Focus your energy on what you can influence and accept what you can’t. You’ll be more effective and certainly less stressed. It’s a cliché but true. There are some things you won’t ever change and it’s time to accept them and move on.
But where does this sit with real ambition to achieve great change or great vision? Is acceptance just about giving up or giving in? Isn’t it a leader’s job to be optimistic and make the impossible possible?
Go a bit deeper into the subject of acceptance and it becomes a more useful idea at work. Acceptance is not about giving in or putting up with bad behaviour.
First of all acceptance is about planning and timing. There are certain things at certain points that are not going to shift right now, so be clear about the path to success and accept that things can change in stages. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
Secondly, a great question to ask yourself is ‘what or who am I resisting in my life right now?’ Sit quietly for 5 minutes and ask yourself the question as if you are a curious bystander and see what emerges as thoughts and feelings. Don’t try too hard. This often starts to reveal the things which are frustrations for you – things which are not always useful and just getting in your way. Perhaps things you need to accept. This awareness is incredibly useful and energising.
Bear in mind too, that many leaders use meditation to help them liberate their minds to achieve high performance. See www.headspace.com. This question comes from their Acceptance pack in the Relationship series.
If you are interested in an 8 week course which combines mindfulness with cognitive behavioural therapy, one of the most highly recommended public courses is at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. Find out more about the course here.