We’re still at the beginning of 2022, which also means we’re still in the ‘New Year, New Me’ (rolls eyes) part of the year. This also means the prevalence of resolutions which get a bad rap largely because we’re generally quite horrible at actually keeping them. So, you know what – let’s not look at new year’s resolutions; but rather, let’s pursue real goals for long term value in our lives. Let’s also understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’, so that the ‘what’ becomes easy. With that said, consider the following goals, not only for the new year, but for the indefinite future.
QUIT PLAYING SMALL
You cannot serve this world the way you need to by playing small. Also, walking in your purpose and achieving your goals will almost always require you to believe and walk in the belief that you are capable. You do yourself, or the world, no favors when you play small. Even more, there will be at least one person who will benefit from you walking in your gift and purpose.
And understand also that there will be people who benefit from you not believing in yourself – so be careful of whose input you take and who you allow to tell you to be ‘more realistic’. In many situations, fear is disguised as practicality and persons may be afraid of you seeing power in your abilities. So, aside from questioning if somebody is right when this happens, also question why they’re saying what they’re saying and whether they even have the credibility to give input at all.
So, what is the ‘how’? Here are just a few ideas:
- Put the work in – all the greats that we celebrate worked hard
- Feel confident that your feedback matters, and speak up
- Don’t defeat yourself before you even start by speaking failure on yourself prematurely
- See yourself as worthy
- Stop being afraid of self-promotion and know how to communicate your value
ESTABLISH AND ENFORCE BOUNDARIES
How do people learn to treat you? It’s simple – You teach them. And when you set boundaries, you take yourself seriously and inform people of how far they can go with you. Are you tired of unsolicited advice – Set clear boundaries. Are you tired of uninvited opinions – Set clear boundaries. Are you tired of people intruding on your personal affairs, personal space and personal time – set clear boundaries. Are you tired of people being disrespectful – set clear boundaries.
Ways to set boundaries:
- First understand that you are worthy of respect
- Be certain on what things are important to you and draw clear lines around them
- Refuse to discuss certain personal matters
- Speaking up when persons have breached the boundaries
- Say no
- Not feeling the need to offer explanations
- Releasing the need to people please generally
LEARN FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING BETTER THAN YOU
Mentoring comes in many forms. One way to get the benefit of mentoring is to identify people who are doing better than you and learn from them. And the fun part is, they don’t even have to know.
Admittedly, this may be tough process as it would require a lot of honesty. It may be hard to admit that somebody is doing better, whether it is a friend, family member or foe. Further, it requires the painful process of comparison. With comparison, one not only has to admit that somebody has surpassed them, but comparison in this context also requires that you look at why that person is doing better. Comparison may reveal that this person made better decisions or just simply worked harder. This person may have had the benefit of an effective mentor or had a better network. This person may be in an environment that fosters their gifts, abilities and strengths; while you may be in a situation that more so exploits your weaknesses and keeps you stagnant.
Also, it should be said here one must be very careful when doing this. Comparison often breeds contempt, self-doubt and jealousy which often makes it unproductive. It is important to approach this activity with maturity and with a view to self-improvement and not self-deprecation. Also, one must also not use this process to explain away somebody else’s success while not taking accountability for their own lacking.
Here are some ways you can learn from people who are doing better:
- Simply talk to them and ask the right questions
- Read books and articles about them and from them
- Observe their processes and how they do things
- Seek out feedback from trustworthy persons
- Find opportunities, where possible, to work with these persons
We’ll stop here for now. But consider what other ‘New Life’ Resolutions you can make.