I was talking with a friend last night who decided to give me unsolicited advice. I, like most people, don’t take kindly to this. In fact, it drives me crazy. In an effort to change the conversation to more neutral territory, I decided to fall on my sword and say, “Yeah, that’s just who I am. I don’t deal well with stress. Transitions kill me, but at least I know that.”
Immediately after I said it, I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt like I had just sealed my fate. Let me explain.
One of our greatest strengths is the capacity to grow, to assess our current situation and make choices that align with what we truly want. But it’s hard to do that when we carelessly “accept” false notions of ourselves.
And that brings me to the subject of acceptance. I often think that self-acceptance is a funny phrase. It straddles two worlds: the world of self-love and the world of complacence. I’m all about accepting my true self, but I’m not okay when what I’m accepting is a self-imposed limitation that’s based on past fears or messages I’ve picked up along the way.
Phrases like, “’well that’s just who I am” sound a lot like awareness until you hear the rest of the sentence:
- “…the type of person who doesn’t follow though”
- “…the girl who is always put together”
- “…a jealous boyfriend”
Because ultimately, none of that is actually acceptance from a place of love, it’s complacence from a place of fear.
Self-knowledge is the first step to taking personal responsibility. @AlignYourLife
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But if you quit there, you’re doomed to continue a pattern that doesn’t serve you.
Because until you truly embrace your baggage, the words you use are a self-fulfilling prophecy.
An incantation that says, “Hey world, this is what I expect. Don’t give me anything more or anything less. I’m determined to stay _________(the victim, the under-achiever, the unemployed-lives-in-my-parents’-basement-type-of-guy).
The Takeaway: The things you say are the things you believe. Choose words that shape your future, not ones that keep you stuck.
Amita is the Owner and Founder of Aligned Holistics.com, a coaching services company founded in January of 2013 to empower individuals to create a life they love from a place of self-love instead of self-discipline. As a coach, writer, and wellness expert, Amita works with individuals to break through their barriers and embrace lifestyle change from the inside-out. Her unique approach combines nutrition, physical activity, relationships, career, and personal philosophy. Amita has been featured on CBS, NBC, and the Huffington Post. You can find more information on her website, or follow her on Twitter or FB.
Image courtesy of Steve Johnson.