What to do when things aren't working

Often when I work with those frustrated by their current position, we come to the point of choosing between Change, Acceptance, and Leaving. When you are in a situation which is not working for you, you have three choices:

Change: What can you change about the situation to make it better? What is within your control to adjust to make the circumstances a little bit easier to handle? What bigger challenge can you take on to make things better, not just for you, but for everyone? What can you do to make long-lasting improvements?

Acceptance: If you can’t change the situation, accept it. Much of our stress occurs when we want something to be other than it is. By accepting the reality of the situation is what it is, you can find relief and strength to persevere.

Leave: If you can’t change the situation and it is truly unhealthy for you mentally or physically, leave. This is not throwing in the towel or giving up, but it is consciously choosing to move into a better space.

A couple of notes on this subject:

Leaving is Not Your First Option: When we are hit by adversity, it seems like the easiest route is to walk away. At the first sign of discomfort or disagreement, we may want to bolt. This is never the right choice. Every challenge we have is an opportunity for growth. If we constantly refuse to face challenges, we will only get bigger and bigger challenges to handle. Have the strength to face adversity so you can move through it.

Acceptance is the Last Option: I always used to say change, accept, or leave. But I think I had the order wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe that acceptance is one of the tools we should use daily to minimize our stress level, find compassion, and have a happier life. But we also have a right to be happy. We shouldn’t rush to acceptance to make it easier for others, when that means it is making it more difficult for us. A better option is to first try to change the situation. This is going to be the best option in the long run, but unfortunately it is not always available. Second, leave. If it is not working for you and you can’t change the situation, move into a situation which is better for you. You deserve it. Finally, if you can’t change the situation or remove yourself from it, accept it. This acceptance will give you strength and power to handle your adversity.

You Deserve to Be in the Right Space: Leaving doesn't always solve your problems, but sometimes you need to literally move into the right place. You deserve to be where you are seen and appreciated. You deserve to be respected and considered. You deserve to be in a place that feels right to you. Don’t make decisions solely based on the needs of others. Consider your needs first. You are the one person in the world responsible for them. Trust that others will take the responsibility for their needs as well.

What is a less than desirable situation in your life right now? Do you need to change, leave, or accept it?

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