A former colleague used to like to say, “It is what it is.” She said it so often that I bought her a small ceramic plaque with this phrase painted on it.
In fact, some things are what they are. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that and letting go of a futile fight.
BUT often times “it is what it is” masquerades as reality, when it is actually a home-base for fear and doubt.
There can be real harm in internalizing this type of thinking. Once this train leaves the station you can get stuck on this path. You don’t make changes. You drain your energy tolerating your current circumstances. You are blinded to new opportunities.
If the thought pattern really goes off the rails, you may habituate this way of thinking and feel you have no power over anything. You may create a life for yourself where EVERYTHING just “is what it is.”
While there is wisdom in picking your battles, there is also foolishness in not picking any.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself when you think you might be hiding behind the phrase, “It is what it is.”:
What are the costs of accepting things as they are?
What are the costs of fighting back?
What am I afraid of? (This is a tough one, but important.)
What are my choices?