Challenges Change Future

258 – Nothing Endures But Change

How do you handle change? Does it overwhelm you? Do you try to ignore it or do you embrace it? Today I want to talk about understanding change and how we can use stoicism to help us through some rocky times.

“Nothing endures but change.”

— Heraclitus

“There are two of the most immediately useful thoughts you will delve into. First that things cannot touch the mind: they are external and inert; anxieties can only come from your internal judgement. Second, that all these things you see will change almost as you look at them, and then will be no more. Constantly bring to mind all that you yourself have already seen changed. The universe is change: life is perspective.”

— Marcus Aurelius


Change is the only constant in the universe and is something that everyone has to deal with in life. There is simply no way to avoid it. Life is change. When you stop changing, you’re dead.

As much as we like variety in life, most of us enjoy stability or the sameness of life. This is why we don’t get up and move every day. We like finding a place to live, people to be friends with, stores that we regularly shop at.

There is a certain comfort that comes with familiarity. We see this in all areas of our lives. When we go to the store, we like to know where the things are that we want and get frustrated when things are moved to a new aisle. We will often buy the same brand of shoe year after year because we like the fit or the look. We go to the same restaurants or bars because we feel comfortable with the decor, the staff, and the food.

When it comes to work we will often stay at jobs we don’t like because the amount of changed involved feels like it will be too much. Looking for a new job, learning new skills, and possibly moving can seem daunting and cause us to not take action. Starting your own company or working for yourself may be a dream that never gets fulfilled simply because there is too much change involved.

When it comes to people, we have friendships that last for years because they bring us connection and community. We will often hold onto not so great friendships simply because we have had them for a while. People may stay in romantic relationships even when both partners are unhappy simply because making that big of change is too scary. There’s a comfort with what we know, and even if we may not feel that close anymore, there’s a familiarity that is not easy to let go of.

We like things to stay the same.

We always have the opportunity to make changes and choose different things in our lives. This is something that many of us don’t really think much about. We forget that at any time we can decide to change our lives. Often it isn’t until something big happens to knock us out of our comfort zone that we try something new, and that’s often because we have no choice.


“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.“

— M. Scott Peck

The reason that I’m discussing this topic this week is because my life has been hit with a lot of changes over past year. My kids are out of the house and living their own lives. They’re doing a great job being adults, and I’m proud of them, but I’m not longer a caregiver in that sense any more. My romantic relationship of almost 10 years came to an end and it’s been a struggle to process it and move on. I was laid off from work a few months ago and even though my skills are usually in high demand, I haven’t even gotten a first interview. On top of that I’m selling my house because I don’t need this much space for one person. I’ve also decided to move to Europe after I get my house sold, though I’m still unsure where I’ll end up.

Talk about massive changes.

This last weekend I went camping at a regional Burning Man music and art festival. For me, events like this are always a place for reflection and processing hard things in my life. It’s a space to get away from daily life and slow down. It was a hard weekend in some ways because I realized how adrift I felt. So many of core parts of my life have shifted in such dramatic ways that at times I feel overwhelmed. I took the time this weekend to reconnect with friends and really think about my next steps in life.

So, with that said, I want to talk about some of the things that I learned over the past few months about how to deal with with big changes in our lives in the most effective way.

First, I want to talk about some of the challenging emotions that we face when we have big changes that happen in our lives.


“Fear is the basis of all suffering. Both desire and anger are manifestations of fear. Fear itself is a creation of your mind. It does not exist independently. Since it is a fabrication, you don’t have to fight it. Just understand it. Understanding is the key to freedom.”

@TheAncientSage (twitter)

We often feel fear when there is a change in our lives because we were comfortable with the way things were, and we’re scared of the unknown, we’re scared of the future. While we rationally understand that the future is never something we can know, when we are in a comfortable place in our lives, our minds get used to it and we act as if life will continue on the same.

When we start to worry about the future, we will often fall into the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing, which is where we imagine the worse case scenario and believe that is what is going to happen to us. We start to assume that things can only get worse and will never be as good as they were.

If we lose a job, we might worry about how we’re going to pay our bills. We may believe that we will never find another job. If a relationship ends we may feel like we will never find another relationship where we are loved again.


There are many emotions that come up when grapple with change. Grief is probably the heaviest one to deal with. What grief is really about is struggling with change. It’s about recognizing that from the moment of that loss, that life will no longer be the same.

