Acceptance is the First Step to Change


“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Carl Jung

We all want to be accepted by friends, family, and society but the judgements of others and even ourselves is a bitter pill to swallow. This is very emotive perception for many because their identity can be fixed in stone for many different reasons. I will focus on the primary driver from a personal perspective briefly examining some of the biological reasons why acceptance is hard.

Acceptance is the important catalyst for change in a person’s inner and outer reality.

The brain mechanisms work on a simple premise of reward and aversion. This is connected to our emotional and rational brain.

The rational and emotional brain is being controlled by subconscious patterns of routines. These routines have evolved since our birth of the brain in our mother’s womb. These patterns continue to shape our personality by the choices we have made(brain) and continue to make with the influence of others. 

One example a child(brain) is conditioned by the food it has eaten from birth. The different cultures around the world developed the different flavours and taste we have today. If this was just biological and genetic adaptation of eating food every human would have the same taste palette. A significant reason we differ is reflected in our emotional brain that remembers choices or routines of food from a psychological perspective. For example, new food for an adult can be exciting or dangerous. Some reasons are due to childhood experiences of food. In one country a child may have been in a poverty situation where food is scarce. The limited choice and quality and taste of foods will limit the experiences of the brain. The emotional brain from the parents will continue to emphasise the importance of not wasting food because of poverty so the food experience is dictated by an emotional response of waste is dangerous. The rational brain of the parents will encourage or force the child to eat it. Pressure of consuming the food from parents will convince the brain of the importance of eating or food regardless of taste. The brain is conditioned by these experiences in choices it makes from external influence of not wasting food . The experience is not pleasure free but has a negative connection exploring other foods. The brain is also not use to different taste due to lack of experiences The brain seeks approval and reward by eating the food regardless of the taste inhibiting the experience to a present one of choice. This simple illustration shows how the brain patterns of eating is structured by the emotional and rational brain. There is a lot more to the story of every individual case but hopefully you get the idea of acceptance is a challenge for the brain. I have written a book that encompasses the key elements of our brain patterns and the templates we use in every day life exploring in more detail with the different sciences that merge into a simple concept to assimilate. (Pun intended) 

Requirements for living

Humans are at the top of universal consciousness on planet earth.There are many different levels of consciousness even in our own species , read more about emotional intelligence by great author below.

The animal kingdom has its different levels of intellectual prowess and consciousness and instinct. The evolution of humanity has adapted to the expanded consciousness built on previous generations of knowledge and experience passed on via genetic variation. 

The requirements or needs of today’s civilisation has dramatically changed since millenniums of our ancestors. The simple life of survival has evolved to a complicated state of existence. The consciousness has slowly driven humanity needs to a series of perspectives of wants. For example, the industrial revolution has created machines to propagate the simple age to a modern era of complexity creating a confusing array of choices. 

Abraham Maslow said, “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” or my words would be “I ain’t happy with this situation ( cant accept it) but I am going to moan about to the rest of the world till the day I die”.  His review of modern consciousness of humanity needs or requirements stripped back the shackles of commercial, religious, and governmental ideologies.

Further investigation of Maslow work read the excellent work of Scott Barry Kaufman who is a cognitive scientist and humanistic psychologist.

The 3 major categories I have simplified

1: Basic needs = Keep the human alive

2: Psychological needs = Emotional 

3: Consciousness needs = Spiritual and intellectual 

The fundamental structure of Maslow hierarchy of needs cover areas that are neglected because of not having acceptance with the denial mindset in our subconscious patterns. 

Denial of Responsibility or Accept the reality

The common projection of denial is blame others and take a lack of responsibility of our actions. Easy blame our childhood experiences or boss etc for the reality of the present moment. Problem with lack of ownership, you will not change your circumstances. Basically, it’s all in your head or mindsets. For example, the overweight fat child says I was bullied at school and my only friend was food. The poor husband who says I can’t get a good paying job because I’m not educated. The list can go on and on to justify our situation for not acting blaming or pushing the responsibility away. The past has gone, and we can have the opportunity to learn or burn from the past. (The brain hates accepting major core beliefs that need adjusting) Being present now and admitting failure will hurt in many different psychological ways. The rational and emotional brain will have a wrestling match to make sense of the stories we tell ourselves. 

Reflecting on the loss is the start of acceptance: What lessons did I learn about MYSELF? The alternative is to burn in self-pity that leads to more losses of self-worth. Exploring the negative emotions can be used as a catalyst of action. FEEL THE PAIN (use that energy for change) remember it is our responsibility to take hold of acceptance. Failure to feel these negative consequences will help to make different choices. 

The brain can be your friend or enemy it depends on how you train the Ego. The Ego hates admitting mistakes and the normal reaction is to justify its actions to empower the ego. This is complexed mechanism pinned by a lifetime of experiences creating present reality. The core beliefs, motivations, emotional regulation, and much more is You in your present form. 

Let me explain if you had a factory that built cars and it was successful for many years. But now it is not a viable option what would you do? The years of investment includes emotional, Psychological and Physical resources will seem like impossible feat for the Ego because that all it knows. Similarly, the lifetime of behaviour patterns is very hard to change because the brain has invested so many resources into being the present You. Walking away will seem impossible for many. Changing your mindset and taking responsibility and accepting the huge losses and start again is helping you starting a new chapter. (Part 1)


Acceptance is the first step to change



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About Stephen Hyne

I am creative and curious about life. I have a passion for the brain and the psychology of human behaviour. I love the renaissance art, culture and architecture. Music is my best friend follows me on my life journey of discovery.

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