How to Accept Reality (when you don’t want to)

harsh How to Accept Reality (when you don't want to)

Accepting the reality of our lives appears straightforward enough.

But why do most of us struggle every day with the tension between accepting reality for what it is and the urge (which is actually our inborn inclination) to fight against it head on.

The truth is that this internal fight is normal. It is human.

As much as humans are naturally inclined to fight their truth, accepting things as they stand is a powerful way to cope with situations you’d rather not experience.

Face and accept the way things are in your life at the moment; that is, if you want to improve it.

You may glorify and distort the truth to make your life more attractive, but,  straying too far from reality creates stress on yourself and on those in the environment.

Acceptance also has a cost, though!

Keep reading to learn how to cope with reality, especially the parts you don’t like, and how to tune it into the truth you want.

1. Step Outside Yourself for a Better Perspective 

You can only achieve optimal states of consciousness if you look at yourself from a stranger’s perspective.

How to Accept Reality (when you don't want to)

This simply means that you should mentally detach or disengage yourself from what you think is your truth.

Even notice how easy it is to give other people advice, but hard to give yourself advice?

That’s because sometimes an outside perspective is easier to see through.

Oftentimes, we tend to be too attached to a situation, relationship, job, and other trivial things like clothes or houses.

We are too deep into fictional versions of these situations to the extent that we only see the superficial aspects about them instead of the entire scope of reality. 

But by stepping outside yourself, you’ll begin to embrace a fresh outsider perspective of your life’s condition.

You can quickly do this by posing yourself provoking questions like:

  • How would someone else (your icon, role model, or mentor) see this problem?
  • How do other people view it?

Or, you can also use a helicopter perspective, which is basically viewing your situation from any direction you want, just like a helicopter.

Whatever it takes to step out and find more meaning and get a better perspective of your life. 

Once you do that, speak from the “other” side, accept the reality, and change it!

2. Understand What Denial of Reality Looks Like

Denial is when you avoid or negate reality.

How to Accept Reality (when you don't want to)

We use this cognitive defense mechanism to alter our experiences of unfavorable and unwanted emotions to feel safe.

However, the best way to deconstruct the label of your life or situation is to understand what you are denying and when you do it.

Of course, it is easier to accept reality straight up, but denial comes unopposed too.

In fact, human life is a denial of chaos, and we’d prefer to distort reality to reduce or rationalize our traumas and actions.

We do this because our false truths have lived in us for so long that they submerged into our unconscious and replaced our reality.

And now, we deny the truth because it may force us to be held responsible or face our misdoings, flaws, or other people’s irrational behaviors towards us.

We often use denial to hide shame, fear, distress, or guilt because accepting reality means changing our current perception of ourselves.

Take, for instance, an abused woman who blames herself for being physically abused by her abusive, alcoholic partner.

“It was my fault, I shouldn’t have pushed him too far..” “He is a good husband when he’s sober…”

If you find yourself taking responsibility for the unfair treatment others do against you; you are in denial.

You lie to yourself to keep a job or relationship going.

3. Be Radically Honest with Yourself ( this can be tough)

What you have to understand is that you can only improve your life or heal inner wounds if you let go of the lies you’ve been telling yourself.

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Honesty requires you to divorce from the “reality” you’ve conditioned yourself to accept.

Accepting reality is tough because when you stop excusing it, it might trigger a frightening response.

It can force you to end a relationship, leave a job, or ask for forgiveness from someone you’ve wronged-so scary, right?

However, we have to agree that retelling the fantasy you have created is not enough.

You cannot heal or remodel your life without acknowledging the severity of your mistakes, your history, or other people’s misdoings against you!

It is best to look for and admit mistakes.

Don’t be the person that realizes the gravitas of your reality too late, after you’ve already been tormented by a lifetime of regret, or you’ve allowed other people’s self-interests to abuse you!

4 Acceptance Does Not Mean Defeat

Facing up to your reality and accepting it is painful.

And, trying to dispel the “beliefs” you had constructed to protect yourself from your inadequacies feel like a gunshot to your ego.

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It doesn’t mean defeat, though. You know, if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger!

Once you accept what’s right in front of you, everything unfolds and comes into perspective.

You’ll understand what it is that robbed you of passion, commitment, and direction.

You will start pursuing the things that interest you and inspire you.

You’ll no longer do things other people expect of you just to make them happy and proud of you.

You’ll stop accepting everything prescribed to you or making the best of a bad situation.

Instead, you’ll start feeling present; no more waiting for the next event or the future to save you from your “now.”

And that is acceptance. That there is victory!

5. Own the Outcome of Your Decisions

Accepting your reality means welcoming all of it: the good and the bad, highs and lows, heavy and light.

So, make the best decision for yourself now that you’ve been honest with yourself and accepted the brutal reality.  

How to Accept Reality (when you don't want to)

Understand that where you are at the moment is your reality.  It is where you have to be and be okay with that.

Of course, whatever is coming will not stop anyone from judging you, especially from those who channeled into your false truth.

But just know that the outcomes of your decisions do not speak poorly of you.

Believe in yourself even if others don’t.

If you are leaving an overwhelming work environment or relationship, making amends with people you’ve wronged, or forgiving yourself, own the outcomes of these decisions.  

You’ll feel like a failure experiencing the challenges you’ve been avoiding all this while. But the best way to learn how to deal with these aftermaths is to accept that you made them and learn from them.

Winston Churchill once said that “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

So, you need to own your decisions even if the outcome isn’t desirable (whether failure, guilt, or fear) to find a sense of fulfillment. 

The results will follow you forever, so it is upon you to let them shape you.

You can do this by looking at the outcome as a chance to know yourself better. Ask yourself why you made the decisions and stick by them even if the worst outcomes happened.

 Life isn’t about detaching yourself from undesirable feelings and circumstances. It’s about learning to thrive and take action while facing them still.

6. It’s OK to Let Out Emotions (But find calmness and acceptance afterward)

Let out the stuffed emotions if you want to make sense of your current decisions and situation.

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Stay in touch with your feelings, whether fear, pain, resentment, or worthlessness, and find calmness in them.

Just know that it may feel like you are in the middle of some blockbuster film, or a rug has been pulled out from under you.

The good thing is that worrying about what’s going to happen next or how you will manage your new reality is normal and unnatural.

Plus, others have experienced it too.

Just become aware of your pain, worry, fear, stress, or guilt. Say the negative emotion out loud if you want, or softly to yourself while experiencing it.

This will unclog your mind and make it easy to make sense of your feelings.

After all, you are human, so don’t go pretending that you aren’t concerned about your new place in life.

It’s only after you acknowledge what you feel that you allow your emotions to serve a positive, adaptive purpose.

Then try giving what you are feeling a name! Acknowledging creates an opportunity to push forward.


Accepting a situation your can’t control, friendship, life, marriage, or job for what it actually is instead of what you want it to be will help reduce suffering and pain.

The reason is resistance and disengagement cause more anguish. And, false reality will make you succumb to your present situation in life.

So no more settling in a job, marriage, or situation you’d rather not, otherwise. No more assuming responsibility for other people’s faults! 

Accept your reality, desire change, and pursue contentment in the hope of finding happiness and fulfillment after that.

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