“What’s wrong with me” and “I’m not good enough” are two beliefs common to most of us. They kick in frequently for big events like being passed over for a promotion and little events such as forgetting your car keys as you rush out the door. These limiting beliefs start early in life. For example, getting a D on a math test in 5th grade can plummet one’s sense of value and worth. Given the importance parents and teachers place on grades, kids easily slip into comparing and judging themselves as less than someone else. This belief of not being enough gets reinforced when not selected first for a softball game, asked to a party, or encounter a similar disappointing situation. Having compassion for these early life influences is the start for Complete Acceptance.
Another way of developing Complete Acceptance is to have compassion for how our ancestors needed to have vigilance given they were mostly in Survival Mode. They had to be vigilant of their capacity to be successful in confronting daily life-threatening situations. Could they successfully fight the marauders or cross a raging stream? If they didn’t do a good job, they and the tribe could die. We see a similar perception in ourselves, if you don’t do a good job in school or at work, you believe you won’t be successful and that feels life-threatening, particularly when in Survival Mode.
In Thriving Mode we become more aware of the limitations of such thoughts. We begin to see how the accumulation of not enough thinking leads to anxiety, depression, and can lower our capacity to function effectively. “I could have died of embarrassment” is a common phrase that stems from someone believing they were terribly inadequate.
Complete Acceptance is an essential quality of Thriving Mode. It is learning to totally embrace wherever you might be in the moment. For example, If you forget your car keys, take a deep breath, and accept it is natural to be distracted when rushing. See it as an opportunity to be more mindful. Or if you missed that promotion, welcome the feedback and accept you may need more training. Then encourage yourself like you would a good friend or young child, “You can do this”, “Yay for trying”, “One step at a time”. This Complete Acceptance allows us to have compassion for our history and current circumstances, paving the way to thrive and enjoy life as it is, knowing we will work on being proactive in our continual growth.