Try Coaching for Yourself

Episode 163: The Magic Connection between Acceptance and Change

Jun 16, 2022
April Price Coaching
Episode 163: The Magic Connection between Acceptance and Change

Episode Summary

I teach my clients that no matter what change they want to make in their lives, it is a simple three step process: awareness, acceptance, and adjustment. 

Of these steps, acceptance can be the hardest principle to understand and apply because usually the very fact that we want to change something means that there is a part of us that doesn’t like how things are and doesn’t want to accept it.

So how do we do this? How do we accept where we are while we are simultaneously trying to get somewhere else?

Sometimes it can feel like these two ideas are in opposition to each other. But, acceptance is not the enemy of change, acceptance is the necessary partner of change. It’s not acceptance or change, it’s acceptance AND change.

  This week on the podcast, I’m sharing some things I have recently learned about acceptance by watching one of my children make a change in their life. Their experience has lessons for all of us who want things to be different but need to step into acceptance before things can change. 

Episode Transcript


Welcome to the 100% awesome podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.

Hello podcast universe! Welcome to the 100% awesome podcast, I'm April Price, I am so happy to be with you. How is your summer going? We just returned from an amazing trip to the Caribbean where we celebrated David's 50th birthday and we had an amazing time. I had some experiences that I want to tell you about and share with you on a different episode of the podcast. I have something different planned for today, but we had a great time and as always, like my I took my brain with me and so I learned a lot on the way as well. And what else is happening in two and a half weeks now? My son Ethan is going to leave on his mission, and so we are in the final stages of prepping for him and like ironing all the labels on his clothes and getting him packed and ready to go and soaking up our last moments for at least a couple of years while he goes to Argentina. And I feel like that's kind of been the theme so far for me this summer is just soaking up these moments with the people that I love.

And this is the really good stuff in life, right? So, for all of us, whatever it looks like for you, don't forget to soak. Soak it up with the people that you love and you know, really cherishing those moments. The summer offers a lot of like open, luxurious moments of time where you get a kind of just slow down a bit. And notice each other, pay attention to each other, look each other in the eyes. And I hope that you will take advantage of that. I hope that you're enjoying it. And I want to let you know before we get into the episode that the midyear reset is set to begin.

So, I'm doing a big event for all of you that are feeling like, oh, this year isn't, quite turning out the way I wanted. I haven't accomplished all the things I wanted. Two things that I thought would be different are not different yet, and so I'm going to be doing this big event online for an hour, both June 23rd and 24th. That's a Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific. You are all invited, it's free. And I'm going to be giving you some real tools to help you figure out where you are now and understand why that is really accept and embrace where that is. That's the challenging part. And then, make the adjustments that you want to make to get the changes in your life, no matter where you are right now, in whatever area of your life that you want to see some changes in, no matter where you are right now, this midyear reset will help you get to that place, get to to where you want to be. And I know, like, if your brain is like mine, it's already saying like, oh, it's much too late right away. It's June, so it's just much too late to make the changes I want. Just give it another go next year. But that is a lie, it is never too late and life is just always continually before us. We only ever have the present and this present is just as good as any other.

And my husband, like I said, we just celebrated his 50th birthday. And so, he's been thinking about this thought a lot like, oh, you know, his brain is telling him it's too late. It's just too late. You're 50 years in, just like ride it out. But, you know, like he could have 50 more, so it is not too late. This is a good time to like reset and re-decide. What it is I want to create in my life and get busy doing that so you can register for that event at There's also just like a button there on the on the front home page of you can get registered or you can text the word reset to 66866 and register that way. And even if you can't attend live, you know, maybe you're going to be on a beach somewhere if you're going to be, working and you can't be there on the 23rd and 24th at 10 a.m. Pacific. Anybody that is registered will get the replay and any of the worksheets that we use. And so, that you can apply all of this work no matter if you can attend live or not. Now, I would love for you to be there live because I'll be able to answer your questions and give you some coaching. It's going to be a really good event, and I think it will give you some real tools in you know, creating the life and the year that you want. There's no better time than now, okay?

