Acceptance Of What Is: 9 Practices To Stop Resisting And Find Inner Peace

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Let’s get one thing out of the way: Acceptance is not passive.

It’s not giving up.

You’re not pledging to be the universe’s doormat.  

The goal is to accept what you cannot change—not what you can.  

Accepting what is doesn’t mean you stop trying to make the world better.

If anything, it frees up energy for doing just that. 

So, what can you do today to stop spinning your wheels and find real peace?  

What Is the True Meaning of Acceptance?  

When you learn to accept what is, you choose to stop the following:  

  • Finding fault with and complaining about your situation;  
  • Struggling to fix what you don’t like about it;  
  • Using unhealthy habits to escape your life 

Like all of these, acceptance is an act of will. You choose to either accept your situation as it is, without judgment or approval—or you decide to resist it in some way.

It takes agency to practice true acceptance of what is.  

You’re not giving up your determination to do the good you can. You’re just letting go of the battles you can’t win—so you can focus your energy on the ones you can.  

True Acceptance of What Is: 9 Practices to Stop Resisting  

How do you accept a situation for what it is and even draw good from it?

Start by reading through the practices described below. Make a note of what you’re already doing—and what you’d like to focus on today.  

1. Practice daily mindfulness.  

Mindfulness is the first step to discovering the full power of acceptance. You can only accept what you’re consciously aware of.  

A daily mindfulness practice makes you more aware of what’s going on in and around you. You’re not looking at any part of your internal or external landscape and pronouncing it “good” or “bad.” It is what it is.  

Your job is to accept that you can’t make everything just the way you like it. Or if you can, it doesn’t last. And if you’re stuck on your ideals, there will always be something there that feels out of place or not quite right.   

Focus instead on what is, without comparing it to your ideal or anyone else’s.  

2. Practice accepting others as they are.  

You know, when you take a hard look at yourself, that you’ve failed many times along the way. If you’re focused on the failures and not on what you can learn from them, you’ll always be disappointed.  

You’ll also remain stuck in that feeling, looking for someone other than yourself to blame or despairing that you’ll ever become the person you want to be.  

Why not, instead, focus on what you can learn from each failure—yours or someone else’s—and learn to accept people (including yourself) as they are. They’ll never be perfect.  

Good thing they don’t have to be.  

3. Choose not to judge what happens to you.  

Whatever happens and however it derails your plans, make an effort to accept what you can’t change about it. Look at the situation from a neutral perspective.  

Stuff happens to everyone, and it’s up to you to decide how to see it and how to respond.  

Start by refusing to pass a value judgment. It’s not inherently “good” or “bad.” It just is. Judging it only brings painful and distracting emotions into the mix. And while you can’t completely avoid emotions, you can choose not to be ruled by them.  

Reframe the situation as neutral, and it gets much easier to choose the best response.  

4. Look for the lesson behind every challenge.  

Let go of the idea that what’s happening is punishment for your past sins (or someone else’s). Practicing mindfulness pulls you back to the present, which is where this new challenge lives. It’s where you can see the situation with maximum clarity. 

Stop comparing your present situation to where you think you want to be or should be “by now.” Ditch the “shoulds” and focus on what IS. That’s all you can work with, anyway. 

Each new challenge is a teacher. It doesn’t mean it’ll be nice to you (“nice” is subjective, anyway—and another value judgment), but it does have something to teach you. 

Ditch the assumptions about what it supposedly says about you, and pay attention. 

5. Let go of the need to blame or crticize others.  

Not only does blaming others make relationships harder, but it absolves you from the responsibility to learn from your mistakes or failures and take corrective action. 

It’s on you—and absolutely no one else—to decide how you see the situation and what you will do about it. 

Judging it or blaming someone else only distracts you from the important stuff:  

  • What you can learn from it 
  • What you can change about it—and what you can’t.  
  • How you can make the most of it 

Time is precious, and so is your energy. Judging and blaming is a waste of both. 

6. Accept the parts of you you cannot change.  

Think about this for a sec, and you can probably come up with things you’d like to change about yourself if you could, whether that’s a physical characteristic, your upbringing, or something else. 

You can spend a lot of time and energy wishing you could change something that’s beyond your control. On the flip side, you can save a lot of both by choosing instead to accept those things as they are. 

You can choose to see your (apparent) limitations differently. Everyone has things they’d like to change about themselves. 

But if you fixate on things you can’t change (and let those things drag you down), you won’t have the energy or headspace to deal with the things you can. 


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7. Accept your past and learn what you can from it.  

Try reframing your past in neutral language rather than looking at it as something that happened to you without your consent. 

It happened, and you can’t go back and change anything about it. 

No one’s saying your past doesn’t matter. Who you are today has a lot to do with what you’ve been through. Your past isn’t something better or worse than someone else’s. It’s made up of what you couldn’t control and of the choices you’ve made so far. 

Practicing acceptance is the quickest way to move forward in a better direction. 

8. Accept your lack of control 

You don’t have either the ability or the right to control everyone and everything in your life. But, for the most part, that’s a good thing. 

If you could control everything, you’d need omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and supreme wisdom to make everything work out in the best possible way for everyone. 

Better to work with your limited power and learn to accept what you can’t change, so you can stop torturing yourself and focus on changing the things you can. 

9. Find something that helps you remember to choose acceptance.  

This reminder could be a mug with a mindfulness quote. Or it could be an artful print you see every day in your workspace or living room. Find something that will give you the nudge you need every day to pull your attention back to the present moment. 

It also helps to set a timer just for your daily mindfulness meditation. Or set more than one. And put the alarm somewhere out of arm’s reach, so you’ll have to get up to turn it off. Then add a small habit like a mindful stretching routine to refresh yourself. 

Count down with some mindful breaths and accept the moment just as it is. 

Now that you know the nine best practices for accepting what is and finding real peace, which ones have you been working on already? And what will you do differently today?

Count down with some mindful breaths and accept the moment just as it is.  

Now that you know the nine best practices for accepting what is and finding real peace, which ones have you been working on already? And what will you do differently today? 

What steps can you do to find inner peace and calmness? Read this post about accepting what is without resistance.

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