Does acceptance really mean giving up?

AcceptanceAny time that I talk to clients about the concept of acceptance, I immediately see their resistance and barriers start going up!

Common reactions are usually angry; “How can I accept this? I hate it”

OR anxious;

“But that will mean that they won’t stop” OR defeated;

“But that will mean nothing will ever change.”

This is because most people confuse acceptance with resignation.
Here’s the difference:

Often comes before acceptance, but it feels powerless.

You hit the wall and resign yourself to the fact that things are the way they are but you feel that there is nothing that you can do to help yourself or change the situation. You may even believe that things can never, ever get better, that nothing ever works out for you and so you do the best you can to go on.

Resignation feels heavy, depressing, sad, guilty and you can feel trapped.

Understanding that YOU have choice. Acceptance feels powerful.

You hit the wall, but you understand that even though you can’t change the people around you or the situation, you can change your own attitude towards yourself and what you do in your situation.

Here’s an example:
You feel fat and frumpy. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to change your body. If you could just lose the weight, everything would be ok, but it just won’t budge.  You are constantly complaining to your partner about your body and your weight and how unattractive you feel. It feels like it’s ruining your life and your health.

Resignation Attitude:
You give up. You believe that there is nothing you can do to change the way you are. You stop taking care of yourself and sink into depression and apathy. You focus solely on how you look, not on how you feel, and you think you look fat and ugly. You have a litany of criticism constantly running through your head and it never seems to end.

You say that you accept that this is the way it is but you increasingly feel bitter, resentful, hate yourself and compare yourself constantly to others and you feel powerless.

Acceptance Attitude:
You accept that this is the way that your body is right now and you decide that even if you never lose another gram, you are going to look after you. You start making fresh, healthy food that you enjoy. You throw out all the clothes that don’t fit and find ones that suit your body shape in colors and fabrics that you love.

You take 100% responsibility for your health and make choices that decrease your stress and increase your happiness. You do more things that make you feel good. You accept that your body is really at your mercy, so you decide to do your best to make it’s job of keeping you strong and healthy, as easy as possible. You focus on how you want to feel instead of how you want to look.

Acceptance is saying to yourself; “Ok, right now THIS is how it is. What can I do right now and in the future, to make this as easy, comfortable or better for ME as I can?

How can I support myself more in this situation? What steps can I take to help myself? What resources can I use or call on? Who can I find to help me help myself?

See the difference?

Acceptance is such a powerful and amazingly freeing attitude!

If you need help with shifting from resignation and upgrading your acceptance skills, contact me.

Kerry Jeffery.


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