So, speaking of resets, I want to talk about some realizations that I have had. Recently, watching my daughter Savannah go through an experience of redoing her braces. So, it's been an interesting experience for her. She has not enjoyed it very much. But for me, like looking from the outside like, it's been so revelatory to me and like showed me so many things in my own life, and helped me like explain things better and show things, better to my clients. And I have learned so much watching her and shared so many of these things with my clients. And that has helped them see the changes that they want to make in their own lives in a different way. And I thought it would be so useful for you to think about the changes that you want to make in your life with this perspective as well.

So, for the most part, when we think about changing our lives, it seems like a big project. It seems like really complicated and it seems like we're going to have to do like so many years, of like doing it wrong and it just feels like this huge project, right? But I like to explain to my clients that the process is actually very simple, it isn't complicated. Our brain wants to make it complicated, but in fact, it's very simple, the process is just three steps. First, awareness, right? Awareness of the power we actually have to choose. And then number two, acceptance like acceptance of what we have chosen, where we are, what is right now. And armed with that, like together thinking about like, okay, I am able to choose and this is where I am now. Then you can take the third step, which is adjustment, and that's where we change things. So, it really boils down to those three things awareness, acceptance and adjustment. And of the three, I think the hardest concept really to understand and apply is acceptance is that middle piece, right? Because if we can choose and if it's like, ah, like we are creating our lives, like how do we accept that we've created something that we don't like?

Like how do we accept where we are and still want to change things, right? Like sometimes my clients are like, well if I just accept it, then why would I ever change it? Like if I say it's okay, then why would I ever want to change it? How do we have a desire to change what is right now in our lives without disliking what is, without wishing things could be different? And so, I think that this can be a little bit tricky to understand, but I've learned some things watching my daughter, like deal with the changes that she wants to make in her smile. And I think they will help you to get to acceptance a little bit better where you are, okay? And you can apply these ideas to any area of your life. I know that all of you are not putting braces on right now. But you all have adjustments and changes that you want to make in your life. And I think these thoughts about accepting where you are now will make those adjustments easier and faster. Okay, so let me set this up just a little bit so you can have some background.

So, all of my children, including Savannah, all had braces when they were younger, right? I think she was probably 11 or 12, maybe even younger than that when she started braces. And like I think by the time she was 12 years old or 13, she was all done with braces. Her teeth were straight everything looked great, right? And she went into junior high without braces on. And then over time, as things do, things go back to normal, right? And she stopped wearing her retainer and her teeth shifted over time. And so, actually when she was in high school her senior year, I said, hey, you know, if that bothers you, you know, Dad and I are happy to, like, put the braces back on and get your smile where you want it to be. And she was just like we even went and had a console, right, with the orthodontist, and she was just like, no it's like I cannot imagine anything worse than going through high school with braces, right? And then, you know, we looked at Invisalign and she's like people with Invisalign, like they're not fooling anybody. Everybody can see it, right? And she was just like, No, no, she would not have any part of it.

I was like, okay, you get to choose. I was just like providing it as an option if that was something you wanted, but you get to choose and okay. So, she graduates from high school, she goes on a mission. We fast forward to the spring of 2022, right? Her teeth are still crooked and probably getting more crooked over time and she's like, okay, I'm finally ready for this to be different. I want this to be different. So, I'm like okay, great, go to the orthodontist, get a console. She goes and she she calls me up and she's just so upset. She's just so upset. She's like, okay, he told me that we can cheat, we can fix the teeth. She's like, but it's going to be, you know, 6 to 9 months if I do braces and like 10 to 14 if I do Invisalign. And she's so mad and frustrated and upset because she said I shouldn't even be here. I shouldn't be in this position where I'm in college having to put braces back on. She's like, I cannot be in college and have braces. I shouldn't even be here, like, I've already fixed my teeth they should be like, they should be straight. I should have worn my retainer or I should have listened to you and got them on when I was a senior, or you should have made me. And she was just like this should not be something that I need to change.

Now, what I want you to notice is that, number one, she wants to change things. She wants things to be different. She wants her teeth to be different. And number two, she has the power to change things. She lives in a world in which we have the capacity to change our smiles if we want to, which is like a freaking miracle, really, when you think about it. But she lives at a time in the history of the world where she can change this thing if she wants, all right? So, she wants to change it, and she has the power to. But what is in the way of it now is that her brain is saying you shouldn't even have to. And the fact that you have to is humiliating and embarrassing and unattractive. And, this is what happens to each one of us, right? Like when she's telling me this, I was, like, nodding my head, like, yep, I get it because I have lived most of my life thinking the exact same thing, right?

