One of the most important parts of my personal training clients' transformation is acceptance. Whether losing weight, achieving fitness goals with a Chicago personal trainer, or pursuing any other personal or professional goals, your success will depend on your ability to accept the ways things are for a given moment (even if they're not perfect). This will give you a sound mind before stepping forward with any strategy for change.
I've included an excerpt from my book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness on this topic below. Read more on March 1st!
It took me awhile to understand why people don’t stop and “open their eyes.” Why not be a little more aware of the moment?
When I did, though, it made sense: people don’t want to. Ignorance is bliss and the real world is scary (especially the little imperfections of life). Besides our imperfect environment, the imperfect existence of your friends, family, and the traveling world around you can be scary too.
“Ignorance is blissful! The real world stinks!” Perhaps. What you’re doing is creating a beautiful perspective to mask the blight and scathing. It’s certainly an approach.
If this is so effective, though, why are so many people still unhappy? It seems that our instinctive selves always recognize the truth despite our best efforts to ignore it. It’s your unconscious that taps you on the shoulder but doesn’t push you over. It just reminds you that it’s there and what you should do (even though you don’t always do it).
Basically, it’s your gut barking and some people are scared to face it at times. They’re scared to see imperfections, new challenges, and what they need to do next (or not to do or can’t do anything about).
Frederick Douglass, a leader in the abolitionist movement and former slave, echoes this in his narratives:
“…I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity. I often wished myself a beast.”
-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
What an unbelievable quote! Even a man of vigor and ambition like Frederick Douglass questioned being fully aware because of the great truths and unknowns that he faced.
You may not share the terrible circumstances that Mr. Douglass did as a slave. You’re fortunate for this. Nevertheless, there may be an unpleasant reality that might show itself now or later when you “open your eyes”. To make it worse, you may not know how to handle it or what to do with this new information.
No matter what action you eventually pursue, you can accept that moment. You can accept that knowledge is power even though you can’t always change the situation.
What’s the point of being aware if you can’t always change it then? It helps you understand the world. It helps you understand you. It helps you understand the subtle influences on your behavior, choices, and personality.
You’re not always given an answer, a path, or the next step when you become aware. Realizing how much you gained or how isolated you’ve become because of your job won’t be rectified as soon as you notice it.
It’s worth knowing, though, to achieve a greater purpose: Living a better, happier life. You can’t redefine your life without knowing its current shape and accepting it.
This is the breakthrough part of this book. Moving forward or redefining yourself really can’t occur unless you can learn to accept the way a situation is at a given moment. Any other tips or banter about making effective decisions or solving problems stress-free are fruitless.
How can you make change if you can’t even accept the way things are-for the moment? I struggled with this for a while. Awareness? No problem. Look at me. Look at you. Look at the world. No problem.
I realized that I wouldn’t let some things go, though. I wouldn’t accept that my marriage wasn’t working. I didn’t accept that the website design I worked on for two months wasn’t right.
Emotional investment. That was my problem. Fears and insecurities? Well, that too. After all, how long would it take meet someone else or recreate a new website? Would I make the same mistakes or worse? Yikes! What a mental roller coaster!
Emotional investment. The two worded death of me and probably many others. How many times have you changed everything except for the one “thing” you need to? If that “thing” didn’t have some type of value, you would’ve changed right away, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
This is the time to trust your instincts, your gut, and your good perspective. Put aside your emotional investment and don’t be afraid to start over or put in the work. ACCEPT it and move on. Please. When you don’t accept it, tell yourself again and again and again that you should (sound familiar?).