As we stand at the gate of 2024, ready to dive into a sea of ambitious goals and towering expectations, let's take a moment for a quick, yet essential…reality check.
Deep down, you already know that you're powerful beyond measure. You're not just crushing it in your career; you're leading with heart and juggling this crazy circus of life with the sass of a rockstar and the cool of a secret agent.
But let's pause and ponder: in this whirlwind of success, are you truly pursuing what lights you up inside, or are you being swept away by the currents of external expectations and your own inner critics?
Just outside the limelight of achievement, there's a less visible side we often overlook. It's where self-doubt likes to mingle, the effort to please others never ends, and impostor syndrome casts a long, uninvited shadow. Does this resonate?
These challenges lurking just outside the limelight aren’t mere hiccups in our journey; they are significant obstacles capable of derailing us from our path. Let’s face it: they do more than cause us to trip up; they can lead us to lose touch with our core selves. Amidst the constant push to prove our worth, there's a risk of losing sight of what truly matters – our inherent value and the joy that comes from being authentically ourselves.
What if I told you that the secret to feeling more fulfilled and successful isn't about adding more to your already overflowing plate but in gracefully letting go?
Imagine peeling away layers of doubt, fear, and self-imposed rules, revealing the vibrant, unstoppable you underneath. Think less hustle, more heart. Less conformity, more radical honesty. From redefining success to embracing your unique journey, this could be the year when you measure your achievements in laughter, fulfillment, and unapologetic authenticity. It's time to drop the heavy bags of expectations and step into a future crafted by you for you.
Because the real you is way too fabulous to be hidden under a pile of outdated habits and false beliefs.
As you dive into this read, I invite you to do so with an open heart and a mindset ready for some real talk. This is not a piece about what to do MORE of- we won’t be building a list of goals and ideals for the new year.
Instead, this is a piece about what to do LESS of, so you can have more.
I've identified 13 habits that block happiness and fulfillment. Letting go of these will release the baggage weighing you down, open up space for creativity and exploration, and give you the ability to honor your dreams.
Here are the 13 habits to shed for a more vibrant life:
1. Stop Chasing Perfection: In a world that constantly pushes for the best, it's easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism. But here's the truth - perfection is an illusion. It's a race with no finish line. It's okay to be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time. Embrace the messy, imperfect, real you. Choose progress over perfection and start where you are.
2. Stop Minimizing Your Achievements: We often chase grand goals, overlooking the smaller triumphs along the way. Yet, these victories, the ones we tend to minimize, lay the foundation for our greater successes. Each accomplishment, big or small, is a testament to your journey and worth celebrating. Recognize them, embrace them, and let them fuel your journey forward.
3. Stop Believing Everything You Think: Our minds can be tricky, often leading to false conclusions. Remember, not every thought that crosses your mind is an absolute truth. When negative thoughts come up, ask yourself if the thought is serving you or holding you back. Get curious and aware. Cultivate a mindset that encourages empowered and constructive thinking.
4. Stop Fearing Failure: Society would have us believe that failure is bad. Yet, it is through our failures that we glean some of life's most valuable lessons. Failure is a stepping stone to learning and growth. It's not about falling; it's about the wisdom you gain and how you rise back up. Every risk taken is a lesson learned, whether it leads to success or not.
5. Stop Neglecting Self-Care: In the hustle of our daily lives, self-care often takes a back seat. Prioritizing self-care isn't selfish, it's strategic. Think of it as maintenance for your most important tool: you!
6. Stop Overcommitting and People-Pleasing: Saying yes to everything may seem like a path to success, but it can lead to burnout and frustration. Saying no is an act of self-love. It is respecting your time, energy and priorities. Every no to something unimportant is a yes to something that truly matters to you. Prioritize tasks that align with your hopes, dreams, and desires. Learn that NO is a complete sentence.
7. Stop Playing by Everyone Else's Rules: It's easy to get caught up in everyone else's expectations, but true fulfillment comes from living by your own values. When the crowd goes right, don't be afraid to go left. Create your path based on your values and beliefs. Trust your judgment and intuition, and you will find your true north.
8. Stop Waiting for the Right Time: The "right time" myth often leads to missed opportunities. The best time to start? That would be NOW. Conditions will never be perfect (perfectionism is procrastination in disguise), and someday never arrives. The present moment is all you will ever have. Start now and figure it out as you go.
9. Stop Trying to Control Things You Can't Control: Spending energy on what you can't control is like trying to catch the rain - futile. We can't dictate every situation, but we can definitely choose how we respond to it. This shift from trying to control the uncontrollable to mastering our internal responses is where we find our real strength. It's about embracing the power we have over our perspective, decisions, and attitude. Focus on that, and watch how it transforms your experiences and your life.
10. Stop Fighting for Your Limitations: We often defend our limitations more than our potential. Break free from self-imposed barriers and dare to dream big. There is a lot of competition for "average," and it takes courage to go for great. Pursue what sets your soul on fire, not what feels safe. Why settle for a story that doesn't inspire you when you can write an epic tale?
11. Stop Running from Fear: Fear is a natural part of growth and change. It is a messenger and provides clues to what is really important to you. What you fear most is often precisely what you must do. Embrace fear as a companion on your journey to success. Don't be afraid to put yourself on the line and challenge your limits; it's how you grow. Spoiler alert, you're supposed to be a little scared.
12. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: In a world of social media and constant comparison, it's vital to remember that your journey is unique and incomparable. Comparing diminishes your value. Embrace your unique journey with all its twists and turns. Own your unique gifts. No one else has what you bring to the table.
And now for the the bonus habit to drop… (my personal favorite)
13. Stop Choosing Unhappiness Over Uncertainty: (Read that again!) Often, we find ourselves choosing the familiarity of unhappiness over the unpredictability of uncertainty. This comfort zone, while safe, limits our growth and potential for joy. Uncertainty is life's greatest teacher. When you step into the unknown, you're opening the door to possibilities, to paths you never even knew existed. Uncertainty is not a beast to be tamed but a wave to be ridden. It's in the moments of 'I don't know what's going to happen next' that we truly find out what we're made of.
Alright, let's bring this home!
What will you let go of to make space for the extraordinary? Every habit you release is a chain broken, freeing you to rise higher. So, take a moment – yes, right now – to jot down one thing you're committing to leave behind this year. It could be a limiting belief, a perfectionist streak, or the fear of saying 'no.' Whatever it is, please write it down and then take a bold step. Talk about it with a friend or a mentor, put it out into the universe and declare it in some way.
This can truly set the stage for your greatest year yet. Let this be the year you finally say 'no' to the junk that's been weighing you down. Chuck your perfectionism out the window, kiss your self-doubts goodbye, and tell fear to take a back seat! You’ve got a life to live fully, authentically, and joyfully!