LeadU presents Acceptance




People may be afraid of this number? Did you ever wonder why there is no FLOOR 13 on the elevator in hotels? Fear of the number 13 is termed triskaidekaphobia. Often people take special care not to conduct any celebrations on a 13th. Could there really be a 13th Element AS important as this?

In my early thinking about the 12 elements, they sort of materialized and there is probably some auspicious reason why 12 is an important number, and 13 might be troublesome.  However in this case, I think Acceptance, or the Acceptance Process is clearly required in the periodic chart that is emerging…  And there is probably no other element that would serve in the 13th slot as this one.

Succinctly, acceptance and the process of accepting is as critical to all the other elements as it is to FLOW. I’d like the take the onus off FLAWLESS LIVING sometimes and think about FLOW, and nothing is more important to FLOW, the Design of FLOW, or the emergence of FLOW as acceptance.

“Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human. – Albert Ellis

Definition of ACCEPTANCE [From www.m-w.com]
1: an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound
2 : the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable
3 : the act of accepting : the fact of being accepted : approval
4 a : the act of accepting a time draft or bill of exchange for payment when due according to the specified terms b: an accepted draft or bill of exchange

Examples of ACCEPTANCE
  1. her acceptance into the club
  2. The university has sent me a letter of acceptance
  3. He delivered an acceptance speech after he was chosen as the party’s presidential nominee.

First Known Use of ACCEPTANCE – 1574


It’s clear to me that we have to build on this idea of acceptance for use in FLOW.

I’ll frame it best as I can.

Acceptance is a belief that we are who we are for a lot of reasons, most of those are out of our control, and while it’s important to be held accountable for our actions, and to be responsible for our behavior in a civilized world, the ideas of acceptance are EES when we can value ourselves and others without flaws, but with contingencies that lead to consequences we may not like, or which are not in our view, EES… yet, we as well as others can be valued.

I have to say that acceptance doesn’t mean we value others equally.  That, to me, would be a mistake and unrealistic. However, acceptance allows us to look through the personalization that often occurs surrounding behaviors which in a lot of cases, are simply out of our control.  While emerging from the combinatorial effects of who we are, in relation to our environments over time —> meaning we will do a lot of stupid, ugly, and bad things at times, there is goodness in our acceptance of ourselves and others unconditionally.

This doesn’t give us the right to claim we are above laws, regulations, ethics, or norms, but to realize that will and when it occurs, needs to be seen through a lens of acceptance, in a system that values people unconditionally.

At the root, this means we must change everything about how we have been conditioned to think, even in cases where our own intuition shows us that people, in our eyes are wrong, crimminal, or evil. To value them unconditionally, means that we look towards causal loops differently and try to begin to understand that, in most cases, free will is not something that should have prevented us from acting; or choice allowed us the right decision; or even in cases, which are most difficult to understand, to view the pugnacity of man as something that is a part of some of us, and all of us as a result.

For me, I’ve struggled the most with all of this. Beginning with myself and my seemingly ability to do anything… But in a lot of cases, couldn’t change who I was under load… I, like you, will run home to mama, the girl who brung us, or our center of gravity, as ways of colloquially creating metaphors.

The acceptance process is depicted by me through a model of engagement —> acceptance being the emergent outcome… And of course a continuum that will look and feel different to all of us.

I’ve put the model of engagement, or the acceptance process here: https://www.leadu.com/newsletters/tpovs/acceptance/engagement/

Sometimes, it’s easier to see what someone means when there is a visual diagram.

The acceptance process or the emergent level of acceptance each of us can achieve is due to several factors: one which is inborn and the others which can be learned over time.  At least that is what I think is happening to me, someone, who on the Reiss Profile is very LOW Acceptance. You can seek the definitions of acceptance “motivation” from there.

In my view, acceptance is liberty.  However it won’t feel that way and many of you will think that accepting yourself and others unconditionally is not good, right, or true. You may be right, however I have found that anything that promotes the model of engagement towards acceptance of yourselves and others unconditionally is going to move you in a path closer to FLOW.

ONCE, we gain acceptance, we automatically limit our pretending around what we can do and won’t, and who we are and who we aren’t.

AT that point of demarkation, we can be in service to our Design for FLOW, which can only be optimized with the continuum of acceptance, fully known.

At first, it’s difficult.

BS says we should compare ourselves to others, follow all the rules, and be good citizens. It’s similar in FLOW.  However, the mechanisms are different. By accepting ourselves and others, our focus is more on the system of causal loops, and stocks and flows, and what happens when events collude to trigger issues of non-acceptance.

Surrender is a difficult thing for most, and until you are able to do so, you won’t design as EES as you can, or we can together. You won’t be able to access deeper levels of self-knowledge.  Happiness, which is already present, but unrealized will become fleeting.  You’ll worry about whether your “ladder is against the right wall”.  Yes, and no decisions will be sub-optimal.  Getting feedback will be limited. Reaching out will be vague.  You will continue to pretend, preventing success by design.  Your scoreboard will keep score on things and values that don’t matter.  You won’t recalibrate enough, and you’ll forget the importance of cultural scaffolding and what it’s potential is for and against you in the acceptance process.

The 13th Element, or the overriding reason FLOW is an optimal strategy for complex conditions…?

I’ll let you decide, but before I let you go out of here with this information, here’s a big disclaimer, or WARNING:

If you start to think and feel differently, all those things in your old paradigm may begin to give way… And people, IMHO, need to be prepared for losses, changes, and differences that are going to take place; both in the transition and in the engagement of FLOW…

FRANKLY, some people aren’t going to go… And that means you are now pressed with what seems a choice, but more than likely a bifuration in your maturation trajectory…

And you will grow apart from that which was a part of you…  In the old paradigm, in the old beliefs, in the system before…

These losses can mount up quickly, scaffolding is necessary… And required…

Some people will cling to BS as it serves them better in the illusion “they” have created and mastered, as victims, as flawed people, as people who will NEVER be good enough, no matter what they do… And that is part and parcel of the acceptance process as well…

Helpful Hint: Acceptance begins with a simple knowing: ‘I’m ok, you’re ok… we are just different.”

Action Step: This might seem difficult, but start here – what can you let go of. The next time you feel yourself really embroiled in something that has triggered you… And almost always in the beginning, this will be in reflection, rather than real-time…  Just simply see it as a butterfly on your hand, and let it go… See it fly away. Might sound mushy and touchy-feely coming from a hard-nosed former marine… But I have found that word pictures can help us “anchor” on a simple concept. The butterfly, in order to change, grow, develop and fly, simply has to “let go” of what is holding it from it’s next journey, whether it be metamorphis, or it’s next hurricane…. <G>

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    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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