I’m not one for resolutions, and I don’t think I’m in the minority with that. However, I do acknowledge that a new year is a great time to do some re-evaluating and goal-setting.
I’m thinking not only of what I want more of in my life, but what I want less of.
Here are the things I’m letting go of in 2021:
When I make a mistake or do something embarrassing, the first thing I do is cringe. The second is say to myself something like, “God, I’m such an idiot,” “Why did I do that?” or” “I hate myself.” I don’t know why I think I can berate myself into doing better, or why I think making myself feel worse will do any good. It’s just an automatic response though.
I’ve worked on self-compassion this past year as a way to treat myself with kindness, even when I’ve experienced something difficult. It’s strange at first, but it gets easier. Though I’m practicing this intermittently now, my goal is to implement the meditations and exercises more into my daily life to combat these negative thoughts about myself.
Comparing Myself to Others
I hate to admit this on some level, but I feel this weird jealousy mixed with sadness and frustration at myself when I see successful writers and bloggers. The same goes for Twitch streamers and YouTube creators. I feel so bad about myself when I compare my efforts to what others are doing. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I achieve that? Am I just bad at all of this?
Here’s how I’ve started to look at it though: I don’t know their journey. Their story. Their demons. I don’t know what they sacrificed to get where they are, to achieve what they have. I don’t know how hard or easy it was for them to do those things.
Honestly, the pity party is OVER. Something else I’ve realized this past year is if I really want something in life, I need to work for it. Not feel sorry for myself. Not compare myself to someone else. They probably did things that I didn’t. They worked hard for it, made sacrifices, and then, reaped the benefits. I can’t compare my half-baked, lukewarm attempts to their fully-cooked, steaming hot success (I suck at metaphors, but you get my point).
Even if we were putting in the same amount of effort every day though, how does it help me to compare myself to them? How does it help me be better at what I’m trying to do if I compare my results to someone else’s? It won’t. I’m no longer going to allow someone else’s success make me feel small–because it’s only ME who is allowing that to happen. No one is doing this to me.
What I can do is reach out and ask how they achieved x, y, or z, or ask for their general advice. It’s a great way to learn new strategies and tips, as well as create a valuable connection with them. Of course, I don’t approach this as using someone for my personal gain. I always approach them out of a place of respect.
I also have learned to be encouraged and inspired, instead of feeling frustrated or defeated. Like, wow, what a cool story. This shows me that it can be done!
Before I do any of that though, I need to remember this: it’s THEIR moment. Not mine. Their story. Their glory. Their moment to shine and be happy. I don’t need to always make it about me. I can be happy for someone else. I can celebrate their success. It’s not a competition. There’s room
You might enjoy this post about toxic productivity: How to Be 100% Productive: A Totally Serious Guide
I’m DONE doubting myself. Second-guessing my choices. Not feeling confident enough in my own ability to make decisions and do what I want. It’s not that I don’t know what I love or enjoy, it’s that often I’m not sure of other choices surrounding them.
Should I continue streaming video games? Should I even bother making these ambitious YouTube videos when I don’t have time? Should I keep writing if I’m not going to work harder to monetize my efforts? Should I continue with this free bookkeeping course?
Just a sampling of things that splash around in my head on a daily basis and have caused me plenty of overthinking.
Trust yourself, girl. Like, damn. I don’t have to overcomplicate it. I don’t always have to be at step Z. I don’t even have to know the next step. Like with this blog, or writing in general. I get so caught up on needing to know SEO, or having the right tools to help me keyword plan, or worrying about guest posting and making sure I’m networking enough.
I don’t want those steps to stop me from doing what I enjoy. I just like writing. I’ve come to accept maybe only a few people will read what I write. Maybe no one will. But I’m going to keep doing it for now, even if it’s not perfect. Especially if it’s not perfect. When I feel it’s time to take the next step, I can.
But things do NOT have to be perfect to start them–or finish them, for that matter.
When I say people-pleasing, I don’t mean bending over backwards at people’s request or having zero boundaries.
What I am referring to is my compulsion to downplay, and even ignore, my own opinions and feelings in an effort to conform to whoever’s personality I am trying to please. Maybe it’s someone new in my life that I want to like me. Maybe it’s someone I look up to and I want to make a good impression on, for example, a boss or older mentor/authority figure.
I have a hard time disagreeing with people in either of these categories and being my true self around them. It feels really bad and uncomfortable to ignore my own thoughts and feelings to fit in. I shove aside my personality to try to match theirs and anticipate what I can say or do that’ll make myself more appealing as a friend/coworker/employee/person of good character in their eyes.
I’m sick of doing this though. Mostly for strangers or people who don’t matter. Why do I care what they think? If they don’t like me or don’t approve of my opinions or personality, why would I want their approval? Having someone like or dislike me isn’t the end of the world. Besides, there are plenty of people I still like, or even respect, who I don’t agree with 100%. That’s just life. That’s people.
The groundbreaking revelation that I’ve been reminding myself of is this: even if someone doesn’t like me or thinks poorly of me, that’s all it is: a thought. What will a thought do to me? Nothing. What will a negative opinion of me do to me? Nothing.
Thoughts do not hold any power of me. I’m not going to keep letting the fear of rejection interfere with my ability to be my own person.
By letting go, we make room for more of the things we want. .
I am trying to replace some old habits, some old thinking. By implementing the new, you displace the old. There’s no where for it to fit, so it must leave.
At least that’s the plan. I’m going to write these in my journal and make an effort to revisit them frequently.
What are you letting go of in 2021?