Radical Acceptance is a Distress Tolerance skill from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Accepting what is gives us peace and helps us adapt to change.
Radical Acceptance is when you accept things the way they are without resistance. Instead of wishing things were different or focusing on how they “should” be. Radical means all the way, completely and totally. It is accepting in your mind, your heart, and your body. It’s when you stop fighting reality and let go of bitterness.
“Radical Acceptance rests on letting go of the illusion of control and a willingness to notice and accept things as they are right now, without judging.” – Marsha M. Linehan
What needs to be accepted?
- The facts of reality as it is - the past and the present
- Everyone encounters obstacles, focus on what you can control
- Everything has a cause, even situations that cause pain
- Life can be worth living even with painful moments
Why accept reality?
- To change our reality, we have to accept it first
- Pain can’t be avoided but we can avoid suffering by accepting the pain. Pain + Non-Acceptance = Suffering
- Refusing to accept reality can keep you stuck in unhappiness bitterness, anger, sadness, shame, or other painful emotions
- Acceptance may lead to sadness, but peace usually follows
Remember that Radical Acceptance is not:
- Approval, compassion, love, passivity, or resistance to change