Does Acceptance Foil Potential?

If you’ve ever wondered whether accepting your present reality eliminates motivation to manifest the dream, you’re not alone.

Whether you’re after professional success, new love, more money or a better body, many are hesitant to appreciate what is (let alone accept it) for fear things won’t change.

I’ll share my thoughts in comments, but this one comes up often enough to run it by you all.

Here’s the latest version of the question:

I had a question about practicing self-love and acceptance for the body … I have been doing that, and felt huge relief.

But what’s the difference between surrendering/acceptance and giving up? For example, I was the top student in school (I really liked it and desired it a lot), but I feel like if I had been totally accepting of what is and not doing any work, I wouldn’t have had that success.

I’m just wondering if I’m not asking enough of myself. I don’t have to beat myself up to challenge myself, but it feels kind of weird for an achiever like myself to be totally cool with size 14 (even though that is totally cool). It feels like I’m not fulfilling my potential.

I would appreciate your thoughts!

Fellow creators, what say you …

Is there a difference between accepting and giving up? And what impact does that have on accomplishing our true desires?

Do you find that acceptance of what is prevents progress toward what you really want?

Thanks in advance, my friends!

  • January 30, 2016
  • Carolin says:

    “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” – Eckhart Tolle 🙂

  • helen says:

    I would say to me acceptance of where I am is more like loving myself just as I am and not judging myself for not being where I want to be. It means going with the flow it means knowing the universe is on my side no matter what…..none of that sounds like giving up to me. The only thing I would give up is my attachment to the outcome, I mean we all want it NOW! but accepting that what I want is on its way and the more I am accepting myself and focussing on feeling better the easier what I want comes to me. & exactly as Mark R says above ….as long as I remain attached to the situation I am telling source to keep manifesting it for me.

    • Jeannette says:

      You’re reminding me of how Abe describes it, Helen … “loving what is and looking forward to what’s next.” They can indeed go together.
      Thanks for commenting on this one! 🙂

  • Mark R. says:

    This question was.a major struggle for me. It turns out I had to work through this question in addiction recovery. I had to come to terms, with and learn to believe this statement:
    “I am a perfect child of source, with infinite room for improvement.”
    The first part of recovery is accepting where you are, and for an addict it is usually a dark and horrible place. As horrible a place as it was, I was attached to it. In my delusion I pretended I did not have my issues. However, that delusion prevented me from moving past them. As long as I pretended I did not have those issues it was impossible for me to let go of them. Once I fully accepted them, came to peace with them, then I was able to set them down (let go) and walk away from them.
    Doing so helped me to turn my life around. So am I great at LOA? No, I still struggle with accepting the situation as it is, however, the more I do it the easier it is.
    If I am not accepting the situation as it is, that means I have emotional attachment to the situation. Since emotions are the energy of LOA, as long as I remain attached to the situation, I am telling source to keep manifesting it for me.

    • Jeannette says:

      This sums it up nicely in a nutshell, Mark: “If I am not accepting the situation as it is, that means I have emotional attachment to the situation. … as long as I remain attached to the situation, I am telling source to keep manifesting it for me.”
      That’s good incentive to get okay with present circumstances, isn’t it? 🙂

  • KeshiaO Live_ says:

    In this moment I accept I am afraid.
    I accept my fear of…
    I accept the unknown.
    I accept the art of surrender.
    Surrender is freedom.
    Freedom to choose create attracting all that is good and great to me.

  • Brian says:

    ”But what’s the difference between surrendering/acceptance and giving up?”
    Acceptance feels good.

    Giving up does not feel good (when you think giving up means giving up your desire).
    Giving up does not mean giving up your desire, it means giving up your resistance you offer when thinking about your desire.

    Surrender is also giving up your resistance. And when you give up your resistance, you feel better and allow yourself to receive even more of that which you are wanting, with greater ease and greater clarity. And most importantly, with greater joy.

    ”It feels like I’m not fulfilling my potential.”
    What does fulfilling your potential feel like?

    Not, what does fulfilling your potential look like, what does it feel like?

