2023 is here, and I’ve learned in 2022, that we are moving into a time where you have to make choices, some easy and some not so easy. We have been doing this COVID dance now for the past three years, and people are finally realizing that they are tired of living in fear. They want to live their lives, “their way.” This realization to start prioritizing what works and doesn’t work is coming to the forefront. However, sometimes in prioritizing what is right for you, you may find it does not necessarily work for those in your life that have grown accustomed to the way you have always been. A good analogy is when we were kids playing tag, and there was always one or two kids that started to change the rules because they were tired of always being “it.” I remember complaining and not wanting the rules to change, but the desire to keep playing would override the objection and I would just deal with the new rules.
Most of us are creatures of habit and hate when change happens or when we must deal with something new. I am a recovering “people pleaser,” and know that many times in the past I would bend over backwards to please friends and family. Over the years I have been able to assert myself and say no at times.
Learning to draw my boundaries and knowing what I am willing to do and not do has been a godsend, and has helped me to just do me. It can still be very challenging to just do me when my mind tries to override it by thinking about saying yes and not being true to myself.
The one powerful thing I observed about this COVID era is that people who had a hard time saying no, found it easier to use that magic word.
“I can’t. COVID.”
“I’m not feeling well.”
This usually resulted in, “I totally understand,” and no more guilt trips.
With the normalization of COVID, people no longer have that same excuse to use, although they can still very well use it.
Until you determine what your own worth and truth are, it will be harder to know and establish your boundaries. My suggestion is to take some time in January to determine what your values are, and to really get to know yourself. Take a self-assessment of why you do what you do.
Until you can observe why you take certain actions and determine the underlying reasons, you will find yourself constantly reacting to situations or operating under long established behavior patterns. If you want to become the “captain of your ship and master of your destiny,” you have to be the one to take ownership of all the decisions and actions you take. You have the power of choice, so I urge you in this new year, to choose yourself and just do you too!
It’s not an easy task by any means, but it will feel lighter to live the life you want without having all those to do’s, have to’s, and ought to’s weighing you down. Life is short and my dad had a saying, “Life is too short to be angry.” That used to bother me as a head strong kid, but as I’ve grown and matured it started to make a lot of sense.
It takes so much energy to hold on to resentment and stay angry at someone. They are the ones benefitting by running rent free in your mind and living their life, while it drains your life force. I am not saying to never get angry, but if you do, feel that emotion and let the energy move through you.
Allow yourself to really feel the anger. Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Usually, it will become harder to breathe, you will start tensing up, your body temperature may spike, and your mind will flood you with all the reasons of why you are so angry. When your mind starts going, do your best to push those thoughts out and stay connected to all the body sensations you are experiencing. Within 7-10 minutes you will experience a release of this anger and be more at ease. It may take a few attempts before you are successful, but this beats staying stuck in anger and resentment for days or even weeks.
In conclusion, let 2023 be one to JUST DO YOU! I’ve learned through the years that by putting yourself first, and taking care of YOU, you will be able to give more to your loved ones and be more present. I look forward to supporting you this coming year and for you to step into your power and create the life you want!