Archive for acceptance

Know yourself.

Understand yourself

How well do you understand yourself?

Understanding ourselves means knowing what we value, want from life, what we love and fear, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what our attitudes and beliefs are. Some of this may be difficult to acknowledge and accept. Some of it we may never have fully come to terms with. Those things we refuse to see and accept are probably getting in our way a lot of the time — with or without our awareness of how or why. We simply know that something isn’t working, and, if we’re lucky, we might see some patterns or trends.

How will you begin to more fully understand — and accept — yourself today?


PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.

Your Personal Leadership Power Charge (April 2012)

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7 Things You Can Do Now to Increase Your Satisfaction

Earlier this week I read a blog post by the Purpose Fairy entitled 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. This a fairly exhaustive collection of stuff that gets in our way, with some ideas on how to start letting go of it and make a positive shift.

However, I’ve noticed with my own experience and with my clients that you can’t just let something go or give something up. No matter how hard we try, the vacuum that is left in the gaping hole of what we left behind will try to drag us back, and this is usually pretty irresistible to most of us. It’s true in nature as well. Air and water will both flow with great ease (in the absence of anything to stop it) toward a hole where there isn’t any of it and try to fill up that space. In order to REALLY make a lasting difference it is not enough to simply give something up. We MUST replace it with something else. We have to plug up that hole. AND, even more importantly for greater success, that something else has to be really ATTRACTIVE. The something else must have at least as much appeal as the something you gave up. It has to be as seductive. And if it has even MORE appeal, you will be energetically entranced by your idea of it and be more willing to easily move toward it.

Let’s Create Something Juicy!

I was recently a participant in a workshop led by Katie Hendricks on Conscious Loving and Living. Katie is a big fan of “juiciness” because that aptly describes the quality of attractiveness that gets us excited or “juiced up” about something. When we create a vision with sufficient detail and emotional connection to what we truly desire, that creates a kind of “juicy” anticipation which can energize us through the times when we will feel challenged or tempted to give up.

So let’s get going! I’ve created a list of seven things you can do now to get juicier. Give one or more of these a try and let me know which worked best for you.

  1. Eagerly seek out and embrace the mystery of not knowing. We like to think we know a lot about a lot of things, and there are certainly things we do know. However, our conviction that we know (and that we are right about what we know) often gets in our way of discovering the new way of looking at or doing or experiencing something that might just be what we’ve been waiting for to break through an old pattern.
  2. Delight in the flexibility and ease hidden in acceptance. When we learn to accept what is with love and empathy, we experience ease and flexibility that is not available to us when we are constantly justifying why things should be this way or arguing with someone because we can’t get a satisfying answer to why they aren’t that way. Trying to exert control over things we have no real control over makes us rigid and, let’s face it, creates a lot of busy work that just doesn’t pay off in the long run.
  3. Celebrate the freedom of taking 100% responsibility for your life and allowing others to do the same. When we own our lives — all the efforts and all the results — and we allow others to own theirs, we release ourselves from the burden of trying to make everything work out for everyone else AND we release everyone else from the burden of having to make our lives work out for us. With all that freedom, we can focus on what we truly want and our energy can be directed to efforts that will yield positive results.
  4. Love yourself with abandon. When we fall in love with someone else, we are willing to overlook their flaws. We can’t wait to spend time with them. We go out of our way to do little things that we know will delight them. Even as the relationship matures, we show our love in a variety of ways: words of praise or affection, quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and others. When was the last time you treated yourself as sweetly and thoughtfully as you would a lover or a child? Our relationship with self is a perfect place to practice love with abandon. After all, we spend more time with our selves than with anyone else.
  5. Infuse your mind with the excitement of thinking BIG! Possibilities are what shape reality. Our minds are limitless, and they create positive possibilities or negative. When we get excited about thinking BIG we expand our capacity to create bountiful positive possibilities. We break past our current state of being, in our thoughts, and we see a vision of a future that inspires us. And perhaps scares us just a little. Excitement and fear sometimes have similar feelings in our bodies. So we can focus on the fluttery feeling and let it stop us or make us smaller because it feels scary, or we can use the energy that our bodies are producing to ignite us to excited, energized BIG action.
  6. Radiate your gloriously beautiful authentic self. Be willing to shed the layers accumulated through years of careful adherence to rules that no longer serve you. Not only will you feel lighter and have more energy, but your energy will be clearer, more attractive, and easier for others to connect to. You’ll find you can communicate your ideas with greater ease. Your experience of being will be more joyful. You may even find that you really like who you discover underneath all that stuff you’ve been carrying around.
  7. Lovingly gift yourself the luxury of experiencing all the stages of change with understanding and patience. Change can be good, it is true. And it is also true that there is a natural cycle that we all experience as we process the change itself, even if we caused the change to take place. Rather than hurry through that process to get to the other side, rushing to the positive planned result, embrace the experience of each stage with empathy and kindness. The stages are part of the change, and they each deserve to be honored. The experience of pain and loss is no better nor worse in terms of intrinsic value than the experience of joy and celebration. When we learn to embrace each experience with love, we learn to appreciate more of what we already have. We can enjoy where we are now AND where we are going.

Ready to replace something that’s holding you back with something a lot juicier? Remember: when you hear yourself thinking or saying: “I want to stop _____” or “I’d like to let go of ________”, that’s the time to begin creating your super attractive, active positive statement that has real meaning for you. Something you can commit to taking action on, that you can already get excited about, and where you can create an enticing vision of success that inspires and delights you. If you’d like additonal support in creating your super juicy vision, contact me!