    Because, potential fulfillment is not a specific condition (i.e. “I’m now a size 4, and I’ve fulfilled my potential.”), it’s an emotion, it’s a feeling (i.e. “I want to feel freedom. I want to feel ease. I want to feel comofrtable. I want to feel loved. I want to feel accepted. I want to feel appreciated. I want to feel worthy. I want to feel fulfilled.). And, you don’t need a specific fulfillment of a condition in order to feel Well-Being and full fulfillment of emotion.

    You’re looking for emotions, not conditions. And when you focus on feeling fulfilled unconditionally, not only will you be happy now (which is the only reason you want anything in life), but everything else you want will flow into your life as well.

    You want to focus on feeling unconditionally fulfilled, unconditional alignment, unconditional acceptance and unconditionally happy with who you are.

    • Jeannette says:

      Wise words, my friend! “Because, potential fulfillment is not a specific condition, it’s an emotion, it’s a feeling.” That’s a great tip to go for the feeling above all else. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    I love this question too. Thinking about it made me get clearer about what this work is for me.
    It’s about learning to act from inspiration, rather than fear of negative consequences. Accepting where I am is definitely not giving up on where else I want to go.
    This change in thinking is a gradual process for me. Sometimes I can motivate myself to get things done by scaring myself with the consequences of not doing them. It feels horrible and it’s painfully slow and doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does work.
    Inspiration is light and fun and easy. I get to where I want to go so quickly that I barely notice it’s happening until I’m almost there. Accepting where I am is part of cultivating inspiration. When I feel good about where I am, and think lightly about where I want to go, inspiration comes.
    I know that feeling good is the path to inspiration, but the hard part is that I can’t reason it out. The path of inspiration is mysterious. You have to prepare the climate and then wait for inspiration to come. It takes faith. Not blind faith. I see this work in my life over and over. It’s just hard to give up on the idea of setting a goal, reasoning out how to get there, and pushing myself along that known road.
    I’ve proved to myself that feeling good and waiting for inspiration is the most efficient way of accomplishing anything. It’s still hard for me to accept.

  • Janette says:

    Oooh, such a juicy topic – and one of my favourites!
    I think there’s a deeper question to ask, and that is “do I want more because I’m not enough now; or because ‘more’ would be even more fun than what I have now?”
    Wanting change because we yearn to fulfil our potential can come from one of two motivations: fear or love.
    Most of the (muggle-based) messages we receive all day long in the media, etc, tell us that we’re not yet ‘enough’. Not rich enough, not tall enough, not thin enough, not lovable enough….. etc. If we seek change in order to match some arbitrary criterion, so we can feel better about ourselves, then we’re seeking change from a place of fear. “If I can just get to this dress size, I can feel okay about myself”.
    But if we already know we are enough, and our life is enough – if we not just accept but actually appreciate it – we are free to seek change from a place of love. If the only reason to seek change is because it’s an even fuller expression of who we truly are, then the starting point, the journey AND the destination are all rich in love and appreciation.
    And here’s why it matters where we start out.
    If we start out from fear, all the brain systems we need for a great outcome tend to be closed off. If we start out from love, they’re switched on and open.
    Brain systems such as creativity, innovation, risk-taking, problem-solving, lateral thinking, memory, access to intuition (inner guidance), and even processing speed.
    Imagine if you have all that amazing capacity onside!
    For my money it’s ALWAYS worth starting out from a place of appreciation of what-is. Because it means I have my brain on my side, not working against me. And that’s a powerful ally!

    • Master Manifester says:

      Jeanette covered it. Thanks Jeanette. I completely agree.
      A place of acceptance is WITH flow and I am far more productive when I am in that state, so to me it feels far far from “giving up.” If it feels like acceptance lacks the vigilance to the point of equaling “giving up” then it’s UPSTREAM.
      Acceptance moves us out of focusing on the past, focusing on what is lacking, beating ourselves up for where we are at. All of which are UPSTREAM against a fairly strong current. Accepting where we are at allows us to put our focus on joy and the deliciousness of the potential for what’s next in our journeys. Now that is downstream and with the flow … Ahhhhhh 🙂

  • Emma says:

