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10 Things To Accept And 10 Things To Change For A Better Life

10 Things To Accept And 10 Things To Change For A Better Life

We live in a world that is full of complainers – unfortunately. No matter how good someone’s life is, they can still find something wrong with it. But obviously not everyone is a complainer – thank goodness. But nonetheless, most of us do look at life and want to change some things here and there. Some things we can change. Others we can’t, and so we just need accept them. Here are 10 things you should accept and change:

1. Accept the choices you’ve made, change your next ones.

We all make mistakes. But I don’t really believe in “mistakes.” They are all really just learning opportunities. As we walk through life, sometimes learning the hard way is just how we have to do it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from the past. Use it as a guidepost of how to do it better the next time. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

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2. Accept those who hurt you, change those with whom you are surrounded.

It’s a sad truth, but you can’t trust everyone. I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I’m probably not alone. Some people don’t mean to hurt you, and some do. Either way, forgive them. Do it as a gift to yourself. Release the negative energy of resentment and anger. It doesn’t serve you well. Then make new choices about people you spend time with. Cut those “energy vampires” out of your life. You know – the ones who drain you and suck out your life. Only tolerate positive, uplifting, growth-oriented behavior from other people into your lives.

3. Accept your body, change your health.

Do you want longer legs? To be taller? To have a smaller bone structure? Good luck with all that. All you can do is accept your body for what it is. Sure, you could spend a ton of money on plastic surgery to re-do your face, but why would you want to do that? Love yourself for who you are. Accept how you look. The only thing you can change is your health. If you want to lose weight, then commit to it! Change your eating and exercise habits. You will automatically feel better about your body and yourself.

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4. Accept your imperfections, change your idea of beauty.

There are no such things as “imperfections.” Our society has brainwashed us into thinking that if you don’t look like Angelina Jolie then you aren’t beautiful. That is hogwash! Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. That saying came about for a reason – because it’s true. Instead, look at your inner beauty. You can look like a movie star or super model, but if you’re rotten inside, then that is not beautiful. Likewise, you could be way outside of our culture’s standard of beauty, but if you shine your light from within, then that is gorgeous.

5. Accept your family, change your friends.

We don’t voluntarily choose our family. Because of that, it is sometimes difficult to accept them when the are making your life unpleasant. They might be critical, judgmental or demanding. As much as you want to change them, you can’t. All you can change is how you view them. Accept their behavior because you have to. However, if your so-called “friends” are exhibiting negative behavior, you do have the choice to walk away and find better companions.

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6. Accept your losses, change your earnings.

We all have losses of many types. They might be financial. They might be human. But all losses are painful. There is probably nothing you can do to get back what you lost. Maybe your money is gone in that bad investment you made. Maybe a loved one has departed this life. We can’t always get our losses back. But we can set our focus toward the future. We can look ahead with a positive attitude and decide to hold our heads up high and move onward.

7. Accept your situation, change your outlook.

One of Buddha’s famous quotes is: “It is your resistance to ‘What Is’ that causes your suffering.” In other words, there are some things we just cannot change. And if we keep fighting against that, then we are causing our own suffering. It’s not the situation that causes our suffering, it’s the fact that we are resisting it that causes your pain. So we have two choices: (1) keep fighting against a situation we don’t like and suffer as as result, or (2) accept the situation and change how we view it.

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8. Accept your fate, change your journey.

Our fate is not always welcomed. There are way too many people who get diagnosed with terminal illnesses, have broken marriages, lost too many loved ones, or simply lost their way. But sometimes the best gifts to the world come in the dark moments. There are many people who turned their painful fate into a meaningful path – for themselves and others. So just because you are dealt a bad hand of life at the moment, that it not where your journey has to end.

9. Accept where you are now, change where you’ll go.

Most people want to be better, richer, thinner, happier or more successful. And it’s great to have goals and want to improve. But growth and change starts with acceptance. When you resist your current situation, you are putting negative energy out into the situation – and the world. In order to change your path in life, you need to put forth positive energy and actions into creating a better future.

10. Accept the things you can’t change, change what you can’t accept.

As I said in #7, there are just some things in life you can’t change. Other people. Taxes. Those are just two of them. So instead of fighting against the things you can’t change, look to the things you can change. It’s much more productive to put your energy into change than it is into resistance. Resistance is pointless because it keeps you stuck. So move onward and upward toward positive change.

Life is a tricky balance of acceptance and change. We all walk the fine line between the two. But with some conscious focus and action, you can simultaneously accept and change for the good of all concerned.

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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