If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you know that this year’s monthly columns explored ways to make 2019 the “Year of You.” From self-growth, reflection, healing, encouragement, forgiveness and accountability to our final topic – self acceptance and promotion.
You’re likely going to be socializing quite a bit through the New Year. If you’re not great at polite conversation and small talk, skip it. Instead, make it a point to have conversations which inspire thought, create an abundance of positive energy, and that leave someone feeling motivated and you feeling good about yourself.
An easy way to do this is to share something that you’re proud of accomplishing this year and ask others to share theirs. To note; it’s not a contest, it’s an opportunity to create a connection, recall a happy moment and celebrate success. If you are proud to have paid off $15,000 in debt and someone else shares that they hit the six-figure salary mark, don’t give in to self-doubt or feel any less proud. We can’t know someone else’s story; perhaps that six figure salary is accompanied by a mountain of debt. Focus on what you can control; your actions, reactions and energy. Fear, jealousy, self-doubt and all negative emotions are a waste of opportunity.
Not comfortable sharing your victory because it feels boastful? That’s another opportunity for growth and self-acceptance. Granting yourself permission to acknowledge your hard work and accomplishments is another piece of a complete, balanced and fully realized You. We are quick to be critical of ourselves but, the real power comes from acknowledging and validating our victories. Success begets success, so go ahead and shine. It not only serves as a boost to conquer your next goal; it may inspire others to follow suit.
If you can’t think of something you’ve achieved don’t fall back on the temptation to imagine your year has been unremarkable. Instead, reflect on why nothing comes to mind; are you too quick to discount or overlook the good stuff? It’s a default many of us have and it can be a significant, self-imposed barrier to success. We often think that if a task comes easily it isn’t difficult to do and that everyone can do it. That sense of effortlessness is directly proportionate to the amount of talent you have; the simpler it is the higher your level of mastery. Acknowledging your gifts is an integral part of being mindful, appreciative and balanced.
The same goes for our imagination of how others perceive us. While your mingling and comparing yourself to everyone else in the room, know that everyone else is comparing themselves to you. I’ll never forget getting a pedicure and seeing my handbag on the shelf directly in front of me. The woman who took the chair beside to me placed her identical bag next to mine, only hers was clearly brand new. I told her I loved how pristine her bag was and that I was embarrassed that by comparison mine looked so worn. She started laughing and said that she was envying my bag’s soft lines from use and that she felt hers looked unused and stood out too much. Silly example? All comparisons to someone else or their possessions are. We are not what we own or look like. We are our contribution to the world in the ways we share our individual gifts and talents.
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a recluse who must be guilted into going out, make sure that when you get to wherever you’re going you arrive as the best version of yourself and own it. What could be better than the gift of self-acceptance and celebration?