When I talk about grief, I’m not just talking about the death of someone we care about. It can mean any significant loss that we facing. It could be the death of a loved one or even just someone we admire. It could mean the end of a significant relationship. It could mean the loss of a job that we really loved. It could be the loss of a home or a pet, or even moving to a new city.

When there is something that holds importance to us, we feel like it’s a part of our life. When that loss occurs, we feel like we are losing a part of our lives. Since we are social creatures, we integrate people into part of our lives. We know who we are by our interactions with other people. When we lose someone close to us, it can feel like we are losing a part of ourselves, and in a way we are because our lives aren’t just us as a single person, but us as part of a community.

Losing a job can also be something that can cause a lot of grief. We may feel a lack of purpose in our lives if our job is a defining part of our identity. I know some people identify so strong with their careers that they feel like they aren’t themselves if they aren’t dong their kind of work.

When a romantic relationship ends we can often feel a great deal of loss. When we have someone that is so entwined in our lives, they really are a part of us. You feel like you are missing your other half. Loneliness always lurks around the corner. You miss that comfort of the other person that knows you so well and has been your support.

Your social life changes pretty drastically as well. As much as they try not to, friends may divide themselves onto one side or the other. Attending events without your former partner feels strange. You often feel like you will never be loved again like that person loved us.

So how do we deal with big changes in our lives? I think that the hardest part for any of us is to let go of the resistance that we put up when big changes come along in our lives. We don’t want things to change, and the more we can flow with the changes, the easier we’ll be able to see and embrace the opportunities ahead. We’ll be able to take actions that will help us move forward into the future with confidence.

Feel It

“No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.”

— Alan Watts

I think the most important thing we can do when we struggle these heavy emotions is to give ourselves time to fully feel them. The worst thing you can do is to try and ignore them or repress them. When the stoics talk about living according to nature, for me that includes feeling your emotions. Every one of us has emotions which is part of our nature. The notion that stoics do not feel emotions is wrong. We just work on trying to manage our emotions in a healthy and productive way.

When we feel fear, we need to lean in, feel it, and understand why it is there. We can talk with our friends about the fear that we are feeling. I know for me I will often feel so much better just talking about the things that I’m afraid of. I talk about my worries of the future so that they are out of my head. Once they’re out in the open it’s easier to talk about what I can do about them. It also makes it easier to see that they aren’t really all that scary, and that people throughout history have dealt with massive changes in their lives and they have not only survived, but plenty have thrived.

“It is better to conquer grief than to deceive it.”

— Seneca

When it comes to grief, I think that it’s really important to let yourself feel it. The more you try to ignore grief, the more it will sink you. When you feel a loss so big that it causes you grief, you really are losing a part of yourself, and you need to mourn that loss. If you don’t process that grief, you are simply delaying something that your mind needs to work through. Talk with a good friend, and if it’s too much for them to handle, find a good therapist. There is no shame in grieving. Even the mighty Spartans grieved over those lost in battle.

Premeditatio Malorum

“This is why we need to envisage every possibility and to strengthen the spirit to deal with the things which may conceivably come about. Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. Misfortune may snatch you away from your country… If we do not want to be overwhelmed and struck numb by rare events as if they were unprecedented ones; fortune needs envisaging in a thoroughly comprehensive way.”


One of the best ways that we can prepare for dealing with fear, grief, and anxiety about change is to take some time and imagine the worst possible scenario. Now I know this feels like it’s falling into a catastrophizing mindset, but premeditatio malorum is about thinking through all possible cases while you are in a safe place. You prepare yourself mentally to go to a darker place, all from the safety of your own mind.

I recommend either writing in your journal, talking to a good friend you trust, or even a therapist. The more you just let them float around in your mind, the scarier than can seem, so get them out of your head. You can set out a basic format of listing all the things that can go wrong, and then think about ways you could handle them should they arise. You can work backwards and think about ways that you can prepare for them and maybe even see ways that you can prevent them.

Acceptance and Appreciation

“Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. That way peace is possible.”

— Epictetus

The next big area I want to focus on is acceptance and appreciation. The stoics teach us that it is important to practice amor fati, that we learn to love our fate. Life is going to throw things at you whether you like it or not. The universe doesn’t care how you feel about it, so doing your best to love what gets sent your way is a way to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed when big changes come. When you can learn to appreciate the hard things and the lessons they teach you, then you are more likely to see them as opportunities than challenges.

