7 Steps to a Life of Acceptance

If you have any contact with social media, you’ve noticed how everyone is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without at least one filter or go out for dinner without showing your perfectly plated food. Even your dog has to look immaculately groomed and photogenic.

What if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamoring for likes and hearts? What if you chose merely to enjoy your life without comparing and sharing it with the world?  Here are 7 steps to living a life of acceptance:

1.  Stop judging others

In this hyper-critical modern world, it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits of judging yourself and others too harshly. Before you know it, you permanently set your inner monologue to negativity. You feel dissatisfied and grumpy with everyone and everything. And that’s no way to live your best life!  Instead, remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

You can decide right now to stop analyzing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face or their body or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing a difference as a flaw but as merely something that makes that person special and unique.  Just let go of the urge to criticize others– and while you’re at it, stop being so hard on yourself as well.

2.  Accept your own imperfections

Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist. A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing. Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.  If you fall forward you’re still moving ahead.  Accept yourself for who God made you to be.  He loves you, and you should, too!

3.  Relax and enjoy the process

Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace acceptance as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable.  See them as opportunities rather than dead ends.  A change in direction may lead to something better.  You can slow down and notice all the good things God has already put in your life.

4.  Accept that imperfection is normal

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that build the person you are continually becoming.  As a fellow blogger remarked, “The new normal is go with the flow!”

5.  Negate the negativity

If a negative viewpoint has become your default setting, you probably don’t even realize when you’re doing it. Take a minute to tune into your self-talk for a moment. Pay attention to the words you’re using and course-correct for more positive language.

Consciously change your inner monologue to focus on positives. Instead of focusing on differences and seeing them as flaws, choose to see what is good in the other person. If your go-to is to criticize their weight or hair, or the way they speak, reset your view of them by finding something to admire.

6.  Give them grace

It’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing things as right or wrong. Sure, someone else’s choice may not be your choice.  Maybe you don’t like broccoli or wouldn’t want to vacation in Antarctica. But it doesn’t mean those other choices are wrong; they’re just different.

Seeing things in black and white is so limiting. Open up a little and retune your world view, so you see all the colors as equally valid.

7.  Live in the moment

Some people keep a world history of wrongs and imperfections stretching way back. They act almost like perfection police, waiting to add to their list of transgressions. Or they worry about future mistakes and how to avoid them. Don’t be that person! Cut people some slack and they are more likely to go easy on you.  Choose to stay focused on the here and now and enjoy what’s happening in your life.

Accept and grow

When you learn to live a life of acceptance, imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. Think about it like this: perfection is something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you?

Acceptance means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person  Learn to accept imperfection in yourself and other people and leave that negative mindset behind.  Approach life and others as God intended, and enjoy the beauty of all His creation!

I think a perfect conclusion to this article is the classic song, “What A Wonderful World,” sung by the great Louis Armstrong.  Have you ever read the lyrics?

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, “I love you.”

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow,
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself…what a wonderful world.

(If you’d like to sing along, click here for the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqhCQZaH4Vs)


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Related Posts:

“Embracing Imperfection:  Why Being Imperfect Makes Perfect Sense”  http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/embracing-imperfection-why-being-imperfect-makes-perfect-sense

“Be Thankful– It’s Good For You!”  http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/be-thankful-it’s-good-for-you

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