Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose. Does this sound familiar? You are working on a routine task and are asked a question and have to review it from a different angle. You dig through the data and wonder how you came up with your original conclusion. Panic ensues. What else have you done wrong? Why did they hire you? You are an imposter. Fraud! Charlatan! Off you go down your mental rabbit hole. It is very challenging to escape limiting thoughts. “I am a fake” is a monkey that rides my back. What is your monkey? What are the beliefs with which you sabotage yourself? "I’m not good enough." "I’m a failure." "This is not going to work." Many of us are very attached to those thoughts.
But, and there is always a but – no matter how hard I try, I can’t break free. We struggle against inner demons. We try to exorcize them, vanquish them, and eradicate them. We launch a crusade marshaling our resources to fight the view in the distorted mirror. What would happen if you just stop trying and surrendered? Acceptance can be an underrated tool in our arsenal. Can you imagine the relief of not having to pretend? You can not view the entire battlefield while in the thick of the war. Imagine yourself in an action movie. The enemy shoots, but you have slow motion power. Suddenly, everything is clear. You are above the fray and can see yourself in relation to the greater whole. This new perspective allows you to dodge the bullet when you come back to your consciousness. Acceptance gives you the freedom to dodge the mental bullets.
Are you looking at me confused? Does what I am saying seem counterintuitive? When you accept what is, you have the space to make the changes for what you want to manifest. I was helping a friend this weekend. They were not in the headspace to accomplish their goals. Being a recovering little miss fix it, I kept trying to offer suggestions. An excuse countered each solution. I was getting very frustrated. I decided to accept the situation instead of trying to fight it. I empathized with my friend and acknowledged the legitimacy of their feelings. They let their guard down, and I was able to ask exploratory questions that sparked their curiosity, which allowed us to pivot to something else and make progress. If you stop fighting your thoughts, you can give yourself a safe space to explore the ideas, and pivot to a new direction. You may be surprised at how quickly things happen after you surrender. It expands less energy to fight the battle on the ground than uphill.
What’s next? Changing your mindset is not necessarily a rational battle. You have to win the emotional ground as well. There are not enough affirmations or written statements to convince your heart. If you are doing well, faithfully executing your plans to high praise, yet still feel like an imposter; you have more work to do. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you – unless you believe them. What are your triggers? What hits a nerve? I am (insert limiting thought here). Is the belief true? No matter what the answer, you will use up less energy if you stop fighting it. Think of the struggle as building up potential energy. Acceptance converts the potential into kinetic energy. What will you set into motion today?