Acceptance – why we need it to Overcome Anxiety


Whether you want to overcome anxiety, stress, panic & related issues, or any other big challenges in life, Acceptance is the crucial first step before you can achieve positive change and growth. But acceptance is something many people misunderstand at first.

There’s a lot to say about acceptance but I’ll give you my best ‘101’ explanation.

Acceptance is the opposite of denial. To accept something does not mean we like, enjoy or condone it; it just means instead of denying it, we accept its existence and the reality of that.

If we have some work we know we need to finish, but we watch Netflix instead, we’re denying the need to do that work. If we know we have a problem in our lives, but we carry on as normal – not making any significant effort to fix it – we’re denying the problem and the need to fix it.

Acceptance is not the same as acknowledging or admitting. We can all momentarily acknowledge we’re procrastinating and must do our work, or admit we have a problem that needs fixing – but then move on quickly to something else, without really accepting those facts.

How do we accept something?
To accept something we need to experience it, stand in the presence of it, contemplate the reality of it, and absorb it into our consciousness. There is no app or device that can tell us whether we’ve ‘accepted something enough’ yet – instead, accepting things is a process we learn with practice, developing a ‘feeling’ or intuition that lets us know whether we’ve truly accepted something or not.

It can be uncomfortable to accept we must do that work, or accept we’re procrastinating by watching Netflix. As we do so, we might feel uncomfortable feelings like frustration, regret or anxiousness. But these are the realisations we need to accept, these are the feelings we need to accept, before we have a reason to do the difficult but necessary thing: Close Netflix and start working. As we begin to work, we tackle the source of our problems, ultimately resolving them.

Truly accepting we have a problem in our life isn’t easy. Even when I learned I had a stress and anxiety problem, and when I knew I needed help, it still took months before I actually took action. If I had truly accepted I had a stress and anxiety problem sooner; accepted I needed help sooner; I would have saved months of unnecessary discomfort.

I hope this gives you an insight into the importance of acceptance, and how it really is the precondition to meaningful change and improvement in life. Acceptance isn’t always easy or comfortable, but it leads to improvement. Denial is often easier, but the consequences are always worse.

If you’d like to talk about any aspect of this feel free to contact me and I’ll respond to you personally.

All the best,

PS If you haven’t yet, check out my free ebook for much more guidance on overcoming anxiety, stress and related issues.

PPS I offer no-cost, no obligation initial conversations by video chat. If you’d like to explore whether I can help you overcome your specific challenges, contact me.

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