The Search for Acceptance

“Low self esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on”. ~Maxwell Maltz

Reflecting on the above quote, I found myself looking back on my life. My own inner self critic often displays itself as such a hand-brake. I’ve fought with a need to be perfect. I’ve struggled with not being able to do some things as well as others could, which meant I often compared myself to others, further raising the hand-brake.

It’s been said we are often our own worst enemy. I am no exception.

At the beginning of October, I attended an ADD Conference. One of the speakers said something that made me bristle. “Take the word can’t out of your vocabulary”. I stewed for a few days over this, allowing the quest for perfection that I’ve been trying to overcome, and my inner self critic to run rampant. “If I take the word can’t out of my vocabulary”, I thought… that would mean anything anyone asked of me, I would have to find a way to do”. This thought further reinforced that feeling of the need to be perfection.

I think it was another speaker who said, “we need to accept our deficits/or weaknesses and focus instead on our strengths”. I sighed, wondering how on earth to do this, while challenging myself to eliminate the word can’t. Have you ever found yourself over thinking a situation to such an extent it drives you batty? I found my thoughts to be in total disarray!!

My therapist and I spoke about this not long after. I told her about this war within, “there’s no way I can be perfect. I KNOW that, so why is taking the word can’t out of my vocabulary causing me such grief. The only perfect person I’ve ever known of, is Jesus…” Suddenly the light bulb went off.

“I could be perfect if I was Jesus, but I’m not.” I am Sue, and what that says to me, is that I’m a LOT different than Jesus. I’m different in SO many ways. We ALL have differences making us the unique individuals that we are! How could I have NOT have gotten that?! Exploring further, I thought about other “cant’s” I’ve found myself saying, and began rephrasing them. Taking the word can’t out of the equation, (I never thought I’d say this), stretched my imagination and became FUN, it even got my creative juices flowing. Dare I admit that speaker was on to something?

Acceptance of what is realistically within my scope of abilities as well as acceptance what I CAN do, what I need assistance with to be able to do especially when something falls within the scope of a weakness, and what I specifically would need to have, or be, in order to accomplish those things I would normally use that blasted “can’t” word on. I find myself having WAY to much fun with this realm of thinking now that my brain is headed in the right direction. It’s really quite thrilling.

“I can be organized with support, encouragement, and someone to assist in this majorly overwhelming area of my home and work life”. “I can touch the ceiling on my tip-toes if I were taller, or had stilts, maybe even an extra large ladder.” “I can fly if I were a bird, a fly, a bee, or an airplane, etc.” “I can do a good many things that fall within the scope of my natural strengths, talents, and abilities.”

“I can write. I LOVE to write! Sometimes it takes a little time to get the creative juices and the brain started, not to mention having a cooperative connection between my brain and fingers!! When it all connects, when it all comes together… Yes, I can do this with a little bit o’ something that triggers my creativity, time and most especially… PATIENCE, – which is one thing I need to find more of within myself.

What about you? What are those areas you struggle with being able to do that cause your inner self critic to run amuck?

Let’s take some time to explore those barriers, and find a way to make them work for us towards acceptance. My hand brake is lowered. Are you ready to lower yours?

Let’s See What We Need to Eliminate Our Barriers to Acceptance!

Think about…

  1. What things, tasks, or chores do you struggle with the most?
  2. What would you need to accomplish that task?
  3. Is this something you would find yourself saying “I can’t do________” to?
  4. Using my theory in the search for acceptance, how would you rephrase that thing, task or chore that you feel you can’t do?
  5. If you eliminated the word can’t from your vocabulary, accepted your strengths as well as your weakness could you, would you, find a way to share your story to encourage someone else?

The Search for Acceptance
©Sue Anderson,  All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

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