So, I want you to think about, like, my finances. When I was in debt and we didn't own a house and we were trying to like save a put down payment so we could buy a house and we had all this debt. And like, I live in a world where like, okay, first of all, number one, I want to change things. I want to have a different financial life. And number two, I have the power to write. Like, I live in a world in which I can, like, do things to create this. And yet my brain keeps telling me I shouldn't have to. I should have already learned these lessons. I should be an adult with my money. I never should have bought at the height of the market and then lost the house at the bottom of the market, right? Like, I shouldn't even be in this position, I should have made smarter decisions, I should have listened to other people. I should have, like, all the things, right?

And so notice, like, for all of us, in one way or another, while we have the power to change, and while we want to change our thoughts that we should already be different, get in our way, right? This happened in my relationships as well. Like, I should be better at this. I should be better at love. What kind of a person gets irritated. Or stupid things? Like, I should be more patient, I should be more loving, it should be easier to love David. Like, these were my thoughts. And, like, I wanted things to be different. I had the power to choose love. I didn't actually know how to access that yet, but it was the thought that, like, this shouldn't actually be a problem for someone who knows better. I should know better already, and yet here I am. And this thought that we should already be different, that we should already be in a different place, that we should know these lessons already. Those thoughts keep us from changing. They keep us from moving forward even when we have the power to because they keep us from doing what needs to be done. Our brain is offering so much resistance to the work that needs to be done because it's saying like this shouldn't even be a problem.

Like whether we like it or not, thinking things should already be different. I guess the thing that is keeping us from changing, I see this in my coaching practice all the time, right? A lot of people think about signing up for coaching and they think about like, Oh, I would love to get those changes in my life. I would love to be able to think about myself differently. I would love to have different results in my life, like they want coaching, but at the same time, they think I actually shouldn't need this help. I should actually know these things already. I know what to do, I'm just not doing that. Like they would say all of these things about like, I shouldn't need help. And that keeps us from getting the help we want for far too long.

Our judgment for where we are right now and thinking we should already be somewhere else. It should already be different. It should already be better. I should already be different. Those thoughts not only make change harder and more painful, but in many cases that keeps us from moving forward and changing it, all right? Like my daughter, she called me and, like, was so mad about where she was, it was really hard for her to make the decision to move forward, right? So, I just think it's so helpful to see that like. When we don't accept what is when we don't accept where we are, when we're mad at ourselves and judging ourselves from where we are. It makes adjusting and changing so hard.

So, using this example, I want you to think about what it would look like to be an acceptance, right? To recognize this is where I am. I am in college. My teeth are crooked now, what do I want to do? The truth is, we should always be exactly where we are because we are always in the exact place that our choices and our decisions have brought us, right? Like when we say, like, I shouldn't be so out of shape. That is not true. Like, we are always exactly where our choices have brought us. When they say I shouldn't be in debt, that is not true. I am always exactly where my choices have brought me. I'm always in the exact place I should be. And arguing that that should be different doesn't change it. Sometimes we're in the exact place that our circumstances have dictated, right? Like, let's say we get a cancer diagnosis and we're like, I shouldn't be sick. I shouldn't, like, have this experience. My my child shouldn't be making the choices they are. They shouldn't be a estranged for me. Or like we look even at our circumstances and say those should be different. The way to change our lives, the way to change how we feel about those circumstances comes through acceptance.

And listen, if thinking it should be different could change it, then I would be all in. We could, just like every one of us, would be living different lives. I want you to notice that if like life just changed because it should have like these things should already be, like all of our lives would be different.

But they are not because we are always exactly where we should be and saying we should be somewhere else just isn't helping. Change comes from acceptance where you are. Resistance to what is is just slowing us down so we can accept this is where I am. Then we can ask ourselves now what? I have the power to change and I want to change. So, what decision do I need to make next instead of thinking I should have made these decisions five years ago, that, is not going to help you make the changes, right? You just need to like embrace this is where I am. And it now what? Now what do I want to do? Okay.

