#BlogElul 5: Accept
Accept – now that is a hard one. We don’t want to accept things. We want to be the masters of our fate, we want to have the illusion of control.
The truth of the matter is, we have much less control than we think we do. We live in our little bubble, driving around the city every day and trusting that we will arrive at our destination safely. Most of the time we do, sometimes we don’t. We certainly have some input into the ratio of these two numbers – if we are good drivers, we are less likely to get into trouble on the road. But the fact remains that there are things that we just can’t control, and we have to accept that. It’s hard.
As entrepreneurs, we are particularly prone to wanting to control everything. But the truth is that you can’t make another person do anything. All you can do is offer and educate, but any attempt to control another person’s behaviour, whether by manipulation or by intimidation, is going to end badly for your business.
That particular kind of serenity – the acceptance that you can only do your best, but other people have free will – really only comes with experience. In the beginning, every “no” is crushing to the soul. Many people give up after one or two rejections. It’s particularly hard if you fall into the trap of playing the comparison game.
We tend to compare our own behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reel – or we compare our beginning to someone else’s middle. Either way, it can be very discouraging to see what we perceive as other people’s success and our own mediocrity, if not failure.
It is time to stop comparing! Acceptance also means understanding that we are only racing against ourselves. We are not trying to put a human on the moon, just to build our business and build ourselves at the same time. There are always stories of people who appear to come out of nowhere and skyrocket through the ranks. If we compare ourselves to them, we will be discouraged and not make the progress we are capable of making – a cause of more discouragement, and eventually quitting.
In Don Miguel Ruiz‘s famous The Four Agreements, one of the agreements is to always do your best. That is not a call for perfectionism – on the contrary. It means that it’s important to accept that our best will vary from one day to another – and if we always do the best we can do at every moment, we will have no cause for self-reproach. That is an acceptance that I am always striving for.
What are you striving to accept about yourself and your life?