OK…so you might be thinking Aroha, why does that title sound so positively negative! Well, it may sound that way, but in fact, in actuality, it’s far from it.
Let me share my train of thought with y’all and maybe you’ll see where I’m coming from.
So with every New Year that comes around, instinctively, as humans, we feel an intrinsic need to make “improvements” to ourselves. Like somehow, the past version didn’t quite make the grade, and that we should strive to be bigger, better versions of who we are. The familiar old New Years’ resolutions like “I need to lose weight” or “I need to work harder to achieve success” are but a few that I recall I have given myself over the years.
But as I get older (and maybe a little wiser..lol) I ask myself the question…. WHY?
Why do I feel that because I turned the page on my calendar, that somehow I need to give myself an instant makeover? Like I’m in need of a good oil change to improve my level of performance? What’s that all about?
I mean I get it…..YES…we get to hit the RESET button and start with a fresh clean slate as the new year takes off. But that doesn’t have to mean that I need to throw the old version of myself out the window in order to make room for this new improved one. I know in the past I have had this mindset and belief that every new year, I need to strive to be a better photographer or to be a better businesswoman. But if I didn’t feel I made enough of an effort or if I didn’t see any effective change or when those things DIDN’T happen, somehow I would end up feeling worse about myself. This, in turn, would see me spiral into that dreaded place of not feeling worthy…..not feeling I’m enough! UGH…. what a horrible vicious cycle that is!
Now, don’t get me wrong, setting yourself goals and manifesting the type of life you want for yourself, isn’t a bad thing. Not at all. Manifesting positive outcomes for yourself can and IS GOOD for us!! It tells the universe our intentions and helps give us purpose, focus, and direction on a path to developing what we want the year ahead to look like for ourselves. Putting THAT kind of positive energy out into the world is most certainly beneficial, to you and also to those you share your life with.
What worries me though, is this idea that what we have in ourselves RIGHT NOW… isn’t quite good enough. That somehow, we have to hustle that much harder, in order to live up to the expectations that we either put on ourselves or what we believe society thinks we “should” be doing! That lingering pressure that if we don’t do ALL THE THINGS to obtain perceived success or happiness, that somehow we don’t measure up.
Speaking from my own personal experience around striving for perfection (or at least some version of it) has in the past, been one of the things that has actually held me back. The fear of not “looking” how I’m supposed to (both in body image and business success) has stopped me so many times, from just doing the damn things that make sense to me or that bring me joy! And by not “doing” (because of that fear and pressure of it not being perfect ), it has made me feel like I’ve let folks down…and even worse… that I’ve let myself down.
Well, I’m here to tell myself, and you too, that you ARE good enough…just as you are! You don’t need a whole new year to tell you that!! Nor do you need to live up to anyone else’s expectations of who you should be. The only person that you need to be accountable to…is YOU! And even then, you are the only one that can apply or relax the amount of pressure that you put on yourself!! It’s that simple!!
When we give ourselves the opportunity to grow and develop without the added pressure to succeed at every turn, we actually DO better! Our mental and physical health and well-being increase to more positive levels and we are able to find more balance in life. And who doesn’t want that?!
What I’ve also come to learn about myself, is that I get far more satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, when I actually take the pressure down a notch or two and acknowledge that I’m doing the best I can with the tools I have right now. And accepting that I may fuck things up from time to time, but that’s ok too. It’s taken a long time for me to figure this out and maybe it took a goddamn global pandemic and some serious self-reflection on my part, to do that, but I did!
The silver lining that has come from my own personal growth in 2020 is the realization that I AM enough just as I am…and guess what…. SO ARE YOU! So remember to be kind to yourself, there’s only one YOU on this planet so don’t forget to LOVE yourself more! Always!