I am a self-proclaimed New Year’s Resolution master – I write them following the SMART action plan (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based); I declare them aloud and create accountability buddies; I keep them posted somewhere visible so I’m constantly reminded of them; yes, I take January 1st very seriously. So when I sat down to write my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 I looked back on the past several years and realized that although each year’s resolution may seem different from the next, they all have one thing in common:
2016: Wear more color
2017: Commit to doing one activity that I struggle at (running – ugh!)
2018: Spend less hours working on the studio and more hours with my family and friends
2019: Create stronger boundaries in my life and cultivate the ability to say no
What’s the common thread? It’s thewhybehind all these resolutions. Or as Michael Singer writes in The Untethered Soul, “If you really want to see why you do things, then don’t do them and see what happens.”
When I wore more color, I felt self-conscious about being seen. I started running and kept hitting up against feelings of inadequacy. I spent less hours working and was consumed by fear that my business would suffer and fail because of it. Even the thought of creating boundaries this year triggers in me a fear that people won’t like me if I’m not always the one that says ‘yes.’ See – as different as these resolutions may seem at the surface, they all boil down to the same thing: my fear of not being enough. My fear that if I show up exactly as I am – without trying to outwork everyone and please people – that I won’t be enough for them or myself.
Like most fears people carry around, mine has had a lot of rewards (why else would we keep those fears around if they didn’t?!). I excelled academically, getting into my dream college and graduate program. I run a successful business that allows me to make a living doing what I love and helping other people do the same. And the cost – anxiety, missed authentic connections, wavering self-confidence and not even enjoying the successes for which I have worked so hard.
In 2019, this self-proclaimed master of New Year’s resolutions is creating a new tradition. I’m no longer going to DO something each year. Instead, I am going to let something go each year. For the past four years, I’ve simply been treating the “symptoms” of not feeling good enough. Now as I let go of that fear, I have a suspicion the resolutions will take care of themselves. So watch out for a 2019 me doing more things that challenge me, spending more worry-free time away from work, exercising some fierce and strong boundaries, and maybe (just maybe) wearing more color =)
What about you? Anything you’re ready to let go of in 2019?!