Strive BUT accept less

Strive BUT accept less

I’m a strong advocate of acceptance. I have been for quite some time now because (1) there’s some really strong research to suggest the practice of acceptance is associated with better mental health and happiness, and (2) it’s helped me, personally, A LOT!

But often when I talk to others about acceptance, there’s the sense that I’m recommending some form of giving up, or at least of lowering expectations. As such, it can, for some, have negative connotations.

Adjusting expectations, however, can be a very positive strategy; especially if or when expectations are unrealistic. Ensuring your expectations are realistic isn’t a negative approach but rather, one that’s just sensible and one that will undoubtedly reduce frustration and disappointment.

At the same time, there’s also good research for the benefits that come from striving to be your best. Setting goals that stretch you, that inspire you to be and to do more, is associated with various forms of positive emotion including happiness, inspiration, joy and motivation.

Which brings me to the point of this post … and the point is balance. 

Strive to be your best yet know you’ll rarely achieve your best. Strive to be as happy as you can be yet know you won’t be happy all the time. Strive to live up to and stand up for your values but know there’ll be times you need to compromise.

I don’t want this to be seen as lowering standards, or to appear pessimistic, but rather … for most of us most of the time this is life!