Managing Self

The battle of acceptance versus resistance

Written by Jill Farmer

“She should less abrasive.”

“He shouldn’t be so negative.”

“They should support me. “

“He needs to hold down a job.”

Ever said something like that?

I haven’t—for past 10 minutes, anyway.

Author Byron Katie would tell me anytime I’m wishing for someone else to be different than they are, I am “arguing with reality.” Every time I judge a situation that’s not in my control (and most aren’t) and wish it was different, I’m wasting my time.

“When I argue with reality, I lose. But, only 100 percent of the time.” Byron Katie

I’ve ALWAYS resisted stuff I don’t like. This practice doesn’t feel good. As a matter of fact, resistance feels pretty bad most of the time. It’s the source of my headaches, neck pain and irritability.

But, I keep persisting with my resistance.


It’s letting the world know IT needs to change.

A short list of things I don’t like, and therefore vigorously RESIST:

  • Negative people
  • Slow traffic
  • Conflict
  • Not being in control

So far, resisting the above list has failed to change things one iota.

Resistance doesn’t change reality.

It just makes life harder.

It’s like being really, really thirsty, then packing your glass with cotton balls before you take a drink of water. You may still get some liquid to dribble out. But, it’s hardly the quench you are craving.

Acceptance is filling up an empty glass, and drinking until you’re no longer thirsty.

You may be saying, “But, if I accept, I’m giving up” or “If I accept, they win.”

Accepting doesn’t mean condoning.

It just means you are freeing yourself from a losing battle.

Author Sharon Olds says, “Acceptance. It’s the wonderful antidote to the self-destructive, overly critical voice we all have within us.”

Resistance takes great energy and doesn’t deliver much in return.

Acceptance births ideas and answers.

Try it. The next time you find yourself complaining about something or someone, try simply accepting them or the situation for what it is. Take a deep breath and see how that feels.


Rewind and repeat in every single situation where you feel yourself judging or resisting today.

You may be shocked at the good stuff you’ll make room for when you do this.

About the author

Jill Farmer

I love helping people get more meaningful work done in less time. I am the author of "There's Not Enough Time... and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves" which debuted as a bestseller in the Time Management Category on Amazon. In 2015, The Washington Post named me to its 21-Day Time Hacker team. I travel the world delivering keynotes and seminars for top corporations and organizations. I am also a wife and the mother of two teens and I have the two worst-behaved dogs in the universe. You can reach me at or visit my website

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