Right about now everyone's obsessively creating their resolutions for the New Year, thinking about all of the things that they're going to do. Because I'm a bit of a rebel and I like to buck the trend, I thought I'd make this post about things that I believe we should all stop doing.
1. Self sabotage
It's all very well setting these goals for yourself, but what happens next? Do you file the list away somewhere and forget about it? Or worse, do you unconsciously sabotage your own success? Take some time to think carefully about this one, as you may be doing it in several ways without even realising. For instance, are you filling yourself up with the wrong foods, which make you feel tired and sluggish and therefore completely unable to go for a run/join the gym/work on your business/whatever it is that you want to do?
Are you compulsively frittering away all of your money on pretty but unnecessary things, even though you promised yourself that you'd curb your spending and pay off some debt?!
2. Caring what other people think
I have spent most of my life worrying about what other people think of me. Am I clever/funny/attractive enough? And it didn't matter how many times I received a compliment or achieved a goal, I was still wracked with self doubt. It's stupid and it's destructive. Stop it. Stop it now. The only thing that really matters is how you feel about yourself and fortunately you have complete control over that one. If you don't like yourself much, there are lots of things that you can do to change that. Firstly, write down a list of your positive qualities. Don't be shy about it, really sing your own praises for a moment. And if you find that too difficult, ask some of your loved ones to tell you the 3 things that they like best about you. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what they say and it'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
3. Negative self talk
How much time do you spend beating yourself up about your failures, weaknesses, bad qualities? Chances are it's too much and most of those things you're blowing way out of proportion. If you've made a mistake, acknowledge it, accept it, forgive yourself and move forward. Making mistakes is an important way to learn valuable new life skills and lessons, so embrace the occasional failure.
Spend some time noticing all of the amazing things that you achieved last year, large and small, at work and in your personal life. Give yourself a pat on the back and feel proud of yourself for being so brilliant. You are you know. You're pretty amazing.
4. Taking responsibility for other people's emotions
If you're a sensitive soul like me you may fall prey to this one quite regularly. If somebody upsets you, how do you deal with it? Do you speak up and tell them how you feel? Or are you worried that by being honest you'll upset them or hurt their feelings and so you keep your thoughts to yourself? For many years I fell into the latter camp and I didn't even realise what I was doing. It sounds harmless enough, but it isn't really. If you don't recognise your own needs and you don't articulate them to the people around you, how will they ever be able to meet them? Speak up. It's important for you to be heard.
5. Ignoring your own needs
You MUST take good care of yourself. It is not selfish, nor does it make you a bad person/friend/parent. In order for you to keep caring for others, you need to refill your own tank occasionally too. Especially if you're a Mum. Devoting all of your time and energy to looking after little people is exhausting and it's ok for you to admit that and ask for a break every now and then. Take a bath, read a magazine, go for a walk. Hand the kids over to somebody that you trust and make a run for it!
Seriously, you are important too. Don't forget about you.
Love and light