Clients call me at a scheduled time. I also have clients whom I call in many different time zones, some of which I call at home and others I call at work. I am constantly flipping the pages of my day-timer and sometimes have to remind myself what day or week I’m in. Sometimes wires get crossed or lost and mistakes are made.
On that unfortunate, miserable, “I can’t believe I did this!” day I had lots of time freed up to ponder my blunders. I was certainly not disinterested or overwhelmed. How could I have done this? Why did it turn out to be three clients in a row?
I felt bad enough the first time, but by the third infraction I was looking to the universe for an explanation.
As I observed my response it occurred to me that the depth of my feelings indicated I must not be so terrible after all. I took full responsibility and made it very clear to my clients that I was sorry. And guess what? They forgave me. (Thank-you.) The only thing left was for me to forgive myself. That’s when the universe got through. I now understood that this was a lesson I needed to learn because it’s the same message I’ve been giving to clients. I quickly moved from “I am a screw-up” to ”I screwed up.”
You know what they say, “Everything that happens to a writer is material.” Let me try to make this relevant.
Forgiving self, or self-acceptance, is a necessary attitude to have in order to be whole and happy. As Mark Twain said, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Self-acceptance is particularly important when you want to improve yourself or make change.
Here’s how this applies to weight-loss. Many clients tell me they want to lose weight in order to feel better about self. Fair enough. While weight loss will make you feel better for a while, I’m told the feeling doesn’t last. If you’re not comfortable with who you are, you will find another reason to reject or be critical of yourself. This is one of the main reasons many people self-sabotage and subconsciously return to old habits and a heavier weight.
The remedy is to accept yourself the way you are – no matter what! That doesn’t mean you give up. It means you’re okay as you are. You are not your weight. Release the struggle. From here you are better positioned to not only lose weight, but to keep it off because you’ve not only changed your habits, you’ve changed your mind. You are also better equipped to deal with the tangles and blunders along the way, because there will be tangles. When you are self-accepting it’s much easier to get back on track after you mess up.
Failures are an important and necessary part of change and growth because they provide feedback – an opportunity for learning, if you’re open. And the sooner you get back on track the sooner you reach your goal.
Now that the blunder thunder has blown over I’ve learned that:
- I can’t be too careful with scheduling and organization.
- People are forgiving when you take full responsibility.
- Self-acceptance feels much better than embarrassment or shame.
- Taking responsibility feels much better than giving excuses.
SELF-acceptance is a gift you give yourself. No one else can give it to you. So what part of your humanity would you like to embrace?