Have you ever heard of a little thing called ‘radical acceptance?’ Whether you have or haven’t, it’s something you should take a few minutes and learn about. It’s a simple idea – not the most revolutionary, but very easy and ANYONE can do it – and it may prove to be something you want to keep in your emotional toolbox.
Here’s the thing: you already know what radical acceptance is, even if you’ve never heard the actual term before. Regardless, let me give you a little definition.
There are things in life that we have control over, and things that we simply can’t control.
For instance, I can control how I speak to someone…. but I have no control over how they react to whatever I say.
Radical acceptance is about recognizing the aspects of life you can control and being able to know the difference between those you can control and those things you can’t. It’s about accepting that there are things you simply cannot control, and not allowing the lack of control to worry or stress you out.
That was a bit wordy, right? So let me give you another example.
I recently decided to attempt to reconnect with someone I haven’t spoken to in over eight months. I sent them a message simply asking if they would be interested and to respond to me if so. I sent that message, and that was that, knowing that there were several possible outcomes of the situation. That person could simply ignore my message & never read it; they could read it, but not reply; they could reply in a negative way, or they could reply in a positive way. But either way – I have no control over their reaction. I did my part, I did what I have control over, and I accept that it’s out of my hands now. No matter what happens, I know I did all that I could, and I accept that.
That, right there, is radical acceptance.
Not only will it help you deal with difficult situations, it’ll take away the stress and concern over the things that are out of your control. No matter how much you worry about it, no matter how many hours you spend freaking out over it – that still doesn’t change the fact that it is out of your control… so why worry about it?
So, my challenge to you on this Monday morning – or any day – is this. Take control of what you can control, and let go of the things you can’t. Accept the circumstances of a situation that you cannot control. Do what YOU can with what YOU have and let things take their course from there.
It may not be the easiest skill to learn, so give yourself time and plenty of practice. But once you learn it, it’s a great skill to have in your toolbox, and it’s one that can be used in a number of situations.