Some Questions to Help With Acceptance

Take some time to stop and ask yourself if the behaviors you don't like are actually causing you harm or if they're simply part of who you are. Acceptance is the key to ridding yourself of self-imposed shame.

Here’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years — the more accepting I am of myself and my flaws, the less shame I surround myself with.

That’s a big deal. I never really understood the concept until I embraced one of the biggest things that I always saw as a defect — procrastination.

I loooove to procrastinate. I literally can’t get things done ahead of time if my life depends on it. High school and college papers would get done the night before, I took my NASM certification test literally a couple days before the 6 month time limit, the thank you notes for our wedding went out months after the actual event, and I didn’t memorize my speech for a conference I spoke at until the night before in my hotel room.

For many, many years I saw this as a defect. I thought that responsible people got things done early and didn’t have to work under a cloud of anxiety and deadlines. I repeatedly tried to force myself to do things early, only to remind myself that I had “x” number of days or weeks and that there were more pressing things to be done in the moment. I viewed that as a failure.

Because I couldn’t force myself to correct a behavior that I thought made me irresponsible and less-than, I always felt shame for waiting until the last minute. Mind you, I always got things turned in on time, but I viewed the way I got them done to be inferior to someone else.

I’m not sure what happened, but one day something just clicked for me. The way I was doing things wasn’t inferior, it was simply different. I was putting value judgements on things that simply were. No good, no bad, just two different ways to go about accomplishing a task.

This post is reminiscent of one that I wrote about labeling habits as good or bad (and how we should stop!). The day that I realized that procrastination was just another way to approach an action was the day that the shame I had built around it simply melted away.

There was nothing wrong with my procrastination — I simply work better under pressure. As long as I give myself time, I can sit down and get a task done. I approach procrastination in a responsible way and I’m more efficient when I know I have a limited amount of time. It’s that simple.

Most of the time my procrastination doesn’t pose a problem, but I do think I can improve when things have a deadline far in the distance. This post was inspired, in fact, by the NASM specialization that I bought for my birthday this year (in JULY). Unlike the trainer certification, the specializations allow you one year from the time of purchase to take the exam. This means that I have been staring at the textbook right next to me on this desk for almost 6 months. Whoops.

Life is full of shades of gray and middle grounds and while I don’t feel that my procrastination as a whole is impairing my work or my life, there are still elements that I’m willing to work on and improve. I may not get it done this week or next week, but I do plan to do it well before the year is up. Hold me to it.

To help draw some self-awareness to things you may get down on yourself about (and potentially allow you to find more acceptance), try going through the following steps:

1. Think of the things you view as negative behaviors.

2. Ask yourself if they are negatively impacting your life or someone else’s life around you.

3. If you feel negatively impacted by your behavior or mentality, think about what you could change to reverse that situation.

4. If you or someone else isn’t negatively impacted, don’t try and force yourself to change. Learn to accept that part of you and let comparisons go.

5. Reassess. After some time, ask yourself these same questions. If any of your answers have changed, find ways to make changes to improve your situation.

It’s not always easy and it took me several years of having lessons shown to me over and over again, but keep working at it and one day the lightbulb will go off. 🙂

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.

Questions:

  • Are you a procrastinator?
  • What’s a behavior that you think of as negative but really isn’t?
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19 Comments

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Thanks Donna!

  1. Paulo Almeida
    January 12, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Thank you, Erin for sharing your thoughts. I love your posts.

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you!!

  2. January 12, 2017 / 6:33 am

    I love this Erin; learning where you are self-sabotaging and learning to accept things that are just a part of who you are, your personality that you’ve been gifted with is a huge lesson! 🙂
    Emily recently posted…Triple Chocolate Nutella Brownie ThumbprintsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Lots of introspection!

  3. January 12, 2017 / 8:10 am

    Oh my gosh I am the exact same way with procrastination. And I’ve always thought it of this negative trait of mine. But you’re so right, it’s not bad just different. I always get my stuff done, I just function better when there’s something on the line. Can’t tell you how helpful this post was.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #94My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Aw that’s so great Jen! I’m glad it helped!

  4. January 12, 2017 / 8:49 am

    100% the same way with procrastinating. I love the mindset switch of just accepting what is. It’s definitely a daily practice to accept and just let things be, this was a great reminder!!
    Kim recently posted…Shakeo-ing My HeadMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      I wish it wasn’t always like that, but knowing it’s how I operate helps me to accept it

  5. January 12, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    I love this approach! I’ll have to sit down and think of my major “flaws” and see if I have things like this. I know I often think things like that about myself and automatically think it makes me worse off than another person who does things a different way!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…1st Trimester FavoritesMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Nope. Just different!

  6. January 12, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    I’ve worked at not being so hard on myself. I think the biggest thing that’s helped me is that my so-called negative behaviors probably are not worth worrying about unless a) I have an actual problem with it or b) someone else explains how it’s impacting them — and that I value their opinion/ care about that person. It’s really helped me to be less harsh and more loving of myself!
    Lauren @ Lauren Runs recently posted…Three Things Thursday #26My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Yes! Love this!

  7. January 13, 2017 / 9:48 am

    in some ways I am a procrastinator. I have a hard time getting going on things, but once I do I feel fine. I think for me it’s finding a balance between pushing myself to do things but also not going full force in everything I do ya know?
    Alyssa recently posted…Push past your FearMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 26, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      Totally get it. Always that elusive balance haha

  8. January 14, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    This is a super insightful post for anyone who is starting to learn more about herself (cough* ME). I’m really good at getting down on myself for feeling anything that’s not peppy/happy/thrilled: annoyance, irritability, etc. All the “negative” emotions. But like, why? It’s how I feel, and it changes based on how the situation goes.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Oat MuffinsMy Profile

  9. January 24, 2017 / 11:30 am

    It wasn’t until I read Better Than Before that I realized procrastinating is just part of who I am. I don’t miss deadlines, but you better believe I’ll push them. Knowing that’s how I operate has helped me to better structure my tasks at home and work so I do feel like I’m able to get things done.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Goodbye Grocery Shopping Hello Hello Fresh!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      January 27, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Ooh I need to read that book too!

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