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Step 2: Acceptance is a shift in perspective



an owl saying, "Snap out of it", time to move forward
Shift Your Perspective

WHEN YOU’RE FEELING STUCK, ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD ONE STEP AT A TIME.

In Step 1, I discussed Awareness - the first step toward change in the Action Cycle. Once you name the issue and get some clarity about it, the next step is Acceptance, where you begin to shift your perspective from avoiding or letting the issue sit idle to deciding to do something about it.

When you’re struggling with something, and you just keep going around in circles or avoiding the topic altogether, acceptance is the first path out.

•         Accept that now, not later, is the time to do something about the issue at hand

•         Accept responsibility for your own happiness

•         Accept things or people or yourself for who you are - accept reality, and then challenge it!

•         Accept that negative thinking will only slow you down

•         Accept that you can decide first, and figure out the how later.

•         Accept that it takes time and thought to move forward

     Many years ago, I was stuck in the middle of two big projects. Both were challenging for me. I intended to give them my all and I had a sense of accountability to other people to get them done. One was a business presentation that could lead to a book, and the other was a big project for a volunteer role.

I was aware that I was avoiding both projects and getting behind on their time lines. I was feeling overwhelmed, convinced I had taken on too much.

     After days of doing next to nothing, I took time to pause and ask myself what the heck I was waiting for. Like snapping out of a daydream, I realized that I was committed to both of these challenges, I was perfectly capable of executing them, and it was time to get moving! No more avoiding, complaining, or wishing they were magically solved.

I accepted it was time to move one of the projects forward. It really didn’t matter which one, as long as I did something! From then on, I shifted into high gear: picking a project, a first step, and a very quick deadline to complete it. I felt so relieved when that one step was done. It was like a cork had been released from a champagne bottle.

The next morning, I woke up with my “brain on fire”! I had so many ideas for the other project that I ran to my office and started filling out index cards. By releasing the worry and feelings of doubt, I had allowed my brain to get back to work.

ACCEPTANCE is a perspective that helps you move out of struggle and into movement

We all go through times of stagnation or feeling stuck at a crossroads. “Do I work on this or that?”, “Do I finally address this thing or wait?” The more time we spend in a negative swirl of thoughts, the heavier the issue feels and the more likely we are to avoid or delay addressing it.

The trick to shifting your thinking toward an actual solution is to accept the challenge to address it now. Know that there is always something within your control that you can do to improve your life, your work, or your circumstances. Accept that it starts with you.

The 8-step Action Cycle, beginning with Awareness and continuing to Acceptance, is giving your brain a process to solve the problem. The next step I’ll be describing is Mindset – a frame of mind or attitude to sustain you through the full Action Cycle. In my story, after accepting the challenge to step forward confidently, I shifted my mindset from “I can’t do this” to, “I can do this! One step at a time.”

WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK, REMEMBER: THERE IS ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE STEP THAT CAN HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD.

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