Acceptance is the first step to letting go of the past…and moving forward into the future.
Many of us are resilient enough to accept our contributions to a negative outcome — in fact, we may berate ourselves for our missteps. Such “guilt trips” only keep us rooted in the past and prevent us from harnessing our creativity to try something new in order to create a more happy and fulfilling future.
But even more challenging than these self-imposed “guilt trips,” I’ve found that it is much more difficult to accept consequences that have befallen upon us when they are the results of other people’s actions OR inaction.
Once again, we stay rooted in the past as we try to understand why they did what they did — we do this in order to identify what happened so that we can avoid it in the future. The problem is that it can be impossible to truly understand what motivated someone else’s behavior: there are often contributory factors of which we are and will always be unaware.
To accept what has happened in our lives requires that we accept — without bias, blame, or guilt — where we are RIGHT NOW. Even if it’s not where we wanted to be. Acceptance means viewing our present situation without blinders…without anger…without self-guilt.
Acceptance is the seed of hope.
By not accepting what has happened, we give away our power to choose how we will move forward and out of the consequences that we are currently experiencing. Just like we always have the power to choose, so too do we also always have the power to accept.
Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning and Coaching company focused on eradicating workplace burnout through the B-DOC Model. An entrepreneur for over 25 years, keynote speaker, author, blogger, business coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action” by watching her TEDx Talk on YouTube. To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com.