    Any thoughts that give us a good feeling are attracting more good feeling things into our lives. Pushing against something unwanted doesn’t feel good, and is therefore attracting more conditions to us that don’t feel good. Accepting conditions the way they are is making the decision to stop pushing against things, which helps us to think better feeling thoughts.
    It can seem a bit scary at first to accept your body the way it is, as a part of you thinks it may cause your body to stay this way! But the way I see it is this: all our lives our inner beings have been collecting things we want in our “vortex” as Abraham would say, and a slim, happy, healthy, good-feeling body is one of those things. Choosing to accept your body the way it is does not change what you’ve got in your vortex, it just allows you to get rid of some resistance so your inner being can lead you towards the body you really want!

  • Lynda says:

    “What is” is merely a suggestion from yourself or others that one has accepted. If you don’t accept it, then “what is” isn’t.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a great topic (as usual…lol).
    I think that “fear” itself will push what you want further away. The source is waiting for you to take your mind and pressure
    off what you want. It is teaching us to be patient, but more than that, it is to appreciate and take care of our bodies or whatever we already have.
    It is then and only then when we stand in awe of who and what we are or have that we can ready ourselves for more or better.
    I lost over 100 pounds a few years ago……but only when I STOPPED thinking about it. I got really sick and I concentrated more on well being and regaining my health that I forgot about the weight and it just fell off……and my health returned and I am way healthier and feel better than I have in years! So…..I got 2 for the thought of one 🙂

  • Christa76 says:

    Accepting the present gives you a new starting point to build your potential from. It stops you from being frustrated of all that happened or didn’t happen in the past and it equally stops you from being anxious or frustrated of all that hasn’t happened yet in the future.
    Accepting who and where you are now is completely the opposite of giving up. It creates a clean slate from which literally anything is possible. It is the ultimate self-love and self-worth. And when you embrace who you are and where you are each day a little bit more, your default vibration will rise each day a little bit more. You realise beautiful things are all around you and manifesting on a continuous basis. You will start to shine and welcome life with open arms. And guess what, that’s when magic happens. In full force and in full abundance. Something amazing is about to happen when you love, enjoy and appreciate the present.
    Trust me.

  • Dale says:

    I think I understand what accepting yourself means, even if you’re not at the level in life you want to be.
    It means to me having gratitude for what you already have. For myself, right now I’m overweight. It’s going to take a year or so for me to get to the healthy weight I desire, I know.
    But I was told one of the secrets of losing weight and feeling good permanently was loving oneself as is! For me, even though I’m not at my ideal weight this moment, I need to be grateful for the health I already have. Even though I don’t move as swiftly as I should, I can still walk; I can see; I can find stylish enough clothes that I enjoy.
    I have loving people in my life now who are willing to help me in my goals. I’m not letting being overweight stop me in going out and socializing. I now have friends who don’t judge me by my weight. That’s plenty there to be grateful for!
    Have you ever read about people who lost the weight they wanted, or won the lottery, or got some kind of goal but still were not happy? I’ve learned that happiness and self esteem starts on the inside 1st. I decided not to make the mistake of many overweight people who lost weight but still saw themselves as “fat” or unworthy of the good things in life. I’m really using the LOA to picture the end result while enjoying the process. I may not be easy at 1st, but I believe it can and will be done!

  • Powerful question and lots of great comments already 🙂
    To me acceptance is simply letting go of resistance. Resistance keeps what I want at a distance. As long as I’m in resistance, I’m not allowing what I want to manifest.
    Once I accept what is and thus let go of the resistance, I bring myself into alignment and then, the change I want can happen.

  • Gumnut says:

    I’m new to LOA so I don’t really feel qualified to give advice but instead just want to share my story. As a woman in her forties I developed the “middle aged” spread that just wouldn’t budge no matter what I did. One day I decided to give myself a break and just accept myself as I am, an intelligent beautiful woman with lots to offer the world. I threw away my scales and stopped talking about weight, body image and anything else related to body size. I continued to exercise because I’m all about health. One day while reading a travel blog I came across a link to an online fitness website and for some reason I clicked on the link. This in turn led me to the paleo diet which has had a huge impact on my life, not only have I lost 20 kg but my anxiety has eased and it is helping my health in other ways. This was all before I knew about LOA now I know it was the universe doing it’s thing!