“Change is never painful, only your resistance to change is painful.”

— Buddhist proverb

In many ways, all the hard things that have happened to me have pushed me to step up and take more responsibility for my life. I don’t really have the option to just sit back and coast. Since I’m unemployed, I’ve had to step up and figure out how to cover my expenses. When I lost my job a few months ago, I didn’t stress out about it nor did I get mad at my former boss. I just recognized that it was just a part of life and that now I had time to work on other things that I didn’t have time for in the past.

Since then I created a 30 day challenge stoic challenge course for my listeners. I’ve been working on setting up mastermind groups and private coaching. I’ve been learning about marketing and creating content. I’ve also been practicing piano more often, exercising every day, and taking steps to improve my health. I’ve taken time to grieve over the loss from my relationship ending, and also appreciated the great things that I gained from that relationship.

Another thing I realized with all the big changes happening is that even though I do feel adrift, it’s okay. I realized that rather than feeling anxiety that things are so unsettled and wishing that things were more certain, I decided I to get comfortable with things being adrift and trust that at some point in the future things will be more solid. I’ve accepted that I’m just going to feel untethered, and that I need to stop resisting and do my best just flow with the changes.


“Life is a storm that will test you unceasingly. Don’t wait for calm waters that may not arrive. Derive purpose from resilience. Learn to sail the raging sea.”

— @TheStoicEmperor (twitter)

Life never goes according to plan nor according to our desires, and to be honest, I think that’s a good thing. If life went exactly the way that we wanted we’d be rather bored. It’s the challenges and the hardships that we overcome that make life interesting and exciting. When we have to stretch and work for what comes next, that’s when we grow. That’s when we learn how to accomplish great things. That’s when we feel most alive. When we accept what happens to us and figure out how to make the best of what comes our way, then we are truly living life like a stoic.

Hello friends! Thank you for listening. Stop by the website at where you can sign up for our newsletter, and buy some great looking shirts and hoodies at the Stoic Coffee Shop.

Want to help support this podcast? Become a patron on patreon!

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Lastly if you know of someone that would benefit from or appreciate this podcast, please share it. Word of mouth is the best way to help this podcast grow.

Thanks again for listening.


252 – Overwhelmed

Do you get overwhelmed with the challenges of life? When life gets too stressful do you shut down and bail out? Today I want to talk about why we let things overwhelm us and what can we do to stay on track.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

— Marcus Aurelius

Life is challenging. Some times we feel overwhelmed at the situations we have in life. When this happens we may shut down and retreat. We may give up on things that are important to us that are not even directly tied to the situation that may be causing stress in our lives. This can include areas such as work, relationships, or hobbies.

Many people might see this and think that the "obvious" solution is that this is a failure of planning, as in, you might have unrealistic timelines or expectations of how much you can actually get done. When you fail to meet those expectations, you get frustrated and burned out.

But before we look at tactics, let's think a little deeper, shall we?

First, I want you to know that you are not alone. Anyone involved in a creative endeavor runs into this issue. And by creative endeavor I mean creating anything, and that also includes creating a better life. We have great intentions, high aspirations, and plenty of talent, and yet, we get sidetracked, spiral out, and shut down.

I know that I have a pretty familiar pattern: I make plans when I’m in a good headspace. I feel excited and am looking forward to working on my goals. Then something stressful hits in my life, and pretty soon I find myself retreating and backing off from a lot of things in life.

I’ve done this several times with my podcast. Things in my personal life would be falling apart, then I would shut down the podcast. Sometimes, I would try working on another project, only to find that I even then I still would feel overwhelmed and just give up.

The worst part about this pattern is that I would feel like a failure on multiple fronts. I would feel like a failure because of the issue in my personal life, then I would feel like a failure because I wasn’t working on my podcast or music or learning 3D programming.

So why do we do this? Why do allow stress from one part in our life deep six other things in our lives?


I think the first thing we need to come to terms with is that sometimes, we’re looking for a way out. When I feel overwhelmed and let myself burnout, it is often because, deep down, at some level, it's what I really want. I want to give up. Sometimes, life is hard and letting outside events overwhelm me is an easy way to blame an outside event for failing to achieve what I set out to do.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “I would never do that! I really want to succeed, but there was just too much other shit going on."

