Accepting What Is
Ep. 249
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In this episode of Lessons from a Quitter, I talk about accepting what is. Sometimes we create so much drama around discomfort that, which only adds unnecessary suffering to an already stressful situation.

Today we talk about one of the biggest skills you can have, which is accepting what is and accepting the circumstances in your life. Coming to the realization that you don’t control and can’t control everything can free up so much more space to problem solve. Then going about your life not adding all of the unnecessary drama to it, which we’ve discussed before as dirty pain. You can learn to take care of yourself and your needs despite the uncontrollable and ever-changing variables in your life.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited you are here. I had a whole other episode that I was planning on doing and I'm gonna record that next for next week. But something happened last night and it reminded me of a coaching that I had received from my coach a couple of years ago that changed my life. And I figured I would share it on the podcast today because it's one of the biggest things I see people struggle with, and I think it's sort of the main point of doing mindset work.

If you have followed this podcast for a while, then you know that really what we work on is how do you manage your own mind? How do you stop all the thoughts that create a lot of unnecessary suffering? And this is the main skill. So I figure you know what, we're gonna scratch what we were gonna talk about today and we're gonna talk about this and it's accepting what is. So I'll give you a little background about what I went through last night and the coaching I got and how this is applicable to everybody every single day, and how this is really what thought work, I think in my mind, what it is really all about. I have a lot going on this week, as most of us always do. I've now realized that like there's very rarely times where there's not a lot going on, but this is the week before I leave on vacation.

So by the time this airs, I will have already gone on vacation, but I am sort of slammed with the Persian New Year. There's tons of like family things and events that we do for the new year. I am slammed with trying to get enough done to go on vacation and be completely off of email and work and all that things. So I'm doubling up, I'm recording more podcasts. I'm, you know, there's just a lot happening. My kids have a lot going on and I'm trying to get ready for this trip to leave. Okay? So I had the week fully planned out. I have every day very meticulously like set in my calendar. I know exactly what I need to get done so that I can have everything done before Friday. The plan is fantastic, and we all know what happens with the best laid plans.
They don't ever work out. And last night I had a family member have a bit of a medical emergency and they needed to go to the hospital and I went to go be with their children while the kids slept. And so I just say this to say like, it obviously was not the way that I thought I was gonna be spending my night. And it led to me sleeping only a couple of hours and being there for this person when they came back from the hospital. Everything is fine. Luckily, very grateful for that. And I woke up in the morning and took the kids to school and then came home. And here's the thing. It's like Wednesday. I was supposed to do a lot today, and as you could probably guess, I'm very tired because I didn't sleep well. I didn't sleep a lot. There was a lot going on last night and I still have things to do, right?

And the reason I say this is that old me before thought work, I would have had so much drama around this. I would've spent last night constantly looking at the clock and counting down how many hours that left me for sleep. And I would have been thinking, this isn't fair. This isn't supposed to happen this week. Of course it's happening this week. This always happens to me. I would've had a pity party. I would've kept thinking, well now I can only get five hours of sleep. Now it's only gonna be four hours. I'm gonna be so tired tomorrow. I'm gonna be so drained tomorrow. It's gonna be terrible, right? And I would've been playing over and over how terrible it is, how unfair it is, how this shouldn't be happening, how this is the worst timing for this, how I don't need this, okay? And then today when I woke up and I would felt tired, I would have been thinking like, I'm too tired to do anything.
I'm not gonna get anything done. Today's ruined. How am I ever gonna get everything ready before I need to leave? Great. Now that I can't do it the way that I was supposed to, I'm just not gonna do it at all, right? Like I probably wouldn't have thought that consciously, but I would have sort of resigned to the fact of like, well, I'm not gonna get anything done and I'm too tired to do it anyway, so I'm just not gonna do it. And I would've been even more behind and I would've created so much suffering because of a circumstance that I couldn't control, that I didn't have control over, and that was gonna cause me to be tired. Now, when I got coached a couple of years ago when I was kind of newer to thought work, I had the thought, the predominant thought that I'm tired a lot of the time.

I had suffered from really low energy my whole life. And a thought that I had a lot of days was, I'm too tired to do this. And I remember getting coached and saying like, I wanna do a lot of work. I wanna do the work I'm supposed to do. I wanna build my business, but I'm just really tired. And I remember the coach asking me like, okay, you're tired, so what? And I was like, well, I can't do it then if I'm tired. And she's like, is that true? Why can't you do it? And I was like indignant at first. And I was like, because I'm tired, because I don't have the energy. And she's like, but could you do it? And I was like, yeah, I mean, of course I probably could do all this stuff. And she's like, okay, so we're just gonna do it tired.

What if we just do it tired? And I remember it lifted so much for me, I was like, wait, what? I just accept it and I just do it tired. And since then, it has fundamentally changed how I approach like my calendar, how I approach my work, because I stopped making it a problem. And what I mean by that, and this is how I was thinking about it last night, it was fascinating to kind of watch my brain is like my brain can be like, oh my God, we're gonna be so tired tomorrow. And my only thought was, yep, I guess we're gonna have to do it tired. I guess tomorrow's just gonna be a day, we're gonna be tired, we're still gonna get the things done. We need to, right? Like there was no more drama around it. And the thing is, is that this isn't a way of either invalidating how you feel about something or kind of pushing through and getting yourself to always do the things.

