Have you ever walked into a shop and seen a label that states “As is” on an item of clothing? Although more common in the U.S. in shopping terms this denotes that the seller is selling, and the buyer is buying an item in whatever condition it presently exists, and that the buyer is accepting the item “with all faults”, whether or not immediately apparent.
This labelling made me consider my family, friends, past relationships and work colleagues, do I accept my friends as they are despite their flaws? How often did I find myself annoyed by my partners behaviour? How often do I judge work colleagues for not being like me? I’d like to think of myself as an open-minded and accepting person, but when I stop and reminisce on the rare occasion I have reacted unfavourably to those closest to me, I realise that I’m not exactly the embodiment of acceptance.
What is the purpose of this thinking? I’m frequently in positions where my expectations of what others should be doing cause me not to accept them for who they are. A typical example is watching my work colleagues facilitate, I may sit at the rear of the class rolling my eyes as they are not behaving or instructing as I consider it should be done. I assume, like so many people, that what I’m doing is right and what someone else is doing is wrong.
The challenge as always is to make conscious change through measured self improvement, one option is to review some Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) presuppositions (convenient truths about life), maybe these can shed some perspective on how to actively engage with the process of change.
Every behaviour is motivated by a positive intent.
Not accepting someone is seeing the negative in them, I will look for the good intentions, the positive choices and actions they make remembering that my way is not necessarily the only way.
The map is not the territory. The world is not black and white, it is too tempting to get into right and wrong dichotomies by using my own personal belief systems and filters. Things don’t have to be right or wrong if I choose to accept them as they are. I’m going to stop labeling my way as “the right way”.
Perception is projection. Maybe I judge myself too harshly. I’m passionate about learning and maybe my judgments of others are a result of personal criticisms. If I stop putting pressure on myself to do things the “right” way, I’ll also stop putting pressure on others as well.
There is no failure only feedback. A famous quote proclaims “Failure is a pre requisite for great success”. Maybe we could reframe this sentence, “The feedback from our mistakes leads us to a path called success”. Feedback allows performance to develop, it is an opportunity to motivate and a way to continue learning. By continuing to recognising the fundamentals of acceptance I can still offer and receive feedback to improve myself and others.
Are you are the same as me? Maybe you struggle with accepting someone who is different or does something that isn’t the way you would do it, if so I would invite you to consider a productive way to live. To be positive and present in life’s moments is to accept what is, something you certainly can’t do if you don’t accept others for who they are.
Information cited from Padre Chris Acher, the Longevity Happiness Course and the Inspire 360 training manual.