This is a section from my booklet What To Do About Your Anxiety.
Acceptance is for me the starting point to deal with any place where there is a problem in your life.
First you just say this is how it is. Then next you ask yourself what do I need to do to get out of this concern.
Do Not Fight It understand, learn and ease your way through it.
Give the exercise a read first and then do it.
Please let me know how well you succeed.
During therapy sessions I often speak to clients about acceptance. You may well ask, “Why is acceptance so important?” Well, for me, acceptance is a starting place. All growth starts somewhere and working with my clients we begin by accepting where they are. To begin to grow and change the first thing to do is recognise where you are then say to yourself “this is where I am at this moment this is how things are for me right now.”
Don’t fight it!
Really, it is hard to fight yourself! It hurts even more when added to all the pains that you are already suffering. Imagine punching yourself. It hurts. Now imagine repeating it on a regular basis. How long would you want to continue doing it?
Fighting yourself hurts you.
I would like to ask you to ACCEPT where you are now in your development and use it as a place to grow from. There are many things in your life that you accept at this moment. Think for a moment of all those chores you do because they are necessary to the general day-to-day demands of life. There’s nothing special about washing-up or cleaning teeth or sorting out the laundry. Each one of them is just something you do because it’s necessary to do. It is not something you get excited about.
In contrast think of how you can accept your ability to be creative or excellent in an area unique to you. It feels normal to you.
Today’s learning experience
I would like to ask you to carry out the following: -
1. Sit in a quiet place where you can concentrate. Make yourself comfortable.
2. Begin to think about something ordinary that you do regularly. Examples are cleaning your teeth, doing the dishes, or any are one of those activities we mentioned above. Choose an activity that has little or no emotional content. Do not choose something that you really like or hate.
3. Think back to a recent time when you carried out this activity. Remember what it felt like to carry out your task. Activities like these have little or no emotional content. Just a normal and every day routine activity for you.
4. I know that there is not much feeling with such experiences, just sense the normality of. Really understand that feeling and sense what it means to you.
5. As you do this begin to bring to mind your anxiety. Beginning to sense it as something that is a normal part of you, an everyday part of the way that you live your life. In the same way as you accept that simple task you do regularly. Accept the fact that you do anxiety regularly. It is a normal part of your life. Just like cleaning your teeth.
6. Yes I know you might not feel happy about it but it is a part of you and the way your life runs.
7. If you find this difficult to accept them just allow the thought to develop in your mind over the next few days.
8. You can of course practice the above routine to the end of number five as regularly as you wish.
This is the core of where you are going in this book.
As you accept your anxiety you can also accept your ability to change.
You may also want write yourself an affirmation stating something like “I am me and I totally accept myself as I am at the moment.”
You can write this affirmation in your own words in your notebook. As with most affirmations it helps if you repeat them with positive feeling daily.
I did mention earlier that I would like you to commit yourself to a small celebration on the 19th day of this course. How you choose to celebrate the completion is entirely up to you, it could be a special treat for yourself by yourself. On the other hand you may wish to celebrate with a small group of friends or family. You may also choose a day that does not fit in sequence with the rest of his 20 days. You could select a weekend or evening that fits in your schedule better.
Write your commitment down in your journal and you can then begin to wonder about how you are going to organise the experience. Put it in your diary.
Questions for you
Can you learn to accept your anxiety?
What have you learned about yourself so far in light of this course?
Well done you have now completed the first two days this course.