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The power of acceptance

How are you feeling this end of year?


As far as I'm concerned, 2023 turned out to be a pretty hefty year, full of learning, questioning and stepping out of my comfort zone. Maybe I'll share a bit more with you next week, because like every year I'm going to take some time for myself to take stock of this past year and what it brought me in terms of challenges and learning.


One thing's for sure: I let myself get too caught up in external people and circumstances - which, frankly, was totally unnecessary, because it only slowed down my drive and my projects.


On this subject, I'm very fond of this famous quote by Marcus Aurelius, which reminds us that the way in which we invest our mental energy has a more or less positive effect on our well-being:


We all have concerns, but it's important to distinguish between the 'circle of concern' and the 'circle of influence'.


Within the circle of our concerns there are a number of worries linked to our professional and personal lives. There are also situations in which we don't really - or directly - feel concerned or affected. These are worries about 'people', 'the world', such as the weather, the family, the economy and so on.


This circle can be endless.


If you feel constantly under stress, preoccupied, ruminating, lecturing or, on the contrary, feeling like a victim - then you probably spend most of your day focused on circumstances beyond your control.


This is a major source of suffering, stress, anxiety and negative energy.


By feeding worry and fear you are drawing on your reserve of energy.


And as we all have limited time and energy, your efforts in the "circle of worries" lead you to neglect other aspects that you could be doing something about.


Unfortunately, you can't be everywhere at once... so by doing so, you're limiting your circle of influence - i.e. all those beautiful things over which you can have direct control!


I'm certainly not saying that you shouldn't care about the health of your loved ones or your child's level of education. I'm inviting you to deliberately focus your energy and your time where you can have an impact, rather than "making yourself suffer". Because yes, even in the case of your child, anything you can put in place will in any case be conditioned by the child's ability to respond positively to the stimuli offered. Your influence remains limited and indirect.


But here's what you can influence and have a direct impact on:


  • What you decide

  • What you do

  • What you say

  • What you listen to

  • Who your friends are

  • What you learn from your mistakes

  • Your efforts


That's where the whole exercise comes in: letting go and 'accepting' the problems over which you have absolutely no control, and concentrating on the things you can do something about.


When you're faced with a problem or a situation that's causing you anxiety, ask yourself: "In this situation, what can I do that depends on me? Or what influence can I try to exert?" This will help you nurture positive thoughts and energy. You'll find it easier to move forward!


Another phrase that helps me a lot when I feel blocked or anxious about a particular action is to replace "I must" with "I choose to". This little phrase changes everything for me, because it reminds me that it's something I want for myself, and that I want to put in place (so stop that little inner voice sabotaging me!).


Like everything else, this discernment and resilience takes practice...


One thing's for sure: if you currently find yourself in a situation or state that doesn't suit you, and you continue to think and act in the same way as you always have up to now - nothing will change!

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