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It Is What It Is

Another favorite saying that I hear and use a lot is, “It is what it is.” This seemingly obvious statement holds great power if we can learn to accept the reality of its meaning and use it strategically. It neatly captures the essence of other things about which I’ve written.
Simply put, there are certain realities that we must learn to accept. Again, this is not about resignation and giving up. If we get stuck in traffic, pounding the steering wheel and cursing at other drivers does not make the traffic go away (contrary to what some people believe). Now, we can control how early we leave for work, which roads that we take, listening to traffic reports before we leave, etc. So, these are the areas in which we need to exercise our control.

Despite our best efforts, we will sometimes get stuck in traffic. This is a situation in which telling yourself, “It is what is is” can help. Fighting the reality of a situation that you cannot change is wasted energy. Worse than that, allowing oneself to become frequently stressed and angry over such situations has a strong negative impact on both our emotional and physical well-being.

So, focus your energies on controlling those things that can be controlled (or at least can be influenced by your actions), and try to let the rest go. Even if we can’t control (or influence) some situations, we can control how we respond to such situations. Remind yourself of this important reality by telling yourself, “It is what it is.” This can help you learn to accept what is beyond your sphere of control and to redirect your energies on things which you can influence. Using this saying strategically is one of the things that you can control.

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