And the next part of this so, after she called me, she was upset about, like, talking about I should be somewhere else, right? Like, and we talked through all that. Then she was, like, trying to negotiate with the options, right? So, she's like, okay, I don't want to do this. And I was like, okay. And she's like, but I do want straight teeth, right? I was like, okay? And like, sometimes this is like what happens to all of us that we want the result without. Going through the process and so our brain tried to negotiate a way to get what we want without going through the process, right? So in Savannah's case, she was like, okay, let's look at the options, all right. Like, if I want straight teeth, I'm going to have to do this, I'm going to have to pick one of these options. What's one of the options? So she's like, okay, I can do braces. That's going to take. 6 to 9 months, but it'll be like really obvious, everyone will be able to see it. So, okay, my other option is Invisalign and it's 10 to 14 months, but you know, maybe it's less noticeable.

And then she's like, But that's a lie, because I can see it and everyone gets it right. And she's like spinning between those options. And just I just noticed that, like. So many times this is what we're doing that like neither of the options or any of the options to get the result we want. We don't like any of those. We keep trying to negotiate with those options and again, not moving forward to the results. And so, what's happening there is our brain is trying to say, how can I get what I want without pain or discomfort? Like, how can I get what I want without having, like, this terrible thing, like, happen to me? And I find this is so true in so many areas of our lives. We want results, but we don't want the process. And to really get what we want out of our lives, to really get the results. What we have to fall in love with is the process, right? Like, we want to be in shape. We want to be financially free. We want amazing relationships. We want those results. But what we need to want, actually, is the process because like, you know, just saying, for example, like, I don't want braces is a lie because we want the result of that.

And every time we say, I don't want braces. Like we're resisting the way to our result. And this is like what happens like in our regular goals as well, right? Like, let's say we want the result of being financially free, but we don't want a budget or we don't want to like be restricted in our spending. Like we have to fall in love with that part of it. We have to fall in love with the process part of it.

So, I have this goal, as you know, where I'm going to hike the equivalent of Mount Everest at the end of September. So, my coach gave me a whole training schedule that I need to follow, right? And I just notice, like every time it's a day where I need to do a hike, my brain is like, I don't want to. I don't want to I don't want to go hike. I don't want to get on the treadmill. I don't want to hurt. And I just decided, like, I've got to stop saying that because it's not true. It's not true because I want the result. And if I want the result, this is the process, right? So, we have to stop telling ourselves, I don't want braces. We have to stop telling ourselves, I don't want to eat right. We don't have to stop telling ourselves. I don't want to exercise. I don't want to climb. We have to tell ourselves the truth if we want the result, what we also want is the process. And so, every time I brain says that, I'm like, Oh, that's not true.

I do want it, I want to be uncomfortable. I want to hurt today. And I just noticed that, like, when I'm on the treadmill and it really, really hurts and my brain's like, I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this. Why are we doing this? I lean in and say I want it to hurt because then I know I'm adapting. I want to hurt because that I know I'm prepared. I want it to hurt because that is the way to my goal.

So, I just want to offer you that you need to fall in love with the discomfort that's offered in any process on the way to its result. And to notice that all of that pain or discomfort, of course, is self-inflicted, it's created in my own mind, right? So, for example, Savannah's like, I don't want to feel embarrassed every time I smile or every time I take a picture, every time somebody I talk to somebody, right? But like, embarrassment is created by my own thoughts that, like, I shouldn't have braces on my teeth. And so it is self-inflicted, right? And it's the same with, like, my resistance to exercise or getting on that treadmill, like thinking I don't want this pain is just creating more discomfort for me and more, more resistance to it. And so, like I keep telling her, like, you could just think like, you're adorable and you don't have to be embarrassed.

