New Year, Same Me: It's all about 2019!

January 01, 2019

bald black woman

Cannot believe I’m saying it but Happy New Year yet again my lovelies! As I get older, I’m even more aware of how much time flies when you’re just getting on with everyday life. In all honesty, this year has been a rollercoaster. It hasn’t been the best, but it certainly hasn’t been the worst so for that, I am thankful.

If 2017 was the year of gratitude (mentioned in last year's post), then 2018 was all about epiphanies. Have you got to a stage in life where the penny drops, and you get a deeper understanding of who you are? Well… that was me this year. It sounds obvious, but it’s taken me a while to understand how my mind operates and how I deal with things (e.g. people, work, environments etc.), especially in difficult situations. This has made me so much more self-aware. It’s fair to say that even though I am my own biggest critic, hearing my flaws from anyone else is a hell of a tough pill to swallow. This is mainly because I’m the typical Virgo which means I am a perfectionist, super sensitive and obsessively analytical. These traits affect the way I deal with everyday life but the more self-aware I’ve become, the better I seem to be at navigating problems away. Self-awareness is really what ignited the epiphanies for me, as it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate not only how I react in situations but how people react to me.

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It has given me so much insight and a new perspective on learnings for 2019 which I wanted to share:

1. Breathe

One of the key things I learnt in 2018 was to breathe. What I mean by this is that when an issue or conflict arises, I’ve learnt to take a step back, sleep on it, calm down, take a deep breath or walk away (not to mention write the angry text/email, then delete before sending). Reacting to your first emotion isn’t always the best idea while acting in panic mode, often makes the situation worse. Speaking to someone when you’re angry or upset might allow you to say something you’ll regret, and never able to take back. Breathing allows you to really collect your thoughts and process why you’re feeling certain emotions. Sometimes it’s as simple as you’re just in a bad mood, or the person has hit a nerve completely unrelated to them. You could be on the defence, attacking or lashing out before you’re attacked, or it could just be that you haven’t had enough sleep. Breathing just lets you BE for a moment, giving you time to reflect and respond with a more balanced mindset.

2. Hard work ALWAYS (eventually) pays off

Many phases in your life will see you put in the hours, weeks, months, sometimes even years without making progress. It can lead us to lose faith, give up or switch focus way too early. Yes, there are times you may need to admit defeat, BUT this has to be when you’ve exhausted ALL your options. I realised that I may have thrown the towel in too early on a few projects when I may have been half way up the finishing line. My analytical side didn’t want to take the risk, the perfectionist in me didn’t want to fail, and my sensitive self didn’t want to be rejected. My main goals for this year is to feel the fear and do it anyway, stay positive and be consistent. I need to stick to any additional projects I take on whether it’s going to the gym or learning a new language. I am convinced that if I do something for an entire year, I will succeed at it. 

3. What other people think of me is none of my business

Being self-aware has meant that I have had to accept and embrace all parts of me- good, bad and ugly. Though it’s important to work on my flaws, I’ve also come to realise that I’m NEVER going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Trying to get validation or acceptance from people who will never like or get you is a losing battle. As long as your tight knit group of family and friends love you for who you are, what other people think of you should have nothing to do with you. Those who play little or no relevance in your life should not take up any of your mind.

4. What’s meant for you, won’t go by you

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Though I care less and less about 'Keeping up with the Jones’s', I cannot help but long for what I don’t have. Instead of focusing on all my achievements over the last decade, I still pine for things. My drive and ambition are never ending, and my need to tick everything on my life ‘to do list’ sometimes gives me sleepless nights. What the past year has taught me is that anything  that is meant for you, won’t go by you. That doesn’t mean it will all come and fall on your lap if you do nothing, but as long as you persevere, have faith and keep it moving, things will fall into place at the right time. I’ve got this insight from a lot of my friends this year and I really believe that all good things come to those who wait.

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5. Know the difference between Real Life Vs Instagram Life

Instagram seems to get blamed for everything these days but I’m now realising that it’s because we take it too literally. All social media in fact. We are all guilty of curating, editing and filtering versions of our lives that DOES NOT EXIST. So why do we think what other people are portraying is real? The moment we realise that online profiles are nothing but an illusion, the happier we’d all be. Actually, the less we care, the happier we’d be. I would LOVE to detox and give up social media but unfortunately, it’s a huge part of my job.  What I’ve had to work on is gaining a better perspective on social media vs reality. Isn’t it a little masochistic for us to scroll down feeds when we know it will only make us feel worse? It’s also delusional for us to think that the curated life we see is a person’s reality when we are guilty of doing the same thing. We don’t post content based on our commute to work, or a first thing in the morning selfie for a reason. We go into post overdrive when we get ourselves away on a nice holiday or a fun night out to project the highlights, so guess what?? Everyone else does it too!! It’s time to take a step back from social media or at least use it sensibly and see it for what it really is.  This is something I haven’t mastered but will be working hard on this year. I have a lot of friends who aren’t on social media (or barely use it) and trust me when I say they are a lot happier.

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6. Your Authentic Self is branding at its best

There are a lot of cons about getting older but one of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is that I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. My journey came full circle when I shaved off my hair nearly two years ago, and I’ve never looked back. The thing about projecting a version of yourself that isn’t authentic, is that somewhere down the line the mask will come off.  Of course everyone has different sides (ie. hanging with my parents vs talking to my boss vs getting drunk with my friends), but there has to be authenticity at the core. Pretending to be someone you’re not is putting on an act, and the pressures that come with that isn’t worth it. Authenticity is your USP. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd, so I’m always baffled about why we all work so hard to conform and blend in.  The past year has revealed that the only time you can evolve and attract positive things is when you embrace your authentic self, warts and all.  Yes, there is a vulnerability with letting people know the real you but if you don’t, you’re doing nothing but hiding. I always think that the real version of you will eventually come out, so you might as well keep it real from the get-go.I feel optimistic about 2019 and hope you all get everything you wish and work hard for. May this year  be the year of years for us all. Happy New Year xxx

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