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"Accept what you can’t change": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.

05/04/21

"Accept what you can’t change": Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

‘Facticity’ is the technical term for the things we cannot change, the things that are beyond our control.

There will always be such things, and we have to get used to that.

Some people have a problem because they tend to be defeatist.

They accept things that they don’t need to accept – they fail to recognize that there are steps they could take to address their problems.

However, the problem I am talking about here is the opposite of that.

It refers to situations where people know there is nothing they can do, but they try to do it anyway.

For example, someone who is interviewed for a job, but is unsuccessful may not be willing to let go of this fact.

They may rail and rage against their potential employer, as if they have done them a significant injustice, rather than accept that, in the interviewing panel’s view, another candidate was better suited to the job.

Not getting the job does not mean that you are a failure or that you are inadequate; it simply means you were not their first choice.

Change what you can change, by all means, but railing against what you cannot change is a waste of time and energy and succeeds only in generating unnecessary bad feeling.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.

His website is www.NeilThompson.info.

Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.

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