I had a friend over the other day and she was so irritated with the fact that she was so disorganized. She felt like her life was overwhelmed and chaotic and she was beating herself up about it.
She told me, “I love love love when my apartment is clean. I love when my schedule is organized, but I can’t seem to get it together or keep it together.”
I just looked at her and said, “What if you just embraced the fact that you’re messy and that’s not going to change, it’s a part of your nature? What if you practiced radical acceptance of the fact and said, “Yep. I’m messy AF” and just made some extra money to have a cleaning person come in every two weeks?”
She looked at me like I was an alien and then her eyes lit up! “It’s that simple huh?” Of course it is. Instead of pushing against who you are and disapproving of it, accepting it would bring you peace, but then take some action steps to work with that part of who you are instead of condemning it.”
Now, I’m sure that maybe you’ve felt this way about SOMETHING in your life. Like there’s an aspect of your personality that you just don’t like that you feel is the source of your life not being how you want it to be. We’ve all been there.
However, we’ve been so hell-bent on CHANGING ourselves, that we’ve failed to see the magic and the solutions that come when we simply embrace who we are.
Radical self-approval can change how you feel inside which then changes the outcomes in your life. It’s quite magical when you start to flow with the water verses against the tide.
For example, I work a lot. I love it, it feeds me and I enjoy it. For a few years when I first started my business, I shamed this about myself because heard people say, If I am always working, then I am not truly living.
This was ALSO peppered with the shift in the entrepreneur world from one of “Grind. Make it happen!” to one that was “Work is bad. You should be living. What’s wrong with you if you always want to work? You’re unhealthy.” It was judgment either way. You’re working TOO hard or you’re not working enough. Catch 22.
Not to mention all those “Check out my office” pics people posted on social media of sitting on the beach with their laptops while I was on the phone, working on the computer or taking client meetings at hotels in the city. Judgement. “You’re not on the beach, drinking margaritas. You’re working too much.”
Now, because I felt this way about myself, this shame of LIKING to work, I attracted partners and friendships who also disaffirmed my work style. Which fueled my desire to change. So I tried to force NOT working. Liking being off and lounging around on the beach.
What I realized is...Yes I love to relax, have fun, play and all that. However, I also like to work. When I “Radically Approved” of that, I found a beautiful balance between work and play that suits me.
It allows for downtime and creativity...and it allows for productivity and strategy. I flow between the masculine and feminine parts of myself. That would not have occurred if I just kept shaming that part of myself.
The approval opened up creativity possibilities, joy and now in my downtime I have a lot more fun because I know that there is also a time when I will be working. This has created more Joy in work AND joy in play. Go figure.
So now I want you to try it...this whole radical self-approval thing.
Here’s a technique that I use with my clients to help them be radical in their wholeness and it’s actually a lot of fun:
What’s one thing that you wish was different about yourself? Something you’ve been grappling with for a long time and shaming yourself about?
Once you have it. I want you to do a dance break to a song that makes you feel REALLY good and shout at the top of your lungs, “I am ______(insert character trait here)!” Celebrate that trait in your body. This will remove the resistance.
Dance with it.
Be childlike in your celebration of it.
Dance until you feel REALLY happy. It will release endorphins and open brain space and send you away from the resistance. Then literally say out loud, “I open up to creative possibilities and ideas for working with this _______” Keep dancing.
Then, just go on about your day. If you start feeling shame about the thing again, do the steps above a few more times. I guarantee you some ideas and possibilities for working WITH that character trait verses against it will show up.
Once you discover it, send me a shout out. I’d love to hear what are you radically approving of for yourself? Let’s celebrate our quirks together!
And if you know someone who really needs a shot of Self-approval, send this to them. Sometimes we all need it.
Love You Fiercely & I’ll talk to you next week,