Susan Dunlop

Accepting What We Cannot Change: 6 Questions that focus on changing our inner attitudes instead of external circumstances

Six (6) Questions for those times when the reality is we need to accept what we cannot change.

In his book, The Power of Purpose, Peter Temes shared the idea that when we experience difficulty, the Western response is to blame or change our external circumstances. Whereas, the Eastern mind-set is to alter our inner attitudes and responses to make peace with those circumstances.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Reinhold Niebuhr, Serenity Prayer
These 6 Questions are a great journalling exercise to begin the shift of focus to changing inner attitudes instead of external circumstances:
  1. What would need to change in your attitudes or responses for you to function at your best in the midst of this, even if the circumstances don’t change?
  2. If this circumstance is hard to get rid of or is beyond your control, how can you choose to experience it differently?
  3. If you can’t change this, how can you make your peace with it?
  4. What is this experience teaching you? What is the gift this pain brings?
  5. What good could come of this? How could this teach you compassion, or grace, or endurance, or character?
  6. Research on survivors found that we are either broken by suffering, survive it and get life back to normal, or it becomes a defining moment in our lives. How could this experience become a defining moment for you, where you rise up and engage it out of what you were made to be?
Would you like to explore these questions, with the support of a coach as your thought- and belief-partner?

I’d be happy to chat with you about that. Please don’t hesitate to reach out via the Discovery call button below. Book a time for a 30-minute chat and we can take it from there.

Take care,


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