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It’s not right, but it’s (also not) ok… Should I accept it or should I settle?

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Do you know the difference between conformity and acceptance?

In the intricate dance of life, two concepts often entwine, yet their essence couldn't be more distinct: acceptance and conformity. While superficially similar, these notions navigate vastly different landscapes within our minds and hearts.

Acceptance and conformity are used interchangeably, but do they mean the same?

Well... no, in fact accepting something does not necessarily mean that we feel content with it. From a psychological standpoint, acceptance involves acknowledging undesirable aspects of our reality over which we have no control, learning to embrace them without complaining or making excuses. It's the art of embracing the unchangeable aspects of our lives without surrendering to despair. Acceptance is the initial step toward healing, allowing us to confront adversity with courage, resilience, and a willingness to adapt.

In situations like the loss of a loved one, a spouse's abandonment, or a natural disaster, accepting the reality is the initial step to initiate reparative actions that help maintain emotional stability. Acceptance is different from resignation, as it does not lead to inaction. Acceptance involves recognizing the challenges life presents, leaving behind what we cannot change, and focusing on what we can control.

Contrary to popular belief, acceptance isn't synonymous with contentment. It's the willingness to face life's trials without resisting, recognizing that fighting against the unchangeable only breeds suffering. It's about finding peace amidst chaos, not by denying reality, but by acknowledging it in its rawest form.

Conformity, on the other hand, describes an individual's attitude towards life and the various situations they encounter daily. While being satisfied with something often carries a positive connotation, conformity turns this acceptance into a negative aspect. Conformity is characterized by accepting everything that happens, whether positive or negative, without taking action to address what is unsatisfactory.

Conformity is a prevalent attitude in contemporary society, primarily due to the complex web of routines, demands, obligations, and occupations that we face daily. Breaking free from this system can be very challenging. Yet, conformity is a substantial obstacle to personal growth and self-improvement. Often, we slip into a conformist mindset unknowingly, as adherence to routines may leave little room for introspection. This attitude frequently leads us to live lives we do not truly desire.

Conformity is a state of mind where we accept the circumstances, people, and conditions in our lives because we believe change, improvement, or progress is impossible. Repetition can instill both constructive and destructive habits, and regardless of how long one has adhered to a particular routine, they can choose to break free from it and embrace change.

Conformity often masquerades as acceptance but lacks its depth. It's the quiet resignation to the status quo, a passive acceptance of circumstances without the intention or drive to initiate change. It thrives in the comfort of routine, breeding a life lived on autopilot rather than by conscious choice.

In other words, acceptance is rooted in understanding and resilience, while conformity stems from adherence and compliance. Acceptance allows us to grow through challenges, while conformity constrains growth by maintaining the familiar.

Now, do you accept things or you conform with them?

Conformity can be a reflection of low self-esteem, as it is often rooted in the fear of standing out or challenging established norms. Lack of self-confidence can lead to passive acceptance of unsatisfactory situations, thus limiting personal growth. Coaching, by offering a safe and supportive space, can help challenge these patterns by encouraging self-awareness and self-confidence. Through specific techniques, coaching can foster a more positive self-image, helping to overcome conformity by encouraging people to define their own goals and take concrete steps toward a more authentic and satisfying life.

Would you like to know more? Get in touch!

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