One of the questions that philosophy has insisted on answering the most is: when should you stop struggling to change something and start accepting what is happening?
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between accepting and resigning., Two related concepts that, if we know how to distinguish ourselves, help us take control of our life without obsessing over impossible goals.
Differences between resignation and acceptance
The relationship between acceptance and resignation can be seen as that between two sides of the same coin.
If we stop to think about what they have in common, we will immediately realize that they refer to stop trying something. However, each of these words has very different implications for our personal development.
In fact, maturing psychologically means, among other things, understanding what the differences are between acceptance and resignation, because we don’t have to be content with what can be improved, but neither can we feel obligated to. change that. control. Therefore, let’s see what distinguishes the two.
1. Acceptance helps us recover
These events which harm us and are beyond our control tire us psychologically much less if we interpret them by acceptance and not by resignation.
Even if two people are the target of the same catastrophic eventLike, for example, a hurricane that destroys the house, one who experiences acceptance will be prepared long before moving on with his life. The reason is that she will feel less attached to the way of thinking she had before the accident, which will save her a lot of additional frustration.
2. Resignation breeds passivity
Resigning ourselves to something means we’re more likely to give in to impossible improvements that aren’t really necessary.
Although it may seem paradoxical, sometimes we look for an excuse not to admit that if we strive for something, we could improve ourselves the reality that surrounds us, and resignation is an excuse to pass this passivity through a tragic outcome that gives meaning to what we are experiencing.
3. Resignation does not allow us to learn from mistakes
Whoever experiences a negative event of resignation, limits himself to focusing his attention on the bad. On the other hand, when this unwanted situation has arisen partly because of us, acceptance involves accepting this fact as well and considering doing it better in the future.
In other words, that is to say acceptance allows us to draw valuable conclusions from our mistakesThis in turn brings relief as it is a way to make sense of the discomfort we feel under these circumstances.
4. Acceptance helps us see things in perspective.
A person who embraces the inevitable with acceptance notices how the emotional pain they feel is lessened, it doesn’t cause them as much discomfort. The reason is that he saw this moment by adopting a distant perspective, As if we saw everything moving away from our body.
This shift of attention to the big picture, and not just to the bad, is very useful as an ingredient for resilience, that is, for overcoming crises.
On the other hand, if what makes us suffer is partly our fault, accepting this discomfort also implies objectively recognizing its existence; that is, as a factor that helps us not to repeat this situation. In other words, it shows us that even in these off-peak hours, the discomfort has served to gain a lesson.
5. Resignation promotes impotence
While acceptance promotes a way of perceiving what is happening in which suffering is not important, resignation causes discomfort to demotivate us and deprive us of energy, leaving us more exposed to other possible risks.
Much of what we experience has more to do with how we interpret it than with the objective fact itself. Therefore, knowing the difference between accepting and resigning allows us to get through bad times in the best possible way, lay the foundation for our recovery through a process of resilience.
Whether it is in a grieving process for the death of a loved one, to lower professional expectations, for health issues or something similar, making acceptance our way of life is essential so as not to let the typical difficulties of life weigh us down too much and restrict us. our freedom.
- Burn, M. (2009). Stoicism and emotion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- William Braxton, I. (2009). A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Oxford University Press