Imagine that you talk to a breeder about buying a puppy. At the time he doesn’t have any puppies but he puts you on his list and says he will call you as soon as the next litter is born. You wait months and still don’t hear anything so decided to stop by and talk to him again. When you arrive you see him giving away the last puppy. So you decide to confront him and when you do he just shrugs and apologizes.
That’s not fair! That shouldn’t happen! But it did.
What do you do?
You have a few options here. You can lash out at him and demand you get the puppy. You can cry and have a pity party or even write a horrible review online about the breeder or worse; become a cat person. **I’m a total cat person no judgement**
Which option do you chose?
People often say, “I can’t stand this,” “This isn’t fair,” “This can’t be true,” and “This shouldn’t be this way.” It’s almost as if we think refusing to accept the truth will keep it from being true or that accepting means agreeing. Accepting doesn’t mean agreeing. Which means there is another option for this situation. You can accept it and move on.

This is a lot easier said than done. It is hard to deal with something painful and just let it go. No one wants to experience pain, discomfort, disappointment, or sadness; but it’s a part of life that you can never avoid. When you actively chose to dwell on something you can’t control you add suffering to your pain and discomfort. Often this means making the situation way bigger than it really is.
Let me break something to you. You’re life is not perfect and it never will be. You will, at some point in your life, make a mistake, cry, feel pain, feel anger, or feel uncomfortable and you can’t avoid it no matter how hard you try. Some people aren’t going to like you and some jobs you won’t get hired for, but that doesn’t mean your life is over or that it is a reflection of the wonderful person you are.
When we push away or avoid our feelings you also miss out on opportunities to be happy. We get so caught up in something so minor and uneventful that we waste all of our time and energy on something that doesn’t even matter. Sometimes this avoidance can lead to more intense behavior like drinking, gambling, or isolation. Sure, they help you feel temporary control and relief but it does nothing for you in the grand scheme of things.
Radical acceptance means you can turn your resistant, ruminating thoughts into something you accept. I’m in this situation and even though I do not approve of it, it’s OK. I can’t change or control what happened but I can control how I react to it.

So powerful! Let me say it again, I can’t control what has already happened but I can control how I react to it. Isn’t that just amazing! In those moments where we feel the strongest emotions and feel so out of focus we have to capability to control the outcome. You come home from work and your laundry wasn’t done. Acknowledge what happened, understand that nothing will change if you lash out, and chose to accept it.
Now I am not saying you can’t feel emotions. If you just wrote a 5 page paper and your computer crashed by all means get mad or upset and eat some ice cream while talking to your mom about how awful school is. But don’t dwell. Take a few minutes to calm down and face reality. Then kick that paper in the face! The sooner you can accept the reality the sooner you can move on!
I have known about the radical acceptance skill for years and practice every day but still struggle with dwelling on things. If you find yourself not being able to accept a situation take a moment to breathe and clear your head before returning. Yoga, mindfulness, or playing with an animal are just a few of the many ways to relax and clear your mind.
It’s already in the past and as we all know from grade school, we can’t change the past but we can learn from it and better the future.
Do you struggle with dwelling on unnecessary things? What helps you accept hardships?

0 thoughts on “How to Radically Accept Change In Your Life”

  1. This is so relevant! I completely agree and support all of the strong points made in this post. As an anxiety sufferer, it's very, very easy to dwell on bad things, large or small. With therapy and treatment, I have definitely learned to more easily let go of those things I can't control and move past them.

  2. This is so great! I totally needed the reminder that you can't change what happened, but you can change how you react to it. Moving on from things is sometime hard for me, but it's just better to let go and move on so I feel better. Thank you!

  3. Wow, this is amazing. I have a hard time with acceptance and find myself often feeling unfairly treated but working hard on moving on and just shruging it off and learnign from it. The next time I hope to be more assertive and accepting of whatever the result is. Knowing I have given it my all but it just didn't work out, doesn't mean I wasn't good enough. Great read!

  4. This is a powerful truth > “I can control how I react to it.” That gives me freedom and let me see always what's my attitude in every situation. We can't control all things, but we do can control how we re-act to ti. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    Tayrina from

  5. Such a well written post Chandler. I think I really needed this reminder since I'm currently dwelling on something I can't control. I completely agree it's easier said then done, but it's true we can't change how what happens to us however we can change how react to it. So thank for this reminder.

  6. *sigh* I feel like you came in the right time. I have been going through so much that is makes me cringe. But I have been trying to change how I react towards it. Thanks so much for sharing. <3 <3 <3

  7. I definitely dwell on a lot of things and have a hard time letting go… But I'm trying to make positive changes.

    Only YOU have the choice to turn things around and make positive changes in your life. You are SO right – life isn't perfect, nor will it ever be. You just sometimes have to roll with the punches and see where that takes you. And having faith and trust in your decision.

    Great post, Chandler. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing! It's amazing how we can get so fixated on things and let them control our lives. I'm still working on it myself but I think I put in a good effort to move on as well 🙂

  9. It definitely takes a lot of practice and recognition. Most the time I know I am being so ridiculous about my reaction to something but for some reason I just can't let it go. That could just be my pride too but I know I am happier and my relationships are stronger if I learn to just let go. Some thing take longer than others but we are all working on it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. I know that I worry a lot, but I have also never been a person who thinks I “deserve” anything. Therefore if I do not get some opportunity, promotion etc, I don't dwell on it for very long.

  11. This is so great, Chandler! I feel like I really struggle with accepting change but it's something I'm working at. We have to learn as a society to accept uncertainty more and welcome it instead of fear it!

  12. This is such an awesome post, Chandler! I know this is something I need to work on more. Lots of times I just really WANT to complain about something instead of taking the effort to change my mind or the situation or accept it. It's definitely not always easy. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your mind about it.”

  13. This was such an inspiring article! This is an area I struggle with a lot. When things don't go the way I hope, I can get pretty down about it. I've gotten better about it. I have trained my mind into always thinking positive no matter what the situation is. Whether it's bad or good. It can be difficult, but that's really all you can do. Anyway, this is my first visit, and I am very inspired! Have an awesome day!


  14. Such good words! I tend to be a total dweller/grudge-holder, but over the past year or so I've found that it just takes way too much energy. When there's truly nothing I can do to change a situation, I just accept it, learn what I can, and move along. Thanks for the encouraging reminder!

  15. As a Type A personality, I become stressed whenever I can't plan everything and feel like I'm in control, so this post definitely speaks to me! Being married to someone so much more easy going has forced me to relax a bit though!

  16. I used to in the past dwell on things that didn't go may way. Now I realize that if it was meant to happen it would have happened. It's better to be more even if something doesn't have the outcome you wanted. Great post!

  17. This is such a great read! I definitely dwell on unnecessary things. The unnecessary things seem to alway be the ones that “break the camels back”. I've been using the mantra if it's meant to be it'll be, and so far that seems to be helping.

  18. This is so relevant!! I totally had a moment yesterday that I failed at radical acceptance. It was a car cutting me off getting into a parking garage.. (why is it always driving related incidents that really get me??) but that's why for years I've practiced deep breathing and listening to classical music in traffic. Also why I married the most patient and laid-back man on the planet. haha. Thanks for this post!! Always a good reminder to let things go.