Like, she wants to be embarrassed and there's not a problem with that. But it's just like either I've got to, like, fall in love with that process and fall in love with. The feeling of embarrassment or I need to change that feeling for myself, but there's no way I'm going to get to the end of this, like avoiding it altogether. So, I really want you to think about what is the result I want and what discomfort am I avoiding? That's preventing me from getting that result. That is the discomfort you need to fall in love with. That is the process you need to fall in love with, not just the result. So for example, I have a client who's working to clean out a bunch of stuff that she inherited from her mom. And, you know, she like she wants the result of everything organized and cleaned up and sorted and and like, you know, the treasures kept and the other stuff given away. She wants that result. But what she hates is the feeling of, like, confusion and, like, anxiety every time she goes to sort it, like, do I want this thing? Do you know, should I keep this thing? And like, what should I do with it? And like all of those feelings of anxiety and confusion, of getting rid of some of her mother's stuff, right? Like she's got to fall in love with that process, not just with the result.

And so really think about, okay, what am I avoiding here? What discomfort am I avoiding? And how can I fall in love with that part of it? And of course, that will happen through your thoughts, okay? The last insight that I want to give you to, you know, come to acceptance so that you can make the adjustments you want in your life is I really want to tell you to stop waiting to love yourself until the finish line, right? So, as I talk to my daughter, she's like, well, you know, I am I'm going to be ugly for nine months. Like, I'm going to be unattractive and undateable and unlovable for nine months. She's just like I cannot be loved, I cannot be approved of, I cannot be accepted for nine months. And the truth is, that is not an experience that is going to happen outside of her. It's happening in her own head. She is going to find herself ugly and unacceptable and unlovable and undateable for nine months, right? Nobody else has told her that, it's what her own brain is telling her about herself.

And like she even talked to me, she's like, I just wish I could, like, go somewhere for nine months and disappear and then come back, like, done finished, right? Like. So, I just relate to this so much. When I first came to coaching, I kept thinking the same thing, like, Oh, great, I'll just clean all this up. I'll do one thing at a time, I'll clean it all up, and then I'll be like, good. Then I'll be an acceptable person like, listen there is no finish line. You are already lovable. First of all, the only unlovable parts of you are in your own head. You are totally lovable as you are right now.

And you don't have to like get somewhere else, get to a finish line, like accomplish something, get your braces off. Like get to the finish line before you love yourself. It is your own judgment of your unacceptability and your un-love ability that is making this process so painful because you're like, I can't like myself till I get somewhere until this is different. And I just want to tell you, like, that is the most painful way to change you. Just standing over self like metaphorically tapping your foot, like, waiting for you to be different before you can love yourself. And I just want to invite you and tell you that you do not have to wait and that the work actually needs to be done.

Now, if you're going to love yourself at the end, it starts right now. Your thoughts are not suddenly going to change, right? When they take those braces off, or if they do, they will change for 2.5 seconds and then your brain will find the next thing. Your nose size, your freckles. You're something else, okay? So, you have to do the work of loving yourself independent of any changes you make in your life. I want you to ask yourself, what do I think has to change before I can love myself or like myself, accept myself or approve of myself? Like you cannot change fast enough if there are conditions on your love, if there are conditions on you liking yourself.

And like I said, if you don't do the mental work to love yourself right here as you are, you're just going to find something else after this. You're going to get that thing done. And there's going to be another one and another one and another one for the rest of your life. Again. I want you to know that you can change anything you want. But if you're doing it to get to a place where you will finally love yourself, I just want you to know that place does not exist. That place happens only in your own mind. And so, you can do this work hand in hand. You can love yourself on the way to creating any change you want.

You are amazing. You have an amazing life. You've been endowed with agency, and you live in a world of possibilities where you can change anything you want in your life. But you don't have to hate where you are. In order to do that, you don't have to think you should be somewhere else. You don't have to wait to love yourself before you get there and you don't have to hate the process all along the way. In fact, all of these things will prevent you from getting the changes you really want. If you want more help for this, come to the mid-year reset. We're going to be doing so much work on this. I will help you take this to an even deeper level so that you can really accept where you are and get the changes you want, make the adjustments, create what you want in your life, and love yourself along the way. You can change anything in your life, and the best way to do that is to love who you are, where you are, as you are right now. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening, and I'll see you next week.

We're almost halfway through the year. And if you're looking around and thinking that things were supposed to be different this year and they aren't yet, I want to invite you to the mid-year reset. This free two day online event June 23rd and 24th will help you figure out where you are. I understand why you haven't made all the progress you wanted and learn everything you need to know to turn that around. You can register it or text the word reset to 66866. No matter where you are right now, you can get anywhere you want to be.

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