Change or accept

In principle, when I am in conflict with others in my group or troubled by a difficult circumstance and I want relief, I have basically two choices. I can either work to change things for the better or I can work to accept things as they are. Both paths require effort on my part. Idle complaints, criticisms or gossip will not help things – they will more likely make things worse. It is helpful to keep in mind that I probably cannot change most things. The only things I really have power over are my own beliefs and behaviors. If I changed my beliefs and behaviors, would it ease the conflict?

Practical Tip: When in conflict, imagine drawing a circle around yourself. Draw it so that the things you can change are inside the circle and the things you cannot change are outside the circle.

Step one: Define the circle.

Step two: Work to change things within the circle.

Step three: Let go of all that is outside the circle.

In other words, define your part; take responsibility for improving your part; do not take on other parts. Working inside the circle – addressing the things you can change – is all about action. It's about doing things differently. Working outside the circle – addressing the things you cannot change – is all about acceptance. It's about seeing things differently.

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