People say that change is hard. And although this is true, sometimes, the inability to change is even more difficult to accept. Especially if you’re a perfectionist. Certain things in life are within your control. You can adjust your lifestyle, career, relationships, appearance, and demeanor with enough work and effort. But what about those things in life that you can’t change? The things that are rooted in your DNA? Can you learn to accept these less than perfect parts of who you are and lead a happy, fulfilling life? I think so. And here’s how.
Let it Go
If we learned one thing from the Disney classic that took the world by storm it’s to let it go. And if there’s one thing in life that you can’t change, it’s the past. You can’t jump in your time machine and go back to rewrite history. The only way to move forward is to accept the things that have happened and learn from them. One of the worst things you can do is to hold onto the past and let it negatively impact the present. Instead, reflect on your past experiences and mistakes. Ask yourself, what have I learned? What can I do differently next time? And how can I use these experiences to better myself? Just because you can’t change the past doesn’t mean you can’t use your past experiences to change your present and your future.
Focus on What You Can Change
One of the best ways to accept and overlook the things you can’t change is by shifting your focus to the things you can. Whether these are superficial attributes related to your appearance or more deeply-rooted characteristic traits, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are certain things about your appearance that no amount of exercise or cosmetic surgery can change. Things like your height or ethnic background. These are often the things that make you uniquely beautiful. Accept these not as flaws but instead, part of who you are. The same holds true for characteristic traits. Is your giving nature how everyone identifies you? Are you known as a loyal friend? Those are things you probably like about yourself and don’t want to change. But are you impatient sometimes? Do you gossip and get jealous? If you don’t particularly like some of your behaviors, focus on changing them. Make a conscious effort not to repeat the things you hear and to be more trusting and less jealous. It’s all about identifying the things you can’t change, those you can, and those you don’t want to.
Learn How to Cope
Accepting the things you can’t change is often easier said than done. It’s all about shifting your perspective and actively using coping skills and positive talk to encourage yourself and stay on track. There are many occurrences in life that we cannot control or change. These include tragedies, health complications, and even simple things like the weather or heartbreak. Running from these events isn’t the answer. Even if you’re able to run away momentarily, the problems will still be waiting for you and they’ll be no easier to change or control when you return. Instead of turning a blind eye to negative events in your life, you need to find coping skills to handle them and the emotions that accompany them. Try speaking to a friend or loved one for advice. Therapists and life coaches are awesome resources for learning coping skills. Understand and identify your triggers and which tools work best for you. The best way to face the things you can’t change and fear most is to meet them head-on.
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Don’t drive yourself to insanity. By accepting and letting go of the things in life you can’t change, you can start truly living your best life.