Let me let in you on something: Everyone has too much other shit going on. Kid's plays and soccer games. Partners and friends who need your time and attention. And there are the basics such as, you know, keeping up with work. That's not to mention taking time for ourselves such as exercise, hobbies, and rest.

Simple put, life is busy.

Plenty of people have done amazing things while still managing all this extra shit. If you really want to accomplish your goal, then you wouldn't let anything stop you.

Let me put it this way. If one of your projects was something you needed to complete because if you didn't you would die, do you think you would let those outside things overwhelm you?

I don't think so.

I think you'd finish it come hell or highwater and push all those external things to the side.

If there is something that you truly want to do in life, then any external excuse for quitting, is just that – an excuse.

Ultimately, I find that I sometimes let myself just get overwhelmed because it's easier than pushing through, and I can point to a "reason" why it wasn't my fault that I failed. But if I'm honest with myself, I know, deep down, I'm quitting because I just don't want to do the hard work. It's hard to admit to something like this, especially when you know you are quite capable, but owning up to it is the first step in taking responsibility for your choices. You have the right to choose to not do something. You don’t need a reason outside of yourself.

Now, not everything we feel burned out on is due to self-sabotage. Sometimes we really do want to reach some goal but we’re pushing ourselves too hard and we end up ignoring other aspects of our lives. Stoicism is about equanimity, it’s about finding balance so that we can work efficiently and effectively. So let’s dig into some ways that you can help find that balance, and avoid burning out.

Facing Up to Your Emotions

I think the biggest piece of the puzzle that can cause us to feel overwhelmed is that we may be in situations that are emotionally challenging and we don’t want to face them. When something in our lives is emotionally draining, we will often try to ignore it. But in doing so, the emotion doesn’t go away. It stays in our system unresolved. We carry it around like shackles on our ankles, and we’re the ones that put them on. We might be able to function in our daily lives, but we are not bringing all our resources to bear. We are not operating at our best.

This can become too much of a burden and rather than face up to and deal with these challenging emotions, we find ways to distract ourselves. The list of distractions includes alcohol, drugs, work, television, video games or any other number of things that allow us to push these uncomfortable emotions to the side. I noticed that when I took a break from my podcast over a year ago, rather than working on learning graphics programming in my spare time, which was my plan, I ended up just playing video games. I had no motivation to anything else. I didn’t write. I didn’t read any books. I didn’t hang out with friends.

Once I started facing up to some of the emotionally challenging situations in my life, I was better able to handle the pressure of other commitments, such as working on my podcast. I was more social. I started working out again. My life wasn’t perfect by any means, but it certainly felt more manageable.

Physical Health

I think that many of our issues with mental health are directly related to out physical health. If we’re exhausted, in pain, or in poor health, it affects our state of mind, causing us to have a negative outlook on life. I think that there is an underestimation of how much our physical state affects our mental state. We like to think that we can just change our thinking and we can ignore our physical state. But remember, we experience the world in our bodies, so to pretend that they aren’t linked is rather foolish.

If you find yourself feeling burned out, make sure that you are taking care of the physical things. Pushing ourselves too hard, eating poorly, not sleeping enough affects our mental outlook whether we like it or not.

For example, in my own life, I struggle with insomnia. This makes it hard to think clearly, and often makes things feel much darker or harder than they really are. I can be grumpy and irritable without really being aware of it. Doing my best to take care of myself by doing everything I can to improve my sleep by eating healthy, exercising, and following a regular sleep schedule has helped quite a bit. I also do my best to be aware of my mood by writing in my journal and meditating.

Narrow Your Focus

In our world of productivity hacks and hustle culture, we can feel overwhelmed because we try to take on too many things. We may feel guilty when we take time to relax and recharge because it’s not considered productive. Much of this comes from comparing ourselves to others. We look at how others “hustle” and think that is the reason for their success. But as any good athlete will tell you, resting is just as important as training. Doing one without the other will guarantee failure. Finding the balance of working hard and resting is what puts you in the ideal state.

