by John Mercer - EasyCalm
In my job, I encounter LOTS of people who are trying to make changes in their life. manyof them have nothing else in common other than their desire to change or improve one or more areas of their life. And yet...I very often notice similarities between people who are successful at making change. Likewise, I have noticed similarities among those who have the most difficulty making changes in their life.
As I thought about these "patterns" that I've noticed, one thing in particular jumped out at me: ACCEPTANCE. Those that succeeded in making changes had a higher level of self acceptance than those that didn't. Now here's how this applies to overcoming anxiety issues:
There are two starting points you can assume when you want to change your life:
1. I'm disgusted with my life, so I've GOT TO change!
2. I accept and appreciate my life as it is RIGHT NOW, and I'm working to make it even better.
Now, you already know what I'm going to tell you. The second way is the most productive state of mind to be in, and thefirst way will practically guarantee that you don't get anywhere! Seems like a no-brainer huh? And it would be, except that people sometimes have a hard time accepting their life and themselves when things aren't going well. One student told me, "that's all great Jon, but I can't accept my situation until it is acceptable to me!" And I have to admit, I have felt the same way myself, but I have learned that many times in life it is necessary to "put the cart before the horse." Or in simpler terms, "do things backwards."
Putting the cart before the horse....
If you wait until everything in your life is acceptable to you before you accept it, you will NEVER be truly happy. Trust me on this one--I went down that road so many times, and every time it was a dead end;-) The absolute KEY to happiness, success and making positive change in life is to begin from a position of acceptance and gratitude for where you are RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. Even if your situation is rough right now, you have to find a way of appreciating SOMETHING (anything!) about it.
And there is always something good in your life. Always. If you're not seeing it right now, take a few minutes to consider this question, "what is good about my life?" Or even, "what do I love about my life?" Repeating the question calmly to yourself over and over will begin to produce answers. It has to, because there is ALWAYS something good about your life. You already know this, so put this concept back where it belongs--at the very top of your thoughts.
Remember, "Begin from a position of acceptance and gratitude for where you are right at this moment." This will always produce better results, no matter what you are trying to do or change.