A guest Article Post by L.A. Frazier
If you stop growing you die, that’s a motto I live by. It’s vital to be open to change and strive to perform at your best but there is this constant obsession with lack of self acceptance. Many women young and old are wandering through life, grasping for purpose and feeling pressured to do something now because we are so behind where we thought we’d be 20 years ago. Every January we vow to make it a time where we remodel ourselves to lose 100lbs, become a successful entrepreneur, oust a long list of selfish friends from our lives…take over the universe! While it’s true that the end of one year makes us feel motivated to do all the things we have been meaning to do, over lofty or pressured commitments are an indication of both a disillusionment of how much effort it takes to complete them and could even mean a lack of self acceptance. These type of life changes take YEARS to complete, sometimes decades to master and require experience in making mistake after mistake until you learn the industry you are in. If every single year you want to revamp your life because you feel unaccomplished or stressed, something may be wrong. You may be unhappy in your current situation and that’s ok but let’s evaluate it in a healthier way. Let’s accept what is and create change that’s attainable.
Why do we have to have resolutions, how did you come up with yours and, why we do we fail repeatedly?
It’s natural to want more, to be better but it doesn’t always come in the form of a business, a different body or different friends; the best change is one of perspective. It’s time for a new year but it doesn’t mean you have to want an overhaul. You are in control of that choice. If you do…Are you just too critical of yourself or is it social pressures to be a fortune 500 company overnight and take over the female empowerment movement as a result of being flooded with fake instant gratification media 24/7? Or do you just have a mission to do what you love and you have been putting it off? Whatever it is, there is a reason for the need for a shift. When we see millions of budding entrepreneurs’ perfect pics, we don’t see behind the scenes that they may be broke, living in a one bedroom studio, taking professional pictures with a friend’s expensive camera and pretending to live the high life in order to get your ‘like so they can get paid to eventually be an influencer. So much of what we see online is an illusion to glamourize popularity, imagery, money and status because real success takes consistency and most of all, time (and that’s not all dinner and Rosé). Even the overnight viral videos may launch some buzz for your name but as we already know the attention span of the public is short and alas, reminds us that dreams require constant investment to sustain visibility. Naturally we compare our lives to that with which we see on our feeds and it creates a sense of lack; lack of purpose, distraction, self esteem issues etc that can mess with our mental health and create anxiety. When we go about our yearly goals with unrealistic expectations of immediate success and instead get smacked with reality, we fall flat, it stunts that natural momentum leading one to become one of those “February failures.” The result is that year after dreadful year, we spin our wheels in an attempt to feel validated as a person, good enough.
I think it’s imperative to evaluate why we feel the feelings about ourselves that we do so we can change them. What’s your motivation for these resolutions? Ask yourself if you are ready to commit to a long journey (that might take up lots of time and money) of ups and downs in order to achieve your end goal. If you want to make strides to become a household name, you can do that but make sure it’s really a passion that you are prepared to live and breath for a period of time before you see results. I believe that it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to be the owner and instead the employee who leads on a smaller scale without the overhead and less stress.
Let’s Recap: It’s ok to not want it all. It’s ok to be happy with the life you have today.
Now that you know what’s driving you to feel like you aren’t up to par for 2019, ask yourself if you can be content with smaller goals, for now. No one knows what the future holds and we all have dreams but it’s important not to attach these dreams with our self worth…To come to a conclusion that you are going to commit to doing the best you can regardless of the outcome and that, that is all you really can do. Even if doors close, you either keep knocking until someone opens or you allow them to close and not define how amazing you may be at something else. If becoming healthier is your goal and you don’t lose 100lbs by the end of the year and instead lose 50, you still should be proud of how far you have come! We have a serious mental health crisis in the United States for a reason, and much of it is due to pressures of measuring up and not knowing what healthy self love means. Taking on the world alone without cheerleaders along the way to celebrate small victories is a tough reality for many. Sometimes the weight of looking at long term plan (with mountains of tedious checklist items) can also seem overwhelming and is what ultimately ends up making us quit our new year’s resolutions before it’s even spring. Which is why smaller scale thinking is the best tactic to approaching change.
Which leads to the “how”. How do I celebrate small victories you ask? Surround yourself with positive people and lower your expectations. Decide how much energy you are going to invest in naysayers and being sad about those who don’t encourage or support the goals you have shared and understand that change is hard. Change is long and change requires pivoting at every obstacle and only gets easier when you let go of trying to control whether obstacles exist, because they always will. Someone or something in your life will inevitably disappoint you and it’s usually family or friends so toughen up now because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. People get jealous of the come up and then you become what others compare their own lives to, you can even become the target of vitriol. Let the comments and fears role off your back and walk with tunnel vision toward your destiny because if you pay attention to every passing car, a bus will take you out.
Breathe. Take one day at a time, resolve to be ok with every achievement big and small. Trust that wherever you end up, that it was meant to be and that life is all about perception. When people say “Happy New Year”, try to remember that happiness is a state of being and therefore, can be best felt in the present.