“We write, we speak, we tell the truth about our lives- that's what we do. Why is being yourself considered brave? Or something you have to build up to doing? What is dying inside you while you wait until you are brave or courageous enough to be yourself? How many years are going by while we work on self-improvement, self-discovery and trying to turn ourselves into someone we are not?” ~ Denise Dee
I spent a lot of 2018 on ‘being myself.’
Of course, I had to first figure out who I was, and that’s different than who I thought I was. You know, the me without the labels or the ‘shoulds.’ So, when 2019 was approaching and my inbox was filled with promises to help me create my best year, programs to help me have my most productive year, or products to help me have my most successful year, I resisted that hype.
That’s not to say I didn’t do anything, because I did. But I did things ‘my way’ based on my work on ‘being myself.’ We’re almost at the end of January and I’m still continuing with the forward momentum I started at the beginning of the year. I haven’t’ abandoned my resolutions (of course, I don’t make any), but I haven’t abandoned any goals, desires, or dreams either. I feel like I’m moving in the direction I want to go with poise and purpose.
So, I thought I’d share some of what I did and maybe you can use these as an example of something you can try (maybe starting February 1) and see if by the end of February you still feel like you’re moving in the direction you want to go with poise and purpose.
It’s never too late to start.
I celebrated my accomplishments in 2018
I looked back at my calendar (and the notes from the Mustang Sallies group) and reflected on the areas that went well and the fun I had. I listed things like taking road trips, losing 20 pounds, purchasing a home, beginning to learn Hebrew, speaking at Unity Churches, and launching new products (and of course, much more). Then I reflected on how I did these things (taking action, scheduling it on my calendar, asking for help, etc.) and if there was further progress I wanted to make on any of these accomplishments.
Takeaway: This got me in a really good mood and made me realize all the opportunities that came my way, the impact I had, the fun I had, and how I got a lot of things right. There was a lot to be grateful for.
I made an assessment of where I am now.
Without judgement, I reflected on different areas of my life (see the list under the next step) and where I am now. Knowing where I am helped me envision where I want to be. Are there some areas where I am perfectly happy and content and want to keep the status quo? I listed things like how many people I have on my email list, my income level, the number of close friends I have, the clients I’m working with, how often I go out and have fun, what classes I’m attending, how often I connect with family, etc. With this information, I was able to write down where I want to be in 3 – 6 months.
Takeaway: This really helped clear my vision and see what my next steps need to be to get from where I am to where I want to be.
I wrote out goals for what I want to do, how I want to feel, and how I want to express myself in various areas in my life.
These goals were written in the form of affirmations and from the viewpoint that 2019 is over and I’m reflecting on this area of my life. As a matter of fact, I’m still writing some of these out because I want to carefully consider these goals and aspirations based on ‘being myself’ and not based on previous expectations or by comparing myself. The areas of these goals are:
This is the first year that I’ve actually spent time reflecting, assessing, and celebrating. And you know what? It felt great (and it continues to feel great!).
I felt like I was actually honoring myself. I was giving myself permission to be seen (even if I was only seen by me). It increased my sense of wonder and awe, increased my self-confidence, and inspired me to dream bigger.
I encourage you to honor and acknowledge yourself by doing any (or all) of these activities. If you do, I’d love to know how it felt.
Let’s dream big together.
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.