I was talking with a friend last night who decided to give me unsolicited advice. I, like most people, don’t take kindly to this. In fact, it annoys the shit out of me. In an effort to change the conversation to more neutral territory, I decided to fall on my sword and say, “Yeah, that’s just who I am. I don’t deal well with stress. Transitions kill me, but at least I know that.”
Immediately after I said it, I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt like I had just sealed my fate. Let me explain.
One of our greatest strengths is the capacity to grow, to assess our current situation and make choices that align with what we truly want. But it’s hard to do that when we carelessly “accept” false notions of ourselves.
And that brings me to the subject of acceptance. I often think that self-acceptance is a funny phrase. It straddles two worlds: the world of self-love and the world of complacence. I’m all about accepting my true self, but I’m not okay when what I’m accepting is a self-imposed limitation that’s based on past fears or shit my mom told me.
Phrases like, “’well that’s just who I am” sound a lot like awareness until you hear the rest of the sentence:
- “…the type of person who doesn’t follow though”
- “…a girl who needs the trendiest outfit”
- “…a jealous boyfriend”
Because ultimately, none of that is actually acceptance from a place of love, it’s complacence from a place of fear. Self-knowledge is the first step to taking personal responsibility, but if you quit there, you’re doomed to continue a pattern that doesn’t serve you.
Because until you truly own your shit, the words you use are a self-fulfilling prophecy. An incantation that says, “Hey world, this is what I expect. Don’t give me anything more or anything less. I’m determined to stay _____________ (the victim, the under-achiever, the pot-smoking-unemployed-lives-with-my-parents-type-of-guy)
The Takeaway: The shit you say is the shit you believe. Choose words that shape your future, not ones that keep you stuck.
What are the words you choose that seal your fate? I'd love to hear from you! Email me or share with the community in the Comments Section below.