My penchant for self-improvement goes as far back as middle school, when I got it in my head that reading the whole dictionary would be a great way to enhance my vocabulary. I figured one page a day for a couple of years was all it took, so I dutifully sat on my floor and opened my dictionary every day – no one made me or probably even knew about it before now. And there I sat, a 12-year-old girl reading the dictionary for fun (I was obviously very cool).
Eventually I lost my place in the dictionary, but the combination of being an introspective, goal-oriented learner / dreamer means I’m constantly thinking and reading of things I want to do, learn or improve. The new year is usually no exception (see 2015, 2014)!
After a lot of life changes and challenges though, I spent the last year asking a lot of questions about myself – how I think and am made, what my skills and talents are, what my purpose and passion is, how all this looks professionally. While all this was incredibly helpful at the time (Clarity on Fire!), I now feel like I’m at a point where more self-analysis really isn’t going to get me anywhere new…except maybe a little crazy.
I was driving one day, listening to the Jess Lively Show as always, and out of nowhere, something inside me very clearly asked, “If you never changed again, would you be happy with yourself?” My initial response was resistance, with excuses like “well, if I never changed again literally, I’d eventually be a pretty bad wife and employee.” And “that’s ridiculous, life always changes so I couldn’t help but change with it at some point.” But this clear thought pushed back against the discomfort, until I had to admit that my answer right now was really, NO. I don’t really ever like myself right now, I like the future version.
So this year, instead of goals, I have a word: Acceptance.
I want to accept myself so I can just be me instead of obsessing about what the best version of me looks like. I want to accept myself so I can be confident in my worth personally and professionally, which I think will take care of the wife and employee bit. I want to accept situations I’m in, instead of feeling like I’m constantly fighting everything around me – myself, time, traffic, other people, my own expectations. So it feels like the world isn’t ending every time something doesn’t go perfectly, because it never will.
And that’s it. No list of goals, no calendarized steps. Just being, accepting, appreciating.
Here’s to 2016!