The Power of Radical Acceptance


Here at Modig Leadership there is one tool that we share with our clients that they use multiple times throughout the day to help them get out of their emotional turmoil.

It’s this term called radical acceptance. And this really is exactly what it says it is. It is radically accepting your circumstances.

Oftentimes people are in denial about the situation they are in- they are like “This isn’t really going to happen” and there’s a teeny tiny part of them that’s like, “maybe we can work it out.”

Generally speaking in our experience with clients, a lot of the denial they hold about their situation is because they are facing this massive pain. Particularly when they are successful in every area of their life, they don’t want to face this failure or atleast what they perceive as a failure. If you choose to radically accept where you are then you can move forward in a much faster and healthier way.

When Brenda was trying to work through things with her ex, she saw TONS of divorce counselors. The first counselor that she saw out of her divorce was the one that introduced her to radical acceptance. She was so frustrated that nobody had shared this with her earlier — she had spent over a decade researching, struggling trying to get in to talk to all these counselors. She felt that nobody cared to equip her with the tools to deal with the stuff she was going through — they just asked her “how do you feel about this” and “how do you feel about that”. Brenda did not want to feel so negatively about her situation anymore, she wanted to be released from it and to move forward.

So, when you start to go down a rabbit hole of sadness where you’re all doom and gloom, wondering how you are going to recover from this situation (or what we call monkey mind or the 2 am voice), one of the biggest things that you can do is just say “I radically accept that this is where I am. I radically accept that today I am sad.”

When you get to that space, it does something in your brain, it really calms the amygdala down. The amygdala in your brain is responsible for the fight, flight, or freeze, response to threatening situations. When that gets geared up, you’re not making rational decisions. But, by radically accepting the situation that you are in, the stress hormones your body releases dramatically decrease.

Now it takes a while for radical acceptance to work, especially when you are leaving an environment that is high stress. When you are constantly in fight, flight or freeze more, your body can literally get addicted to the hormones that are released by your amygdala. So, don’t get frustrated with yourself. You can start implementing it by writing the phrase on your mirror, putting it as your screensaver on your phone, putting it as your desktop, setting multiple alarms to remind yourself of it, whatever you need to do to remember to shut down those negative thoughts, and radically accept your situation.

After you have practiced using radical acceptance, or even just begun to implement the phrase into your everyday life, you begin to train your mind. New neural pathways will be formed, and the more you use that neural pathway, the stronger it becomes. It is just like a cow rut, right? As you’re driving, you see these cows and they always walk the same path to and from the grazing pastures, the watering hole, wherever really. Pretty soon there’s a rut on the side of the hill where it’s easy. The cows don’t have to think about where they’re going because the cows are traveling the same path all day long and now it’s a no brainer.They literally get to turn onto autopilot. Kind of like the times when you drive home and you’re like, holy crap, I didn’t even think about driving home. Right? This is muscle memory.

Well, when you start to train your brain with radical acceptance and the calming effect it has on you over and over and over and over enough, you are disrupting that cow rut of getting your emotions totally out of control. You’re establishing a new cow rut in a healthy response of radical acceptance. Take a deep breath and just accept the situation for what it is. When you do that and you’ve trained your brain into that cow rut, now it automatically causes this relaxation within your body you have a physiological response that causes you to chill out.

The sooner that you can work towards radical acceptance, the sooner you can begin to emotionally regulate yourself and operate at your peak potential. That is what where are here to help support you with — operating at your peak potential. Shoot us an email at hello@modigleadership.com to get started today!

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