    • Jeannette says:

      Yet another story about the power of dropping resistance! I’ve heard Abe say that when we love what is (or at least stop resisting it), it doesn’t mean that our desires go away. Universe always holds those in “escrow” for us for delivery when we’re in alignment.
      Thanks for chiming in with such a great example, Gumnut. 🙂

  • Hi all
    It is certainly an interesting point; personally I feel the difference between surrendering and giving up is that only one is joyful and I believe it is that innate, authentic, consistent joy that physically moves us out of the old and into the desired reality.

  • Kat says:

    Hi all,
    On my planet the result of acceptance, surrender, allowance and giving up are basically the same ultimately important thing we all need to do.
    I like to talk about allowance as it has less emotional charge to most people than acceptance, surrender and giving up. Giving up / surrender to me is raising my hands up in the air and letting go of my struggle and resistance. It is allowing the universe do what it wants with me. I believe that the universe has my best interest at heart, I just still sometimes get stuck in thinking that I need to do something.
    Allowing our weight and exam results to be whatever they are, stops us from bullying ourselves.

  • sonia says:

    Namaste, you’re a genius! For the first time, I finally get it!!! Thank you!
    “Acceptance of what is right now is NOT surrendering, it’s simply choosing to stop thinking “this isn’t ok” (contradictory thought that stops what you want)”

  • Juliette says:

    For me, acceptance is where the potential begins. Sometimes I teach this, and I use this experience:
    Years ago, I was a terrible delegator thinking that I should be a good delegator. Then one day I just accepted that I was a terrible delegator. Instead of trying to be what I was not, I lived the truth of what I was.
    The weird thing that happened to me was that as soon as I accepted myself as a terrible delegator, opportunities showed up that taught me how to delegate.
    Therefore, my belief is that acceptance is the first step to change. For me, that’s the path of least resistance.

  • Namaste says:

    One of the hardest lessons for me to get was that my thoughts REALLY are making my reality what it is.
    Thoughts about what I want, get me what I want.
    Thoughts about what I do NOT want, stop me from getting what I want.
    Once I REALLY got this, I got that when I think thoughts about what I don’t want, that’s stops what I want.
    Acceptance of what is right now is NOT surrendering, it’s simply choosing to stop thinking “this isn’t ok” (contradictory thought that stops what you want), “I hate this” (contradictory thought that stops what you want), “I’m so sick of things being this way” (contradictory thought that stops what you want).
    Once you stop thinking contradictory thoughts, then it’s time to figure out what you want. The KEY here is that what you want has to inspire you (you gotta want it, be passionate about it). How do you know if you’re inspired/passionate about your want? When you think about it, you can feel that you want it. If what you want does NOT inspire you, things will remain the same (which is your fear).

    • Jeannette says:

      Yes, this helps to get a handle on how these two things (accepting what is and desiring more) can go together, Namaste. Thanks for chiming in here! 🙂

  • Sue says:

    This is interesting point and such a synchronicity that it came up precisely when I am writing up my ideas about the seeming dangers of deliberate creation. .
    I believe that all in life requires us to find the balance in order to be able to fully enjoy the best of everything, that none of the extremes are healthy; that being said I will comment that we should let our feeling good feeling guide us to that balance. If you felt a relief when accepting who you are just the way you are then you are in the right track doing so, but if that good feeling took you to the other extreme where you feel you are turning into a conformist, then go back a little into doing the things that you know you should do in order to become what or who you want to become…This may sound tricky but somehow we know intuitively or in our gut how much is right… kind of like allowing a bit of a guilty feeling up to the point where you just feel justified, where you feel good.
    I hope it makes sense the way I intended…
    May the divinity continue to bless us all, always!

    • Jeannette says:

      What I hear that boiling down to, Sue, is always trusting and going with what feels better. Indeed, that is a good and reliable answer, if you ask me!
      Thanks for launching the conversation with such a good tip. 🙂

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