A Coaching Power Tool Created by Sabia Denoyelle
(Life Coach, FRANCE)
As described by Wikipedia, acceptance, in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere (to find rest in).
In yoga, we rest in the (not very comfortable) poses without fidgeting or moving. We align the movement with the breath which in return helps to keep the mind still and accept what is.
Again, in Wikipedia expectation is described as what is considered the mostly likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centered on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment.
Expectation can work like hope, which makes us expect things to happen in a certain way.
Some people are very driven by their expectations which give them the desire to do things.
So they hope for certain outcomes and this gives them the motivation to take actions.
Acceptation vs. Expectation
Serenity comes when you trade your expectations for acceptance. Gautama Buddha
You can’t accept when you are expecting. – These two concepts contradict each other. You can’t accept what is when you are mind is busy expecting something else.
So much of our time is consumed by how things are should be or could be better… We have expectations from ourselves, our loved ones, and from our future. We rarely take the time to stop, pause and feel the present moment. What’s worthy of praise in your life? What do we have to be grateful for? Can we slow down and move less fast? Can we see the small beauties that life offers us and appreciate each and every thing we see, be grateful for our each and every breath?
One of the biggest obstacles to succeed in life and in personal growth is to have expectations. It doesn’t sound necessarily so bad to have expectations, but when our expectations aren’t met (which is usually the case in our lives) that’s when the pain starts to kick in, we start to feel the sadness, frustration, disappointment and desperation. We even forget what we already have, we start taking them for granted. We think we know how life is “supposed to be”, how things are “supposed to happen” but what do we know really? There is a fine line between knowing and trusting the universe… Sometimes we know how things should be but where are all these should’s coming from? Our upbringing, education and everything that has been implanted on us from our social environment have shaped our views on how things are supposed to be and how we are supposed to behave in a certain way and thus created our ideals.
Deepak Chopra, an Indian– American physician who combines Ayurveda and quantum mechanics in his teachings has once said,
Nothing goes wrong in my life. When things seem to not meet my expectations, I let go of how I think things should be.
As this quote states, not having an attachment to any fixed outcome liberates us. We can easily change our state of mind, our state of being. Expectations bring us out of the present moment; putting us in a state of waiting, waiting for something better, bigger, brighter to come… And we cease to exist in the present and what the present is offering to us. We go into our mind which works on memories and pattern, which creates time and thus we are basically in the past and are no longer in the NOW, no longer in the flow of life, we are stuck in our minds. We enter the limited perception of time and so we start to think of the future, expecting things to be different in the future than they are now. Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. As much as we can let go of our desires of how we want things to be, we can accept what already is and we become happier because we can appreciate what we already have and feel gratitude for it. And as much as we can accept and appreciate what is, life opens to us, it offers us more opportunities and we start to see its gifts. Acceptance frees us from the narrow roads of our desires and our ideals and lets us see life as it is, wide and open, and this frees us from feeling stuck. When Buddha got enlightened one of the first things he said, “Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.” So as long as we choose to follow our endless desires and expect life to be in a certain way, we choose to suffer because usually our expectations are not really aligned with our true selves so even if they happen they are never as we have imagined them to be. However if we stay with an open heart to what life’s giving to us at any moment then there is no suffering, we just accept things as they are in the NOW. Acceptance is openness and openness is bliss. Then we are not stuck in the boundaries of time. When we are fully present in the NOW, then we focus on what to do NOW, instead of having an expectation from the future. We simply surrender. However to surrender is different than giving up. In surrender, there is no fight, no race… there is just an acceptance of what is, but in giving up there is a battle, a struggle and then comes a moment where we can’t fight anymore against it and we give up… Surrender is acceptation of the moment, it’s nourishing the now.
Sometimes when we are not present and we are not accepting what’s happening or what we are feeling, this can cause some friction inside… In these days, we feel like we need to always feel good about ourselves and we need to transform our negative emotions into positive and energetic motivations and feelings, but as we continue to evolve, the desire or the expectation to feel good about ourselves begin to be a burden. Our desire and expectation to be successful, lovable and unique begins to feel false… So if we just take a pause and be mindfully present with ourselves and accept who we are with all the negative emotions, situations, whatever it may be, and see ourselves with an open-heart, without any self-image (positive or negative) to protect us from what is, then we live true to what is, whatever is. We stop trying, we stop expecting and we open as whoever we are, with the acceptance of whatever we lack, whatever darkness we have inside. When we are willing to accept the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the right and wrong, we go beyond the duality of these concepts. If we are willing to feel exactly what is and open as we are, then our life unfolds as truth. We just unfold as openness and in order to unfold as openness we need to initially let go of our expectations and just accept what is and who we are and trust the universe.
Most of the times in coaching sessions we hear our clients are having lots of expectations preventing their happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes they can be aware of this too but as it is not easy to change our deeply-rooted behaviors, as a coach, mentioning about these high expectations that you observe to your clients and talking in-depth about these desires that keep them unfulfilled and feel incomplete can be very powerful. It can help clients recognize their false beliefs and values, needs and desires which are not aligned with their true selves and how they are interfering with their progress, while also opening opportunities for understanding and appreciating themselves.
You, as a coach, can enhance the observations with powerful questions that dive into the thought process which includes their unrealistic expectations and desires which keeps the mind always hungry for more. And as a coach you can benefit your clients by suggesting them to close their eyes, take some deep breaths and coming back to the present moment and let go of their expectations and to recognize the present moment as it is and appreciating themselves as they are without putting any importance on the judgements of good/bad, right/wrong, light/dark, light/heavy. Doing so will help your clients to recognize when they’re full of expectations and hurrying to pass to the next moment instead of allowing life from being and also in the future when they are alone they can learn the habit of shifting their awareness to the moment instead of having thoughts filled with high expectations from the future, this can help them to be more aligned with their true self.
The Power of Now – Eckart Tolle
Peace Is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh
David Deida – The Blue Truth