In business and in life, accepting what is happening in the present moment can feel like a difficult, if not impossible, task. After all, doesn’t success come from a constant driving focus on goals, on envisioning what can be by not accepting what is, and then by pushing forward to make it happen? What gets denied when we push too hard or too fast? It is oftentimes the flipped side of the success coin that the shadows of success are exposed: perfectionism and the need to control. How would holding space for acceptance of what is actually happening in the present moment influence our growth and well-being to actually be better…to do better?
In Jon Kabat Zinn’s Wheel of Mindfulness, acceptance is “seeing things as they really are in the present which reduces the energy drained by denying, suppressing, or resisting what is already here, thus freeing and focusing our energies for positive change.” It is through this acceptance we are able to be fully present within our current state and situation instead of choosing to deny or internally struggle against it. There may be a new boss, a new policy we do not agree with, new technology we don’t know how to use, or a deal that was lost after months of hard work we painfully relive over and over again. If, instead of lamenting over unexpected change, we could accept what is happening in the moment more completely; we could move on, focused and a willing participant in a positive new reality.
When working with my clients, I encourage them to use the following steps when holding space for acceptance.
- Be honest with yourself. Carefully explore the current state of the situation and your feelings about it. Hold yourself accountable within your honesty. Learn from the situation then move to step 2, letting go.
- Let go. Ruminating over loss or on what should have been does not permit you to move forward. Stop holding on to what is not there.
- Accept what is happening now. What is happening now is your reality. As humans, we make mistakes, fail at our interactions, and sometimes stumble down our path. Learn to forgive yourself. Learn to dwell in the now.
- Step Forward. Looking in the rearview mirror will not help you move forward. If you live in your moment, present, exactly where you are is where you want to be. Accept it. Stop resisting, stop regarding your past to be more important than your present. You are where you are because of your skill and ability. Step forward in your resilience and in your strength to be present in a new and ever unfolding way.
Being mindful is about having an awareness of the present moment and living in awe as life unfolds. In business, we have the capacity to use our awareness of the present moment to bring about the positive change needed to naturally progress forward, without control and without regret. By holding space for acceptance, we are who we are meant to be, fully capable and courageous human beings.