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  • Writer's pictureFiona Feeley

Meet people where they are, not where you'd like them to be

One of our greatest sources of conflict, disappointment and disillusionment is our expectations and constructs of how the world should be; including ourselves and other people. We construct stories and schemas about the world, in particular about the people we are close to. We also create massive expectations for ourselves, setting oftentimes impossibly high, perfectionist standards.

What we don’t realise is that expectations are an avoidance of reality. And when we live by them, they can result in massive disillusionment, disappointment and resentment. We feel frustrated and let down, simply because we’re not where we think we should be , or indeed others don’t behave in the way we had anticipated.

Learning to accept our reality, even if it’s not exactly what we would have liked; is the first step towards being able to implement change. When we wrestle with reality, it drains our energy; energy that is required to take decisive action. From a place of radical acceptance, we can choose to change our internal narrative or the external circumstances.

Practicing acceptance involves first identifying the ways in which we fight reality. We can generate curiosity about what holding onto such fixed ideas does for us and exploring if it serves us or holds us back. It is important to differentiate between acceptance and approval. Acceptance means acknowledging what is, is. That does not imply we condone it, or that we have to like it, or indeed, that change cannot be implemented.

Radical acceptance improves your relationships, self-awareness and ability to enjoy life. By dropping the expectations, and working with what you have, you can create what you desire.

Twitter: @fundamentallyfi

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