The Anatomy Of Acceptance

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Acceptance, The Vague Word!!

Sometimes you may find that the only solution to a problem is to accept it. For example, when the problem is the loss of someone, goals that weren't met or finding that your loved one is in love with someone else then the only thing that can be done is acceptance.

The problem with acceptance is that whenever you will read an article about it you will find people telling you about the importance of acceptance and how great acceptance is without actually telling you how to do it.

We all know that acceptance can sometimes be the only solution to a problem but still the question is how to accept things? Is there a certain thing that you should do in order to accept a new situation faster?

There are many tips that can help you do this but I have hidden them somewhere safe, about 3cm below the line you are reading now :)

A Guide to Acceptance

The main obstacle that will stand in your way when trying to accept a new situation is uncertainty.

Uncertainty in simple is not being sure about the final outcome of a situation you are going through. For example if you bought some stocks at $10 each and if their price went down to 5$ you may become sad or even depressed but at the same time you won't be able to accept what happened.

Why? Because you are still unsure whether the price will go up again or whether it will stay at the $5 level. So the conclusion is: as long as there is still some hope left you won't be able to accept the new situation.

Here are a few examples that will further demonstrate the idea:

  • She is in love with someone else: It feels so bad when you discover that your loved one is in love with someone else but even after this discovery you will usually find yourself unable to accept the situation simply because you still don’t have enough evidence to prove it. At the same time your mind will be striving to convince you that there is still some hope.
  • I don’t look like a super model: People who think that they should look better usually struggle with an endless cycle of thoughts. Each new comment they receive about their looks makes them repeat their calculations and repeat the same cycle of critical thoughts in their minds. If those people were certain about their looks they wouldn't have felt that bad.
  • Is he dead?: I really feel sorry for anyone who loses someone close and when the shock becomes intolerable some people start to deny that this death has happened and get stuck in uncertainty instead of accepting the truth.

It’s the Uncertainty that Makes You Feel Bad!

Suppose that you had an emergency and that you had to run down the street wearing your pajamas. If someone told you “Man, you look awful! How can you dress like that in the street?”, do you think that this situation will make you feel bad? Definitely not.

Do you know why? Because you were certain that you were wearing something that looks bad in the first place.

Now, what if you were normally dressed and the same person told you the same thing, will you feel bad? Of course you will, but why? Because you are wearing something that should look good and so you became uncertain about your own looks!!!!

Here is the very critical conclusion: knowing that you are bad is less painful than being unsure whether you are good or bad!!! In other words, it’s the uncertainty that makes you feel bad.

What to Do

Simply remove the uncertainty: find the evidence that proves that this situation is actually a new fact.

Of course I am not telling you to give up so early or to admit defeat but when you are sure that it's over let go of your inner resistance and of this tiny bit of hope remaining. When you do this your mind will accept what happened and it will signal for the healing process to start.

Acceptance and depression

Depression is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain but the chemical imbalance itself stems from the person's inability to deal with a certain life problem. In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how depression can be nothing more than a message sent to you by your subconscious mind telling you that hope is lost.

You don't have to solve the problem in order to prevent depression but you have the option of accepting it. Accepting the problem or dealing with it can help you get rid of depression but ignoring it and acting as if its not there will only result in horrible feelings.

Don’t Get Stuck

One of the main reasons for depression is getting stuck in a state of denial. In that case, the problem remains and the ability to accept it is hindered by this denial. As a result you will become depressed.

What you need to do in this case is to accept what happened and you'll find that you are no longer depressed.

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Want to know more?

I have already accepted it. How do I adapt to this new situation?

What if there was still some hope, what can i do?

Tell me more about the stages of recovery.

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