Acceptance is the point at which you stop running. Acceptance is taking that long, hard look in the mirror and ruthlessly cataloging who you are. There’s a funny thing about acceptance, though. Only you can do it for yourself. It doesn’t really count if other people accept you — that’s nice, of course — but acceptance only really works when you accept yourself.
The goal of acceptance is not to stand still, to stay stuck in your compulsions, happy behind your masks. The goal of acceptance is to designate your true starting point so you can begin to move away from being stuck and toward positive change:
1) Change requires clarity. If you can’t see what’s broken, you don’t know what to fix. If you don’t know what to fix, you can’t decide how to fix it.
2) Change requires action. Once you’ve recognized something’s broken and decided what you need to do to fix it, you must act.
3) Change requires strategic action. This is where some men go offtrack. They recognize the need to change and experience the imperative to act but fail to act strategically. Instead of acting in a way that produces positive change, they act simply as a way to keep moving, often in a way that perpetuates the problem instead of eliminating it.
4) Change requires submission. Submissions is not a manly word. Submission means capitualation, surrender, compliance. It is the opposite of being your own man, charting your own course, being the captain of your own ship. Yet, even a ship’s captain must submit to a new course in order to change direction. Has he stopped being the captain because he’s changed course? Of course not. He has surveyed his bearings, the current conditions, the potential for those conditions to change; he has evaluated the consequences of his ship, his cargo, and his crew of staying the course or changing direction. A ship’s captain is is charge of the conditions requiring change. A wise captain accepts the reality of his position and submits to the prevailing conditions by adjusting course. Unwise captains plow ahead and end up wrecking ships.
The above is excerpted from chapter 12 in Battles Men Face: Strategies To Win the War Within by Dr. Gregory Jantz.