One of the most common ways we get stuck in our lives is by refusing to accept the current reality. We spend an enormous amount of time and mental energy arguing with how things should be. Whether it’s our job, our relationships, or even broader societal issues, we often fall into the trap of thinking that the world should align with our desires. We get so stuck in arguing with what should be happening. Not what is.
The truth is, life is messy, and it’s filled with both positive and negative experiences. Instead of resisting what is, we can redirect our focus on accepting it by learning how to stop arguing with reality. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we approve or condone everything around us. It simply means acknowledging the reality of the situation.
Empowering Yourself Through Acceptance
Acceptance will very quickly reorient you from “I don’t have control over what it is, but I do have control over how I move forward from here.” That’s the true power of thought work. The more we can practice managing our minds around the “shoulds”, the more empowered we become in life.
You’ll find you don’t need everything to go the way that you want. You don’t need everybody to act the way that you want. It’s ok to let go of that illusion. You can let people be who they’re going to be and accept circumstances for what they are and then decide what you want to do from here. What boundaries do you want to set up? Where do you stick up for yourself? What do you let go of? What are you deciding is not that big of a deal?
Put It Into Practice
When we can stop arguing with reality, we can finally decide on a strategy and next steps. I want you to find those thoughts. I want you to see in your day how many times you’re saying, “Things shouldn’t be the way that they are”. Consider what thoughts you would be left with if you decide, “Okay, but they are. Now what do I want to do?”
By asking ourselves, “Now what?” we open the door to endless possibilities. We can decide how we want to respond, what actions to take, and what changes we can make to improve our situation.
The Secret Option C
Many of us fall into the trap of waiting for a secret, third option that resolves all our concerns and fears. We hope for a magical solution where we don’t have to face any discomfort, risk, or uncertainty. The reality, however, is that this secret option C doesn’t exist.
I work with many coaching clients that come to me and say, “I don’t want to leave my job because I get a good salary…but it’s not fulfilling and I want to be more creative and I want more flexibility…but I’m scared that I’m not going to make as much money or I’m scared of the financial implications.”
And I always explain to them, those are your options. You either stay or you leave. What they’re waiting for is some secret option where they’re not scared, there’s no risk, they have no financial stake, they’re fulfilled, and they have stability. That just doesn’t exist. That secret option C is not there. You either are afraid and you take a financial risk and go after the life that you want. Or you decide that stability is more important to you and you want to stay at your job so you learn how to manage your mind and live in gratitude for that.
Rather than wasting precious time and energy hoping for the impossible, recognize that our choices are limited to the available options. Every option has its advantages and disadvantages so we can stop searching for an elusive, perfect solution. Instead, we can start making choices based on what aligns with our values and priorities at that moment in our lives.
Break The Pattern
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on where you might be resisting reality in your life. Are you stuck in a cycle of “shoulds” and “if onlys”? If so, remember you have the power to make choices and create the life you desire, even in an imperfect world. Stop waiting for the elusive secret option C, and start taking action. I promise you will go so much further, so much faster when you stop spending all of your time arguing with how it should be and decide how you want to move forward. If you want help practicing this mindshift and deciding next steps, join me in the Quitter Club where we work to break these habits and design a life you love.