At the beginning of the year, my friend hosted our second healthy potluck. Each of us walked into her apartment in Brooklyn with our contributions to the meal in our hands and our New Year’s resolutions in our minds to share with the group. We each filled our plates with delicious healthy food and started discussing what we wanted to achieve in 2015. Within a few moments of discussing the topic, a fellow coach suggested that instead of sharing three things we wanted to achieve in 2015, to share three ways we wanted to feel in 2015. Everyone paused for a second and realized how incredible of an idea this was. My heart started to race because I had planned out my New Year’s Resolution (although I have no idea what it was, now that I’m thinking back on it) and hadn’t really thought about how I’d want to feel in 2015. I started to feel the pressure of public speaking that I hadn’t felt prior to the conversation solely because I didn't feel prepared.
We each took turns sharing how we wanted to feel, sometimes piggybacking off of each other and often coming up with unique emotions we wanted to feel. I couldn't have appreciated this concept more. Everyone was being raw, honest and genuine about how they wanted to feel in the upcoming year. This was a challenge for everyone because I don’t believe it was something we had ever been asked or thought about.
Four people went before me, and it was suddenly my turn. My mind was racing.
I can do this. These are my friends. I can be vulnerable. I trust them. Nothing I say is going to be wrong. My thoughts and desires are valid. Are they? Is this silly? Am I being harsh on myself?
It’s my turn – here it goes:
1) Acceptance: Acceptance of myself and others. When it comes to others, especially in their journeys whether they’re aligned with mine or we’re taking different paths.
2) At Ease: Chill the fuck out. Live in the present, be okay with where I am and recognize that I am allowed to have time “off” from working.
3) Proud: I often have people tell me that I’m inspiring and courageous. I appreciate it and yet I don’t know how to truly embrace it, and truly and authentically feel the way they say I am. I want to feel present for what I’ve done and stop focusing on what’s next. I want to do a better job at celebrating the wins.
I did it. I shared with this great group of women that I had carefully curated, how I wanted to feel in 2015. I felt a sense of relief to put it out into the universe. It felt important and necessary. It felt like something that needed to be shared instead of internalized.
Here we are a year later and it’s interesting to acknowledge how I feel and what these feelings mean to me now. I kept these feelings in mind throughout the year in order to ensure I was constantly growing and learning from them.
So, after a year of growth and learning, here’s where I’m at with the three feelings I wanted to achieve this year:
For the first few months of the year, I was having a hard time accepting that each of our paths are unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to life and everyone has different ways of living, doing and being. I was focused on the fact that I didn’t feel some of my friends were living up to their highest potential. I felt as though their lack of self-awareness was getting in the way of all that they were capable of accomplishing. Over time, I came to the realization that I couldn't control them. I couldn't decide or tell them what to do or how to live their lives. Just as I don’t tell my clients what or how to do things. I can simply encourage and support them, and they need to make their life decisions on their own. This took some time to realize over this year and I certainly learned to accept each of these amazing people for who they are and what they do with their lives.
I put pressure on wanting certain relationships to be the way they used to be. I had a group of friends who I would hang out with and never feel as though it was good enough. I was too busy comparing to what our friendship used to be like. I was constantly let down. This never served me or the other people involved. When I learned to let go and be open-minded to the experience, I had a blast. We all had a blast. I learned to accept that things change.
Lesson: Accept that things and people change. Accept that my path is not the same as your path – and that’s okay. Accept that we are all unique and special in our own way. Accept that we can’t change people and make them conform to our way of life. Accept them for who they are.
2) At Ease:
From all my previous work experiences, I was under the impression that it was impossible to be successful without being stressed and overwhelmed. I didn't realize that it was possible to have a career where I could be productive, motivated and get shit done all while maintaining a stress-free life and loving what I do. Truly, I never dreamed of it – I didn't know it was possible. I used to thrive off the fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle I was living. I was so unaware that it was possible to feel at peace with what I accomplished in a day and then enjoy my evenings without constantly checking my phone for what the next ‘crisis’ was.
Over the year, I truly learned to trust the process. When I first started my business, I felt as though I had to do it all-- and do it all overnight. If I didn't do it all immediately, I assumed I’d fail (whatever that even meant). I didn’t know how to not respond to an email the second it hit my inbox. Everything was urgent in my mind. I also spent a lot of time looking at other people’s success. Their perfectly put together package and offerings – and then I’d remind myself that they were in business for 15+ years. Time to cut myself some slack (and also remember nobody is perfect).
This year I really focused on not sweating the small stuff because I had done so much of that in my past jobs. I let everything get to me and was always waiting for the next issue that needed to be handled. I’ve now given myself permission to live at ease and more peacefully and in return, my life is so much better.
Lesson: Slow down. Take time for you. Be patient. Be peaceful. Let go of the little things. Stop comparing. Stop trying so hard. Trust yourself. Trust the process.
I am still majorly working on this one. It actually started as “accomplished” and I changed it to “proud” because that felt more fitting. I’m extremely grateful for all of the incredible support I receive from my family, friends, friend’s of friends, clients, and my extended network etc. The challenge is that I don't know how to accept and own the compliments. I’ve had people share with me that I’m “inspiring” and “courageous” and “already so successful” and it just doesn't resonate with me. I don't know how to take it in and feel it. I don't identify with those words. I know that it’s my own insecurities but I’m trying to decipher what about it is so hard for me to accept and be.
When my first article was published for Today.com, I stood on the corner of Bleecker and Broadway in awe thinking how amazing this was. Less than two minutes later, I was rushing home to promote it on my social channels and via email. I couldn't get home fast enough – I wanted to share this win with the world. I didn't allow myself to let this excitement and success settle in. I watched the ‘likes’ and comments flood in and waited for the numbers to grow. When the engagement stopped, I immediately started thinking about what I had to do next. The pride was so short lived because I was so focused on how else I could feel accomplished. This will continue to be something I focus on because as I continue to build my business – there are going to be more wins (and obviously a lot of challenges/disappointments too!) and I need to learn to embrace them.
Lesson: Celebrate the little things! Embrace the wins. Stay in the moment. Be present.
This year instead of being anxious, I am going to listen to my gut, let go of the little things and focus on what’s truly important to me. There is always room for growth and acknowledging what you want to shift is an amazing first step.
So, instead of making New Year’s resolutions for 2016 – what are three things you want to feel? Share below.