What does acceptance mean to you?
For so many of my 41 years on this planet, I have believed that the outside world dictates how ‘accepted’ I felt:
- Will I be accepted in this new school by the other pupils?
- Will I get accepted onto the course based on my sub-optimal A-level grades?
- Will I be accepted into the field hockey team?
- Will my other half accept me for who I am?
- Will I be accepted into (insert name) work organisation after my interview?
- Will I be accepted into the senior leader meetings?
These are all very real examples of times throughout my life where I have sought to be accepted.
Let’s take a look at one description of ‘acceptance’
For me personally, the first part of the above description is and has always been obvious to me.
The second part, however has been far more difficult. Why?
Until very recently, I have not accepted that I am “adequate, valid or suitable.”
In an external work context, I have little issue as I know that I am adequate at the job I do. I know it is a valid function and one that adds value & thus I know that I am suitable to do it.
Internally within myself however, for decades I have harboured self-doubt, fear, self-deprecation, low self-worth & a whole range of self-limiting beliefs. I am sure I am not the only one!!
Why do I share this?
I have gained a recent level of clarity around how the human experience happens which has allowed me to be more present than I have ever been in my life and other people are seeing the calmness in me. If I can get to this place, so can you, which is my reason for writing this blog.
In a world of hyper-connection, always-on tech & a perception of less and less time, now more than ever, it is critical that we prioritise our own #selfcare and our ability to be present in the moment.
I gained this clarity in part due to a recent Quality of Mind retreat led by Piers Thurston (https://www.linkedin.com/in/piersthurston/) – HT Matt O Neill and in part due to the earlier support of WorldBlu and their inspirational leader Traci Fenton (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracilfenton/) in dealing head on with my fears – HT Perry Timms
It has taken me 18 months to get to a state of internal acceptance but I truly believe that I am there. Internally, for the first time ever, I feel I am adequate, valid & suitable.
What that looks & feels like for me is less impulsion, less self-imposed pressure, less urgency & less forcing of situations.
I am still ambitious and I still want to make a difference helping others be the best version of themselves, but I do that from a state of acceptance and presence.
Understanding the implications of the human experience i.e. that experience is led by a mix of mind, consciousness & thought from the ‘inside-out’ and not the ‘outside-in’ & that my fears (plus my mental health challenge 2 years ago) were just the result of excessively layered thought, nothing more, has given me a sense of peace & clarity that I did not know was possible.
So if you are reading this and for whatever reason you are not accepting yourself for who you are. If you are doubting or fearful of anything, you don’t need to be.
Those outside forces that you think are causing you to feel that way are not the cause – it is ALL in your thoughts & thinking ‘inside-out.’
Until we truly accept ourselves internally, and this has taken me 41 years to understand, we cannot make the most of the opportunities that are within and around us.
Prioritising your #selfcare is not a selfish thing to do, allow yourself to be present.
If this resonates with even one person, it has been worth writing this blog.
We run a weekly Twitter chat disucssing all topics #selfcare @selfcareweekly #selfcareweekly every Tuesday at 2000pm GMT