Have You Seen This Yet?

Brene Brown: Listening to ShameShame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word. Click here to watch this inspiring Ted Talk.

About PEL Coaching

PEL Coaching, LLC, is a coaching and consulting company headquartered in the Washington, DC area based on the ideology of Power, Energy, and Leadership. Our philosophy is grounded on the idea that when these three powerful forces are directed, individuals, couples, families, managers, executives, teams, groups, and organizations of all sizes can achieve new levels of satisfaction and success and better manage communication, conflict, and challenge.


New Easy Scheduling

We have an easy-to-use scheduling tool now available on our website. Simply click on the link and schedule your coaching session. Complimentary sessions are available for anyone interested in exploring how coaching can make a difference in your life, relationships, career, or organization. Visit our website for more details.

Your coach, Michelle Kunz

About Michelle Kunz

Michelle earned her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an International Coach Federation (ICF) – accredited coach training program. She has also earned the ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential and is qualified to administer, interpret and debrief the Myers-Briggs, FIRO-B, and Energy Leadership assessments. She is currently accepting a limited number of new clients interested in life coaching, career coaching, executive coaching, or leadership training and development.

Copyright © 2012 PEL Coaching, LLC, All rights reserved.

Learning to let go requires that we understand what that means. And then it requires ongoing awareness and practice.

Letting Go

Figuring out what it doesn’t mean is as important as figuring out what it does. Somewhere in the balance of caring and staying open and realizing that we can’t control anything but our own responses is true inner peace and happiness. When we find that, we become more creative, have more impact, and others are attracted to us. Our natural leadership impact increases.

What would change in your life if you could let go of something you’re hanging on to right now?

Perfection is Judgment by Michelle Kunz

If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now. — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 AD – 180 AD)

Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever. — Nancy Kerrigan

Perfection is judgment.
Excellence is acceptance.

I encourage you to read the quotes again. The power of this post lies in the depth of our understanding of where judgment begins. As indicated by our expert panel of two, judging starts within.

As in previous examples of how perfection can begin seemingly harmlessly and grow into a block, judgment appears to be desirable and even necessary. After all, we need to know the difference between mediocre and great or perhaps awful. How else can we do this without some degree of judgment? Perhaps if we more clearly define our terms we can choose not only a better word, but a better dynamic for making distinctions. For example, what is the difference between judging and discerning, and how is the energy different around these two words?

Dr. Ellen J. Langer, of Harvard University’s Psychology Department, has done a great deal of research into the nature of mindfulness. In a recent keynote address, she delivered some of the startling results of her research:

  • Hotel housekeeping staff in a test group lost weight and showed measured improvements compared to the control group in areas such as cholesterol levels, heart and respiration rates and overall physical fitness. The experiment? Each group was asked to rate their current rate of physical activity and fitness levels (average rating: low). Then the test group engaged in discussions about how they spend their day. On discovery that they spend the majority of an eight hour work day in physical labor, they experienced an attitude shift about their activity levels. After several weeks, new measurements were taken, and the results were dramatic.
  • A variety of experiments report similar findings in situations where people are asked to describe a particular event or item with no further directions. When asked to describe a similar event or item, looking for subtle differences between the two, the ability of the subject to describe the second item increased dramatically. The theory? A context-driven task will produce far greater results than an arbitrary task. People need mindfulness to bring their full powers of attention and observation to the table.

What does mindfulness have to do with judgment?

Dr. Langer warns against the tyranny of evaluation. We all know what this means. Since grade school we have been sensitized and oriented to the results of a given task. How often did I hear in my teaching years, “What do I need to do to get an A in your class, Dr. Kunz?” How shocked they would be to hear me say now, “Show up and be mindful of and responsive to whatever takes place.” What they don’t understand is that a class dedicated to those principles might engage in the most lively debates on the subject at hand, increasing the possibility of a depth of knowledge unattainable through memorization of facts and figures most tests are aimed at capturing.

Judgment gone awry pushes us into a position of polarity. There is good and bad, right and wrong, my way or your way, up and down. We forget that in reality a vast number of possibilities exist along the way from left to right. They are infinite.

Judgment forces us to value results over process, and therefore we miss the infinite on the way from one pole to the other. We are either finished or not. If this is the way success if defined, we have missed great opportunities for insight, awareness and potential. We are stuck on the treadmill of grinding out activity and no longer value the experience gained along the path if we were to jump off and really walk somewhere.

Why is excellence acceptance?

Acceptance sounds admittedly passive. Why should we adopt an attitude of acceptance when we wish to become powerful leaders?

Because we misunderstand the true meaning of the word. Again, referring to Encarta, it is the fifth definition which conveys a sense of passivity: “without protest.” The first four definitions are more active: saying yes (as in accepting an invitation), the act of taking a gift, the willingness to believe that something is true, and finally, coming to terms with something.

Acceptance serves us better than judgment because it is related to mindfulness. When we are mindful, we are aware, context-oriented and responsive. The power of this state lies in our ability to accept situations, events, other people, and ourselves as they are in this very moment with an understanding of what we might do to effect change if we choose to do so. This is the future-oriented thinking of a great leader. Unlike judgment, whose polarity usually locks us into a position of looking at what is wrong, acceptance allows us to see things as they really are — the truth –, respond without the need to control, embrace spontaneity from ourselves and others, including mistakes which result from risks taken, and look at how the future might be different based on the entire experience.

Great leaders know how to embrace the gestalt of their experience and those of their team members in such a way that all parties feel liberated and empowered to move forward in creative, bold, mindful new directions free from the tyranny of judgment.