So here we are…2019!
With a new year always comes the inevitable setting of resolutions or goals of some kind. It’s a very exciting time of year! A time of reflection of the year just passed and anticipation of all that’s to come in the year now upon us. Self-reflection is such a super important exercise when it comes to personal development and growth. We all need to be introspective and honest with ourselves in order to figure out what has been working and what has been holding us back in the journey to achieving our goals and having a fresh new year is a great time to do it!
The new year always reminds me of a fresh notebook – clean, crisp, and full of possibilities. I LOVE a brand new notebook, but I also worry about ruining it’s purity with nonsense or rambling or my less-than-enviable penmanship. Shopping for a notebook or new journal gives me so much happiness and joy, but then comes the overwhelm…
Do I use it to journal? Do I use it for ideas and brainstorming? Am I creative enough to have ideas worthy of this beautiful new notebook? Do I maybe start writing a fiction novel? What about writing a personal memoir? What if I start writing a fiction novel then change my mind and wish I’d used it to write a memoir? What the hell is a memoir, anyway??
Does any of this sound familiar? The sound of indecisiveness, self-doubt, fear? And we’re only talking about a damn notebook in this example!! How about this one: you get a brand new planner, determined that THIS is the year you will be organized, stick to your schedule and use your planner to it’s full potential only to abandon it by February because you didn’t stick to it perfectly and now all is ruined…has this ever been you?
Well then welcome to my 2018; the year when I realized just how badly I’ve been getting in my own way and dealing with crippling perfectionism. The examples I’ve just given you are relatively harmless in the grand scheme of life, but they are good examples of how perfectionism creeps into even the most regular aspects of daily life…
Accepting imperfection in 2019…
As I mentioned, 2018 was the year when I really woke up to everything I’ve been doing to self-sabotage and get in my own way. Knowing you have qualities that need improvement is one thing, recognizing how they’re invading your life and causing you undue stress and difficulty is much different.
It’s the recognition of the issue that has made me realize not only that I should work on my perfectionism but that it’s absolutely necessary for my mental health, well-being and overall enjoyment of life that I do make some changes!
So with that being said, my biggest goal for 2019 is to go easy on myself.
I know, that sounds rather anticlimactic but think about it…this is not a small goal! For perfectionists, being critical and self-deprecating comes almost as naturally as breathing so trying to change our mindset and tendency to do this is very difficult.
Along with this goal are a few smaller ones that fall under the same category:
- allow myself to celebrate goals, achievements and victories, no matter how big or small
- stop comparing myself to other people
- set smaller, more realistic goals
- live more in the present (perfectionists are forever worried about the future)
While working towards this goal, I need to remember to go easy on myself when trying to go easy on myself. What I mean is that, as I mentioned, I’m trying to undo a harmful mindset that has been a part of what makes me “me” for a huge part of my life. This will not happen quickly overnight. I will need to take the time to make adjustments in the part of my brain that automatically wants to switch into perfectionist mode and gradually undo what has been so ingrained in my thought processes for so long. In doing so, I have to expect that there will be bumps along the way where that mindset will still present itself as the prevailing controller of my thoughts.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good, self-improving habits!
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this ever-popular hashtag that we see pop up like a bad weed this time of year. In the past I’ve adopted this mentality as well, thinking that in order to achieve my goals I need to change who I am and be a different person altogether.
But that simply isn’t true.
We are very capable of achieving our goals as the people we are right this minute. We have the strength, the intelligence, the grit – everything we need to pursue our dreams and achieve what we set out for.
What many of us are lacking is the correct mindset. The mindset that allows us to see things for how they really are, not for how we incorrectly perceive them or think others see them.
We need to work to adopt a mindset that stops letting fear get in our way – fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough. Why? Because it’s irrational! We will never achieve anything if we don’t put ourselves out there, even in the smallest way. How do we lose weight if we don’t change our diet and start exercising? How do we land our dream job if we don’t network or hand in our resume to that perfect job posting? How do we find happiness with a significant other if we’re unwilling to show our true selves to someone else?
Please join me in 2019 in saying that I will no longer let fear control my life and my actions. One of my favourite quotes is “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”, this is the mindset that I will be bringing to myself this year. I’m done with putting things off, with telling myself that I’ll fail before I even try. Fear has controlled my life for long enough. So let’s acknowledge it, feel it, and then blow past it!
This is your year, this is your life.
I would love to hear about your 2019 goals! Please comment below and share 🙂