Happy New Year! So it's that time again, we've reflected on the past year, made our New Years Resolutions and seeing 'New Year New You' messages everywhere. It all seems innocent enough with intentions to be uplifting, motivating and fill us with positivity and excitement for the year ahead. There's nothing wrong with that - if it works for you.
But judging by the number of self-help 'how to stick to your NYR' articles that pop up and that stats suggest that only 8% of people do, I get the feeling that for a lot of people, it doesn't. I know that it hasn't for me in the past, and perhaps you feel the same?
Don't worry, this isn't another one of those posts. But more of a reminder that you don't need to remake yourself and transform into a 'New You' - because you're already good enough.
Now please don't get me wrong, it's more than okay to want to make changes to your life and have dreams and make plans, it's actually very healthy. But I can't help but feel as though NYR brings along a certain kind of pressure and draws us into focusing on all the negatives. Our resolutions are mostly centred around our insecurities and an idea that we need to be better.
I began to fall into this trap myself a couple of weeks ago. To say the least 2017 was a hard year for me and there were moments where I really felt at breaking point and as though my life was falling apart. I was ready for 2017 to be done with. And as it was drawing to an end I found myself dwelling on all the shit things that had happened, all the 'mistakes' I had made, all the plans I hadn't achieved and on all of my weaknesses. I had completely drowned out that there was good in those things too. Yes, shit things did happen, yes, I did make mistakes, yes, I didn't achieve what I wanted to and yes, I had many weaknesses highlighted back to me quite dramatically - I had a year full of some of the worst anxiety I have felt in many years - and although some of it was out of my control, I do believe that a lot of it happened because of the pressure, high expectations and should be's I continued to place upon myself.
As you know, you can only stretch a rubber band so far until it snaps and pings back to hurt you.
The idea of kicking off the New Year with huge changes can place an awful lot of pressure on yourself with expectations of immediate results, and of course, if it doesn't have immediate results (which is more than often the case) it can easily lead to feelings of failure, not being good enough, uselessness and a lack of self-belief. And the sad truth is those feelings will feel even more intense if the goal is linked to something of which you already feel insecure about.
So how about you and I try something different this year?
Let's not work on becoming a 'New You', you don't need that. I guarantee you already have so many amazing qualities and characteristics that make you who you are. And rather than focusing on changing the negatives, let's focus on building upon the positives already in place and allowing change to take its natural course.
For me, this means focusing on the fact that last year brought about many lessons that I know will serve me well. I learnt how to start being more compassionate towards myself and without that, I could have really spiralled, but it also led to even more compassion and understanding towards others. I learnt how to genuinely forgive people even when it was literally impossible to ever receive an apology because I learnt that forgiveness is for yourself and not for others. I've learnt how to be more open and honest with people and how amazing that can be. I've learnt how to be more present and that when I just 'be' that's when things fall into place and start moving forward in the right direction. And amongst many other things, I've learnt that I don't necessarily function or work in the same way to some other people and that trying to force myself into a box to fit a 'conventional' method causes nothing but stress but anxiety and standing still, so I guess this year, I'll just have to do things my way.
So how about you? Will you continue to learn and grow with me this year?
Check out our upcoming workshops to see if we can help with that!