When we’re spread too thin and pulled in too many directions, we end up not doing anything very well. By reducing what we’re working on to just a few things at any given period of time, we can make more progress on the goals that we have. This doesn’t mean that we need to drop everything else, but it can mean that we schedule things to a later date. There is nothing that says we have to accomplish everything all at once. And to be honest, just hustling all the time sucks the joy and pleasure out of life.

Time Management

"It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it."

— Seneca

One area that we can focus on which will help reduce our stress is managing our time. This is something that I’m still working on, and I should probably do a full episode so that I can explore ways to manage my time better. But for now, I have a very basic schedule to my day of when I start and end work. I also schedule in self care activities like exercise and meditation. I make sure that I take at least 30 minutes for lunch, since I work from home and it’s pretty easy to just get busy and push through some code I’m working on.

Since I struggle with insomnia, I’ve been making sure that I have some wind down time before bed. This means that an hour before bed I will doing something relaxing that is not cognitively taxing. This could be watching something fun on Netflix, reading some nice fiction, or sitting in the hot tub. As I’m getting ready for bed, I’ll put on some chill jazz piano, to help my mind wind down.

Creating a basic outline to your day can help you manage your life a little better. The less you have to keep in your head, the more likely you’ll be able to follow your schedule. Also, if you put everything on a calendar, it’s easier to see if you are simply overloaded and trying to take on too many things.

Make Choices

"It is not what happens to you that matters, but how you react to it that determines the quality of your life. You have within you the power to choose your thoughts and opinions, and you can choose to respond to any situation with patience, courage, and understanding."

— Epictetus

Often when we’re feeling overwhelmed it’s because we are stuck in a place of worry and confusion. Probably the most useful tool that I’ve worked on implementing in my life is something I talked about in episode 247 – There are no Problems, Only Choices. This is the idea that rather than focusing on a problem and all the worries attached to it, you focus on what choices you have available, and figure out which one most align with your goals, your values, and your principles.

Focusing on what choices you can make is beneficial for a number of reasons. Since you are focusing on choices, you spend less time needlessly worrying about the problem. It also puts you in a better place to take action. When you take action, you are making progress. When you make even just a little progress, it makes the next set of choices easier. You create momentum which can help carry you through the difficult parts of a situation.

We may get stuck in worrying what choice is the “right one”, or we may have too many choices. If you find that you have having a hard time making a choice, figure out what your principles and values are and use that as your guide. Is there a choice that aligns with them? If not, are there any choices that tick most of the boxes, but still support your most important principles? Is there choice that can, at the very least, get you started?


There are a lot of things in the world that can derail us from achieving the things we want, though usually the biggest hinderance is ourselves. However, there are foundational things that we can to do that make us more resilient when we run into resistance and help us avoid burnout. When we focus on taking care of our physical health, managing our time, and put our energy towards making better choices and find that balance that we need. When we find that balance, it helps us keep moving forward, rest and recover, and enjoy the journey.

Hello friends! Thank you for listening. Stop by the website at where you can sign up for our newsletter, and buy some great looking shirts and hoodies at the Stoic Coffee Shop.

Want to help support this podcast? Become a patron on patreon!

Like the theme song? You can find it here from my alter ego. 🙂

Find me on instagram or twitter.

Lastly if you know of someone that would benefit from or appreciate this podcast, please share it. Word of mouth is the best way to help this podcast grow. Thanks again for listening.


207 – Resistance

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Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. That way peace is possible. 

— Epictetus

What if you stopped resisting what life brought your way? What if you could cheerfully accept everything that came your way? How would that change the way you showed up in the world? This week I want to talk about the importance of dealing with what is, and not what we think it should be.

The stoic idea of Amor Fati, to “love your fate”, is often a confusing topic. Did the stoics mean we are victims of fate, and that we do not have freewill and we should just accept what happens to us? I mean doesn’t that just make us victims?

I don’t think so. I think what they meant was that life, fate, is going to happen to us no matter what. Unless you’re dead, there are things that are going to happen in your life, and you have no control over them. And because they are going to happen to us, whether we like it or not, we can either resist and complain, or we can accept that this is how life is happening to us, and flow with what happens.

Wisdom lies in cheerful acceptance of whatever life throws at you. 

—The Ancient Sage

Should Be vs. Could Be

When you focus on what you think “should be”, you are wishing for the world to be something different than it is. You are projecting your expectations on the world. You are chronically unhappy because the world will never change to meet your expectations. You judge everything by what you think it should be, not what it is. People are not doing the things you think they should. Events aren’t happening like you think they should. When you think about how things should be, you are wishing.

