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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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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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