How to Be Happy Being You
What does acceptance mean to you – being resigned to something or finding peace within ourselves by ‘going with the flow’? When we accept something we take it at face value without question.
Acceptance of others and our lives can be very difficult. We don’t like the way other people behave, we may not like the way we are, physically or mentally. The idea of acceptance being resignation to your lot seems to contradict a lot of what we try to achieve through self development and personal coaching. I’d like to challenge that perception and look in more detail at personal acceptance.
If we accept ourselves and others as we are does that mean that we never improve?
Does that mean that we throw away all thoughts of personal growth, goals and future plans? No, absolutely not!
Consider the fable by Aesop about the peacock and Juno.
‘A Peacock once placed a petition before Juno desiring to have the voice of a nightingale in addition to his other attractions; but Juno refused his request. When he persisted, and pointed out that he was her favourite bird, she said
"Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything."’
This moral tale does not mean that we cannot better ourselves. The peacock has many merits. Visually he is a stunning creature, however if anyone has heard a peacock you will know they have a horrible call. What we can learn from this is to accept who we are for the people that we are and work with that. The peacock has to accept his raucous voice but he can still ‘strut his stuff’ and display his beautiful plumage.
For us this means that we can examine who we are and work with our personal abilities and talents to improve ourselves rather than looking at other people and wishing we could be like them.
This does not mean that we should accept ourselves for being unfit, overweight or unhappy in a job that is not giving us the satisfaction or sense of fulfilment that we need.
If we constantly strive to have what we cannot reach we will be like a swimmer fighting the current, wearing ourselves out and getting nowhere. It may be why we are out of condition or overweight as we use escapist mechanisms, such as comfort eating, to compensate for our dissatisfaction with life and for the lack of energy we feel.
Turn this round by working with the current in your life and you will move faster, with less effort, reaching your goals easily. There will be less need to turn to unhealthy habits as a way of consoling ourselves as contentment and happiness give us all we need.
That’s your Lot!
To achieve this sense of acceptance you need to look inward and learn to accept yourself, warts and all, for who you are. If you want to make your life better, no amount of goal setting and action plans will work if you are not working with your personal strengths and accepting your own limitations.
This will allow you to focus on working on what is in your power to change, namely yourself and accepting what we cannot change.
Be honest with yourself, remember to look for your own good and bad points, learn from your mistakes and keep at it.
Simple but not easy!
Jacky Tustain offers personal coaching to help busy people re-assess their life priorities, set themselves goals and put them into action. Good coaching is about helping you get results. Free taster session available. Free coaching newsletter.
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