When you focus on what “could be”, then you are recognizing the way things actually are, and seeing the potential. You mind can be creative because it sees the possibilities, based on what is there, and what things could become. It gives you a real chance to actually accomplish something because it starts from a basis in reality, rather than trying to bend things to fit our expectations.

Once you can accept everything for exactly as it really is, especially the things we don’t like, you can be okay with whatever life throws are you. It doesn’t mean that you have to like it. It just means that you acknowledge and accept it. You can see opportunities and potential. You are curious and accepting, and less judgmental.

This is not an easy mindset to adopt. We’re told that we should visualize how we want things to be, and just think positively and everything will work out. While I think imagining the future we want is important, we should be cautious of wishful thinking.

I think a good metaphor would be if you went river rafting and complained about the flow of the river, the curve in the shore, and the challenge of the rapids. If you constantly wanted the river to change so it was more to your liking, then you’re never going to enjoy the river for what it is. You’re going to be upset that it didn’t meet your expectations.

On the other hand, if you simply accept the river for what it is, and appreciate and explore the challenges of the river, you’re going to focus your energies on the best way to ride the rapids, enjoy the lulls of the more placid areas, and appreciate the scenery. You accept what is, and focus on making the best of the situation, rather than wishing for the river change for you.

To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. 

— Eckhart Tolle


I think that a lot of our stress comes from resistance. We don’t want to deal with what is, so we find ways to avoid dealing with what is. We may avoid having tough conversations. We avoid doing the hard things, hoping that if we just ignore it, it will resolve itself on its own. But this never works, and it usually makes things much worse. Even just half-assing it doesn’t work. Whatever the excuse is, it’s usually because we feel uncomfortable, and I’m speaking from my experience here.

For example, if you need to have a hard conversation with your partner, and you avoid and don’t commit to it fully and honestly, things rarely go well. You come up with all kinds of excuses and rationalizations as to why you should avoid having that hard talk, but for any of us that have been in long-term relationships we know that avoiding the problem never makes it go away, and generally makes it worse. If you embrace the hard stuff from the beginning, then it is much easier to deal with. When you let things fester, then it’s not just about the issue, it’s also about avoiding the issue.

It’s kind of like having an open wound – the more you ignore it, the greater the chance you have of it getting infected. If you take care of it right off the bat, it’s much easier to clean it out and keep it from getting infected. Once it’s infected, then it takes more drastic action to repair the damage, and the greater your potential for causing long-term harm to the situation.

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life. 

— Marcus Aurelius


So what can we do to be more accepting of what life throws our way? I think one of the best ways is to let go of our expectations, and do our best to face our challenges head on. When we look at anything that pops up in our lives as just another day in our life and get on with dealing with it, we are better able to deal with it. When we complain, avoid, or ignore, we are not only wasting time, we are also putting ourselves into a mindset where we are even less able to deal with it effectively. If we look at each challenge as something we can learn from and build our skills, then we are using our time more effectively, as well as priming our minds to approach it with a more effective mindset.


I think another key area of accepting life as it is, is to accept ourselves as we are. For those of us that work hard to improve ourselves, we also need to remember that we have all kinds of expectations about ourselves that are often detrimental. There is a lot that we want to accomplish, and we can see the person who we want to be, but I think that we often make plans and set goals with this perfect ideal of ourselves in mind. If our plans expect us to be operating at our best, or some ridiculously idealized version of yourself all the time, without room for being at our worst, then we’re going to suffer a lot of failures in our lives. I think we need to recognize not just our strengths, but also our weaknesses, and work within what we can really accomplish, not just what our ideal selves can accomplish.

Remember, self acceptance it not about letting yourself off the hook. It’s about being realistic about what you can do, and who you really are. It also removes a lot of shame for not being something other than what you are. It’s a recognition that a lot of the ideas of what you should be are not yours, but are those given to us by family, religion, society, and other external influences.


Learning to accept life and ourselves and stop resisting what life hands us is not a simple task. But learning to be realistic about how things are and how we really are, can help give us a perspective about the potential of how things could be. When we work from a base of “what is” it’s more likely that we are able to realize our potential, and not get stuck in wishful thinking.

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