In this Covid19 world, there is so much information circulating right now, and I don’t want to contribute to the cognitive overload. For this blog I thought I would share a mindset shift that I’m practising a lot right now – personally and with my clients. I hope it’s helpful for you too.
For me, I’m not immune to the swirl of fear and concern. My husband Steve is stuck in the UK at the moment. I have lost work. I’m worried for friends and family. I am human!
Because of this, I am doubling down into mindset work. I am using this stuff every day.
Here are 4 prominent mindset shifts I believe are useful to be aware of and practice shifting into as regularly as possible.
For this blog, we’ll look at the second one – moving from Judgement to Acceptance.
The mindset of Judgement is on overdrive right now! At its heart is a judgement that something’s wrong here. This mindset can sound like this: “It shouldn’t be this way.” “Why is it like this?” “If only this hadn’t happened.” “This isn’t right, this isn’t fair.”
This is a completely natural unconscious response to a pandemic, but the longer we stay stuck in Judgement, the longer our lack of power remains. This mindset is about resisting reality. We spend time, energy and hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) wishing things were different. This is a circular route to nowhere.
As Byron Katie says in her book Loving What Is (essential reading in these times I believe),
“When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100 percent of the time.”
When we’re stuck in Judgement – that something is wrong – we find lots of evidence to justify staying stuck. However, the mindset to develop when you notice yourself in Judgement is to practice Acceptance. Acceptance acknowledges the situation. It doesn’t gloss over it. For many of us, we are in a world of pain. But part of this pain is because we are still resisting how things really are.
The mindset of Acceptance sounds like this: “It is this way. This is how it is right now.”
Acceptance is not about liking or disliking something. It’s not about being resigned. It’s an active leadership choice we can practice moment by moment to whatever arises. One of my favourite Zen sayings is “The source of all suffering is not choosing what’s occurring.”
You may not like what is happening, but can you choose it? Can you make this your choice?
You might as well, because it is this way!
This mindset shift from Judgement to Acceptance was really helpful in dealing with the uncertainty of Steve being stuck in the UK. When we realised what was happening, we accepted it, and in doing so, everything settled. The conversation immediately moved from drama and fear, and into a place of calm and power.
Resting into acceptance takes a softening. It’s like when you start to stretch your hamstrings. They start off so tight. The muscles resist the movement. Yet the more you soften, the deeper the stretch. So too with Acceptance. There are layers and layers to it.
The transformative aspect to Acceptance is that when we truly accept, something else emerges as possible. When we stop resisting, when we move from Judgment to Acceptance – new actions, perspectives and possibilities are available to us.
To shift from Judgment to Acceptance, I find the following questions helpful.
Accepting this is so, how do I now feel? (And allow yourself to feel it.)
Given this situation, what’s the next best action I can take right now?
What can I soften into in this moment?
What am I resisting?
In accepting this new situation, how can I now show up?
These are tough times that have the power to be transformative. I am standing for this and will be writing and working even more in the domains of power and transformation. I think the opportunity here (gained through acceptance) is to imagine, weave and build a new world.