Accept vs Except

No, this is not a grammar lesson. I was just thinking about these two words, and how they can dwell in us, become our direction, and how they can mix us up. Let me unpack that a bit.

I was listening to a podcast this week. I know. I know. What a shocker that I listened to another podcast, learned from it, and decided to tear it apart and share what I learned with you. During the podcast, the presenter was working with his guest to help them work through some limiting beliefs aka beliefs we are holding on to that are crippling us so we cannot live up to our full potential.

As he worked with his guest he asked them to say the limiting belief out loud. Then he asked them to just sit with it for a while, breathe it in, hold it and finally to say the opposite of that belief or replace it with a true statement - one they could really believe about themselves that feels true or right.

I have heard other motivational speakers, therapists and life coaches use these same techniques on other podcasts or read it in books. What does all of this have to do with accept vs except. Well let me tell you!

It occurred to me that is exactly what this all boils down to, and it could be very helpful to someone who is struggling with limiting beliefs in some area of their life. Oh! Wait! That is just about everyone I know! We have all heard stories about us that weren't true or told ourselves stories that weren't true but we keep telling ourselves this story over and over until it creates an influence in all we do or can't do.

What we need to do to let go of something is to first acknowledge it exists, realize that is what is holding us back and finally let that crap go. How? How do we do that?

If you have a dream or a goal but find yourself grappling with how to accomplish it because you don't know how, don't think you are worthy of success or don't believe you are capable to succeed it is time to explore yourself. It is time to learn accept versus except.

Let's break it down. Let's explore a handful of limiting beliefs, those convictions about yourself you may not even realize you are hanging onto, or in some cases, gripping onto with a strangle-hold. I believe if we just do this a couple times you will catch on and find yourself doing this for yourself as the need arises.

I have done some very amateur, bare-boned research. In other words, I consulted the internet using a search engine, and found several lists of limiting beliefs many of us struggle with on a daily basis.

Let's take a look at a few and apply my accept vs except strategy. I believe if we do this a few times it will be ingrained in your brain for a short time and you may find yourself using it later, and who knows? It may become a habit and you may be able to limit some of your own limiting beliefs. Let's dive in.

  1. I can't tell the truth because I may get judged.

  2. I don't want to get close to this person because I will probably get hurt.

  3. I can't ask for help or I will seem weak.

  4. I can't trust people because I have been hurt before.

  5. I can't pursue my dreams because I don't know what to do if I fail.

Now, we are going to do a little exercise. I want you to play fill in the blank if one of these which resonates with you, and you make your own statement that does fit for you.

  1. I can't do X because of Y.

Say it out loud. Whichever statement rings true to you. Say it out loud. Breathe it in. Feel in your body in the place it seems to live. What do I mean by that? Does your throat get tight. Does it make you hold your breath? Does it make your hand shake a little? Does it make you want to put your hand on your heart? Touch the part of your body where you feel it the most. Say it again. Take a deep breath. Breathe it in. Sit with it. Is it true? Is it right. Does it fit?

Let me answer for you. It's not yours. It's just a limiting belief someone told you or you told yourself. It's not true. It is real but it is not true. It's real but it is not true. Blow out that breath.

For the sake of the exercise I will use I can't trust people because I have been hurt before. That is one I have struggled with before in my own life. Oh look at that I am telling the truth even though I might get judged. Maybe I should use that one because I can identify with that in my life too. See what I am doing? We can all identify with limiting beliefs. You are not alone. In fact, I believe you are in very good company.

I want to introduce you to my strategy. Choose your statement you want to work on. Do the exercise of breathing it in, sitting with it and blowing it away.

I will seriously use number five; I can't pursue my dreams because I don't know what to do if I fail. I accept that I believe I can't pursue my dream because I don't know what to do if I fail except I know what I would do. I have failed before and I am okay and I bounced back stronger and better than ever.

Accept means to receive something. Except means excluding or with the exception of or to leave out. Receive vs exclude. Take versus push away. Hang on versus let go.

I am going to leave you with this challenge. The next time you hear that little voice in your head holding you back, preventing you from reaching your goals, stopping you from enjoying being your true self. breaking you down and halting you from doing more and being more, I want you to think accept verses except. I believe that, but it's not true. It's real, but it's not true. I accept it, except I am not keeping it. It's not mine. I accept that I believed it before, and I told myself that story, except I know it's not true, and today I will stop telling that story and start telling myself a new one.

We all need to work on self-acceptance, but we also need to accept those old convictions which are not serving us, hold them and let go of them, and we need to replace them with the truth, so we can quit holding ourselves. back. I hope this strategy serves you well. I will leave you with this quote, from some anonymous genius, which sums it up quite nicely.

It' is not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you are not.

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