Unlocking Success – Harnessing Radical Acceptance to Overcome Anxiety

The ability to accept circumstances as they are creates a feeling of freedom. Acceptance allows individuals to: achieve reduced anxiety, enhance focus, improve resilience, boost self-confidence, and strengthen relationships. Each of these improvements supports a pathway to professional excellence. At the bottom of the post, you will find ways to harness radical acceptance. 

Do you ever feel your anxiety creeping in, grasping your chest, and ready to expose your imposter syndrome? Do you feel stressed to hit your quota this quarter? Are you anxious to land your next role after a layoff? 

You are not alone.

Anxiety stems from living in the past or thinking into the future. The advice told is to “be present.” However, often times a job within the go-to-market department requires one to live in the present and the future.

If you’re in sales (or marketing, or operations), you are making a career of thinking in the present and in the future. You know your numbers by heart to hit goals. You may even reflect on the past to optimize and improve your workflow. 

If you’re a project (or product or process) manager, you are making a career of thinking in the present and in the future as well. You know what resources are available today and will not be a month from now. You know certain milestones must be met for a project to meet your deadline. 

Jobs like these require current and future thinking. The good news is, there are many resources to help combat anxiety. One tool to add to your toolbox is acceptance. 

In Zen Buddhism, there is a concept called radical acceptance. The concept is based on the idea that one’s nature is to resist, push, avoid, or change an unwelcoming thought or feeling. When one has a welcoming, radical acceptance approach to thinking, one is capable of simply accepting a thought or feeling as is and moving on. No energy is wasted on an unpleasant thought or moment. 

In order to gain energy, reduce anxiety, embrace your true self, and unlock your full potential, you must accept where you are today. There is no need for judgment of those circumstances. They simply are. Then to harness your power, you focus on what you control today and what you have influence over today. You can still envision your future goals however, you focus on the steps to take at this point in time to achieve those goals. 

An acceptance mindset achieves the following: 

  • Reduced anxiety      →      More energy to create outcomes
  • Heightened focus    →      More time spent on activity that matters
  • Stronger resiliency   →      Strength to overcome difficult situations
  • Boosted self-confidence→ Aura that builds trust and respect
  • Improved relationships→ The basis of doing business

Something as simple as shifting perspective can help improve such critical components of performance. People will feel your shift in energy, focus, strength, and confidence. Conversations will become more productive and lead to greater outcomes. 

How does one create an acceptance mindset? 

Below are ways to shift to an acceptance mindset:    

  1. Accept where you are today and accept the circumstances around you

With each event in a day, accept them as they are. They did not happen to you, they happened for you. Tell yourself a grounding mantra like “it is what it is” or “this is beyond my control”. Did a project fall behind on major milestones? Tell yourself, “it is what it is” and identify how you can get the work back on track. No energy wasted stressing. 

Or even in sales. Can you accept a rejection or market fluctuation? Can you handle client objections well? Acceptance will help you deliver.

2. Embrace and act on what you have control over

Take small actionable steps each day to achieve your greater goals. Ensure that each day, you are focusing on the right actions to keep you on your path to success (in any aspect of your life). Anything else is a distraction. You are on track for success. 

3. Be resilient 

Allow your mind to accept the circumstances and control what you can control in any given situation. A mind for success does not get distracted but gets stronger. If you’re not achieving your numbers, focus on how you can continue to improve each day. Partner with your manager to understand the opportunity for improvement to help obtain your goals.

4. Stay grounded – find your center 

Remain calm. Over time, you will find the mantras and strategies that help you stay centered through difficult situations. You cannot force someone to respond to your emails, but you can stay calm, show grace, and focus on adding value. This display of character will build trust and earn respect from others, both critical for success. 

5. Cultivate a positive mindset

I will hit my goal vs. I will try to hit my goal—no room for failure or hesitation.

Optimism and gratitude will help you achieve your goals. You create what you think. You will achieve successful outcomes.

6. Emphasize growth opportunities when facing adversity

When you’re in difficult situations, focus on accepting the circumstance and identifying the lessons or opportunities. Once you accept, the ability to see opportunities is much easier. You will achieve success by seeing the opportunity in adversity. 

If you found this helpful, how will you apply the content you’ve learned today?

Please take a moment to share this post with someone who may benefit from this read! Thank you! 


My personal journey with acceptance should have started years ago however, I only recently began to understand what acceptance means. There is a certain inner peace that comes with true acceptance of circumstances. When something happens in your life, that something happens for you. That something is what it is. When I began to embrace acceptance, I began to feel free.

Each day is still a battle of the minds though. The moment there is judgment or resentment is a test of my strength. Will I allow myself to get distracted from the present or will I focus on “the now” and what is in my control? 

Fortuitously, the art of mindset shift and the power of perspective are eternal pursuits. Transformation does not occur in the blink of an eye, mirroring the path to triumph.

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