Finding the “Sweet Spot” Between Acceptance and Change
(Time to read: ~2 minutes)
You know how it goes at this time of year.
The enthusiasm of New Year’s resolutions: This is the year you’re going to… lose that weight, exercise more, get organized, spend more time with family and friends – the list goes on and on.
They’re all worthy objectives. But too often they are followed by discouragement when you realize just how hard change really is.
So maybe you’ve gotten on the “Accept myself as I am” band wagon.
That’s a good idea too. Except that in some ways, it is just as hard to stick to as the other kind of New Year’s resolution.
Because there are some things about yourself that you are not satisfied with.
So how can you have the best of both worlds – accept how you are now AND grow and change?
I think of self-acceptance as being like a delicate flower. It needs regular care and feeding. And protection from the harsh winds of self-criticism.
The best “food” I’ve found is developing a regular habit of self-appreciation.
Noticing all the things you do “right” every day.
You may find this harder than you expect. What you may notice first are all the criticisms you level at yourself. The things you didn’t do – or didn’t do as well as you hoped.
Those critical inner voices probably aren’t going to go away.
The secret is to outweigh them by noticing all the things you’re glad you did. Including things that maybe nobody else would notice – but you know they were successes.
Whether it’s putting someone else’s dishes in the dishwasher. Or swallowing your anger and responding factually to someone’s “ranting” email.
Or deleting your own “rant” before you sent it. Or just listening to someone who’s having a bad day. Or saying “thank you”.
Maybe it was the moment you stopped to look at the sky; remembering to really appreciate the beauty of the world, and the gift of life. Or sleeping in or taking a nap because you were really tired.
Life can be hard.
One of my “rules” for enjoying it s to recognize just how much effort and courage it takes each of us to get through the day.
And that includes recognizing that about yourself.
So go ahead, please notice and appreciate all the ways you care for yourself as well as others. It’s the most powerful foundation I know of for a fulfilling life that includes change, growth and contribution.
I’d love it if you’d share with me one thing you’re appreciating about yourself in this moment – click this link…