Originally written for the Women in Leadership Nexus
The start of a New Year is a time of reinvigoration. People reevaluate where they are and where they’d like to see the most change. They commit to new mindsets, lifestyles and habits that promote personal and/or professional development. You, too, have likely set your sights on areas of growth for 2019.
Yet this is also a time of fragility for many who are working to overcome roadblocks along their transformation journey. It’s a time where we are easily reminded of past failures. Where we beat ourselves up. Where we measure ourselves against others’ success and keep an internal record of rights and wrongs.
This time last year, I wrote a blog for the Women in Leadership Nexus about defining growth on our own terms. The piece was a reminder that success is not standardized, and we should openly embrace our own unique path for getting there.
This year, I want to emphasize an important part of this journey to success: the setbacks. These are times of rejection, falling short and losing ambition; times when we feel stuck in a hole that’s impossible to climb out of. It’s this time of year research shows most of us struggle and backpedal (in fact, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February).
This would be the part of the blog where I’d joke that I don’t mean to sound too negative, but not this time. Setbacks can be discouraging, but they are necessary for activating the kind of change that unlocks new growth opportunities. In hindsight, we often find they happen for a reason. We can realize this in the moment if we choose to embrace where we currently are—perceived shortcomings and all—instead of trying to hide or run from it.
I haven’t committed yet to a resolution this year, but I think I just found one: to learn to love the place I’m in and make it the best place imaginable. As a perfectionist who sees herself through a harsh and often unrealistic lens, that might just be the hardest commitment I could ever make. But I’m going to try, and I hope you do too. I’m going to try to love myself exactly how I am, right where I’m at, versus doing exactly what I preach others not to do: muddying headspace, injecting negative energy, inadvertently sabotaging at every step.
Here’s to making where we are the best place we’ve ever been, no matter how high or low the point. Because how can we positively move forward if we’re not okay with where we currently are?
This year, I vow to see rejection more as redirection.
To embrace the fragments that make up my wholeness versus overanalyzing them.
To critique but never criticize.
To banish distorted or baseless thoughts that steal life’s little delights.
To realize that no one else sees what I see, and I will rarely see myself how others do.
Loving where we are is the first step to affecting real, lasting change. It doesn’t mean we’re irresponsible or not doing enough to improve. It just means we’re giving ourselves permission to live each day with the mental, physical and emotional fullness it so richly deserves, knowing that even greater things are on the horizon.