I posted this last year, have made a few changes hopefully from the wisdom I have gained (some of it painfully) from living 2010. I am glad to say I have been easier on myself this year, and will be more so next year. You?
It’s that time of the year where some of us (fewer I hope) make those New Year Resolutions that we often break leaving us feeling like failures. Why is that?? I wonder if it is because we often try to make ourselves into something or someone we are not. Someone or something we think is better, smarter, prettier, more handsome, you get the idea. Better to recognize our faults yes, but ALSO to recognize our attributes, gifts and goodness.
I love this quote from Steve Jobs of Apple. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ” In thinking about this I realized that to live your own life you must know who you are, accept who you are, and not only approve of it, but be proud of it. As I have gotten older I am more and more sure of and ok with, who I really am. But knowing who you really are takes thought and time. That might be a good New Year non-resolution for 2011, pay attention to knowing yourself better. How can I do this you ask? Here are some ideas I came up with, I am sure you could add many more.
- Spend time alone
- Spend time doing nothing, but being with yourself and your thoughts.
- Allow thoughts to come, don’t judge them just acknowledge what are they about
- Allow yourself to feel and acknowledge the feelings to yourself. Remember feeling is not behaving.
- Recognize what makes you happy and write it down. It may come as a surprise and may be different then what you had believed would make you happy.
- Recognize what makes you proud.
- Recognize what makes you feel angry, frightened, stressed, bored, unhappy. Try and be specific. Allow yourself permission to avoid these things when possible.
- Spend more time with those you enjoy who bring you peace.
- Cut down on your obligation visits.
- If you have already unsucessfully tried to improve relationships, then give yourself permission to end them or avoid those that make you feel bad or unworthy (even if they are relatives).
- Ask yourself these questions frequently
- What do I really care about?
- What are my basic beliefs and values?
- What would I do if I received a diagnosis of a terminal illness, how would it change my behavior?
- Fight any feelings of self indulgence or guilt.
- Allow yourself mistakes.
- Forgive yourself for those mistakes.
- Remember Self-Awareness is a basic building block of self-esteem, not selfishness. Further healthy self -esteem allows us to be positive influence in our world.