Why is acceptance so important to achieve performance?
Imagine a friend coming up to you and saying “Think about one of your dreams: I will give you a magic formula to make it real very quickly, and also, for free”. This would make you surely happy. But what if the same friend said “You will realise that you could have discovered this formula easily on your own. Moreover, you will find that, if you had known this formula one year ago, you would have got ten thousand times of what you get now, but also, for free”.
How would you feel? This means that, for example, if your dream was to earn 50,000 dollars in one shot, you will discover that, with the same magic formula, one year ago you would have earned 500,000,000 dollars. Would you accept 50,000 dollars, accompanied by the evidence of having lost the opportunity to get 500,000,000 dollars?
To refuse something big for free, just to avoid the pain of knowing to have missed the opportunity to get ten thousand times of it, may sound crazy. However, this is exactly the principle that drives most of the people. Because the understanding and acceptance of our weaknesses may lead to the painful realisation of all the huge opportunities lost, some people prefer not to do anything and to close their eyes, staying where they are, without moving.
It is essential to point out the difference between good acceptance and a bad acceptance. Acceptance is good when you accept the pain of the action to change your life for the better (active acceptance), acceptance is bad when it makes you stay in the uncomfortable situation you are, even if you can find options to change that situation (passive acceptance).
With active acceptance, a person performs the basic task of identifying his/her personal weaknesses and ignorance, and of taking action on them, so allowing the personal improvement toward performance.
A CEO can lead his company toward disaster, if his/her ego prevents him/her to accept the pain of admitting to have made wrong strategic decisions. A senior entrepreneur may quickly go bankrupt if he/she does not accept the pain of learning how to operate in a new market. A technology specialist may quickly lose his job if he/she does not accept the pain of giving up obsolete techniques in favour of more innovative and efficient solutions. A person in a critical situation may burn-out quickly, if he/she does not accept the pain of persistently searching for new solutions to his/her problems and of taking action accordingly. In all these examples, each minute of immobility determines huge losses and missed opportunities.
Active acceptance means to expose yourself to the pain of the realisation of having lost many opportunities in the past and to endorse the discomfort of taking action, learning and changing, with full focus on the positive things that the future offers.
How to develop active acceptance toward performance is widely explained in the life-transforming book “Brilliant well-being”.
Many thanks in advance for your comments!
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