It's simply accepting what is okay. One of the biggest skills that you can have is accepting what is accepting the circumstance in life, the fact in life that you don't control, maybe, maybe you do. And then going about your life, like not adding all of the unnecessary drama to it, the unnecessary suffering. I'm gonna be tired regardless today. That's just the fact. Not getting enough sleep is going to result in my body being tired. Now, this isn't like a typical feeling that we talk about. It's not like a cessation, it's an actual like, I dunno, state that my body is in, but it, I treat it the same way because just like a feeling, let's say some people might feel anxiety every day, right? And it's like, Kate, that anxiety is just gonna be there. Can I feel that feeling and do the things I need to do?

Instead of having so many more thoughts about that feeling, right? What I was doing before was I was feeling tired and then creating so much dirty pain. We've talked about this. There's a concept in psychology, clean and dirty pain. Like the clean pain is you're tired or you're sad, or you have anxiety or whatever it is. Grief, you're disappointed, you have human feelings. And then the dirty pain is all the unnecessary suffering that you add on to that clean pain. So for me, it would be today if I was spinning about how unfair it is that I'm tired and how it shouldn't have happened, and how of course it happens this week and this stuff always happens to me and I'm so unlucky and you know, all of the other arguing with reality that I'm just tired. That doesn't help my tiredness, right? It doesn't make me any less tired.

And in fact, not only am I now tired, I would then be bitter and angry and resentful and self-righteous and sad and mad and all this other emotion I would have to carry around, which doesn't make it easier to do things and it doesn't help anything, right? And so when I really realized that for myself one of these days when I know I'm gonna be tired or when I am tired in the middle of the day even, and I just ask myself like, okay, can we do this tired? Now again, I don't mean to say that that can be used, I think in hustle culture to push through anything and like, don't look at how you need to feel or whatever. That's not what I'm saying at all. If you listen to this podcast, you know that my like number one thing I try to get people to do is less and to rest and to know that you don't have to earn it and to get outta this hustle mentality.

And part of my acceptance today is accepting that like, all right, I'm not gonna be as productive. I'm gonna need some more rest. I might need a nap today. I'm not gonna get everything done. And again, instead of being angry and bitter and resentful about that, I can just accept that and then I can get to more problem solving. I can ask myself what I need. I can give myself that. I can see like, Hey, can I cancel some things? Can I move some things around? Can I do some things today that don't require as much mental work that I was gonna maybe do tomorrow when I, hopefully I'll be more rested, right? When I'm not sitting in so much of the suffering around the fact that it shouldn't be the way that it is. And instead I simply accept what is and then decide what I wanna do from there.

It opens up so much more space for me to problem solve, for me to just take care of myself, for me to react, for me to not add on more negative emotion. And this is why I was saying I think this is like the secret to all of thought work when I came to thought work. And I think when a lot of people come, we come because we wanna feel better. And that is a beautiful part of thought work is really understanding where am I causing unnecessary suffering? And often when you can take that away, you do feel better. And that's great. And I think sometimes we get mistaken in believing that like we should always feel better and we should always change our thoughts to feel better and we should always be happy about things or whatnot. And that leads to a lot of toxic positivity.

Like our need to control, which by the way is just an illusion, right? Like we all know that we don't have any control and these curve balls are gonna come anyways. And then we get all flustered and we get off balance and we think something has gone wrong and we get more mad as opposed to just accepting that there is uncertainty as accepting that I don't know what curve balls gonna come next, but when I do know, then I can handle it. I'll figure it out. I'll take care of myself. I'll do less that day. I'll allow myself to stray away from my pre-planned agenda. I'll know that it's okay, I can get to it again the next day, I'll figure it out. One of my favorite thoughts is I always get it done. Like I know everything I need to get done for the vacation before I leave.

We'll get done. And if it doesn't, then it didn't need to get done, it'll be good enough. I'll write my newsletters. They may not be the perfect thing. That's okay. I'll record this podcast. It may not be what I had planned. That's okay. The more I'm able to lean into that, the more self-trust I create with myself, the more I build that muscle to know that no matter what happens, I will figure it out. And I don't need to control everything happening. I don't need to get all bent outta shape when it doesn't go my way because I know I have the skill of figuring it out. And here's the thing, here's the like little kicker is that all of you have that skill. Everybody I coach has figured out so many things in their life every single week, every single year, every single decade.

It's easier when you're gonna make the jump in your career to know like, I don't know how this is gonna turn out. I don't know what curve balls are gonna come, but I sure know I can handle it as you know, I'll figure it out. And so I just wanted to share this because I realized yesterday when this was happening, what a blessing it is to learn how to just accept what is, what a blessing it is to learn how to not need the world to change and constantly do what I want it to do because I'm just gonna set myself up for a lot of disappointment and a lot of frustration and bitterness and anger and how much easier it is to just know this one skill of like, what is the circumstance? What is this reality and how do I wanna think about it?

What if I'm just gonna pick up this anxiety and bring it along with me? What if this tiredness is just coming along as I record this podcast? What if the feeling of sadness that I have is is just a human feeling that's gonna be there while I go through my day and I'll check in with it and I'll process it and then I'll move on and I'll do other things and I'll come back to it? Like that is the skill to learn. That is the reason to do thought work. It is life changing, not because it, you have to make yourself happy, but because you can just accept reality. If you need help learning how to do this skill, this is really the main thing that we work on in the Quitter Club is figuring out what the reality is and then deciding how we wanna react to it.