomes. (Does a salesman give up on your first no (event)? No – he perseveres – he accepts your answers and thinks new ways (objectively) of converting you into a customer! (Desired outcome))
W – Weed out “this should happen in return”
Many of us accept at the surface and deep inside we feel “Now that we have accepted, this should happen in return.” This throws acceptance completely out of order. This conditional acceptance set us up for greater failures rather than out rightly rejecting a situation.
I do hope that you find this framework helpful. It has done wonders for me.
ALLOW yourself to accept all situations and people with ease for a happy and peaceful life!