When most people look back over the last year, the focus is on the highlights – the wins, successes and feel-good moment. But it’s the lowlights – the disappointments, unexpected outcomes and miseries – that give the contrast you need to really enjoy the highs.
I think we like to focus on sharing only the ‘good’ stuff because we don’t want to be a target for judgment from others. Fear stops us from living our lives on so many levels.
And, conversely, that same fear often holds us back from really going for it. Why? Because we would have to leave people behind or, at the very least, it would change our relationship(s) in some way.
Then there’s the ‘imposter phenomenon’ – where we believe that people only love us because of what we think they know about us and that, at our very core, we are not worthy of our success and having people like the ‘real’ us.
The reality of that is that in the question… why do people like other people? Because we ARE imperfect! Because that gives us a place to connect and relate to another person. Because grace can fill in the places that are wobbly and shaped funny and, well, what we deem as imperfect.
How do I know this? Because I imagine a world full of perfect metal balls – smooth, and shiny, and all the same. There is nothing for these balls to hold on to – they just ping and bounce off each other, admiring their own mirrored reflections rather than really being with another ball. They are perfect on their own with no need to connect and no way to do it anyway.
So don’t be a perfect ball – be an imperfect human with quirks and ‘flaws’ and idiosyncrasies. Do what you like, say no when something doesn’t fit you, say yes to everything that does…
Anyway, here is how I am finishing 2014… answering 3 highly self-reflective questions to make sure I have my priorities in order for 2015.
Question #1: Where have I not loved myself enough to be disciplined?
Since this is the one that typically knocks my socks off, it’s the first one to consider deeply. In 2014, I have to say that I achieved more than I have in the last 7 years (since moving to Texas in 2008).
• I enjoyed some wonderful new relationships – and I released others that were no longer a match.
• I published several books on Kindle (and currently have another in the works – ‘the big one’).
• All my current businesses now have updated websites – wahoo!
But even as I made such huge progress in my business and relationships, I also had early signs of some potentially life-changing physical wellness conditions that needed to be handled pronto. (Which I did – no worries!)
And yet, I could have gotten my body in motion more, I could have taken a little more time to meditate and I could have nourished myself more thoughtfully. THAT is the game-changer going forward.
Question #2: Did I track the right things to feel good about my life?
Progress cannot always be seen with the naked eye, which is why you want to have measurable targets. And while I tracked the numbers of my life (from cash flow to blood pressure), I completely missed tracking days off.
I didn’t include a vacation, although I had two unexpected ‘vacations’ (one when my Dad passed away and grief took me over and the other when I caught a bug from a trip that took me out for about 6 weeks).
During that time, I was grateful for being able to set my own schedule. And yet, I work for a crazy woman who loves what she does! So I don’t even notice that I’m not taking time off… I commit to changing that in 2015.
Question #3: Where could I have done better?
There are two things I could have done better… I could have said ‘no’ more often. Even though challenging in the moment, that one word said would have honored my boundaries and felt better in the long run.
And I could have celebrated my achievements in a bigger way. I’ll celebrate for you! But I treat myself like a work horse, partly because I love what I do and partly because my inner self-worth requires me to ‘be useful’. So my tendency is to ‘hit my target’ and then set a new one right away to keep the productive momentum going without really acknowledging what I just did and celebrate it. That will be different in 2015 too.
Going forward, these insights give me a way to live a happier life. I want to be the best version of myself in every situation. And so I choose to learn from my lowlights and celebrate my highlights better.
If you want to make the coming year your best ever, I encourage you to do the same. Look beyond the highlights that are easy to share and dig into the stuff that nobody else will likely see – the lowlights – of what’s been so that you can become more wholly yourself. Now is the perfect time to leave stuff that you don’t need to carry anymore – beliefs, habits, attitudes, toxic relationships and all.
Consider your imperfections when you find them, give thanks for them making you a real human, and then ask for grace to help fill in the cracks in your life that come from them. Remember you have choices when you (can) see them the next time they show up in your life.
Reach forward to the next best thing you can do for yourself, however small.
And leave the fear behind in this year so it doesn’t slow, stop or block you from taking chances and living your destiny next year.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Neil Gaiman that inspires me because it might be profound for you as well:
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
Thank you for having me in your world this past year(s)… I am blessed to be your Catalyst.
Here’s to Y/Our Best Year Yet in 2015…! ~
P.S.: How would you answer those questions? Please share below in comments… ;+)
© 2014 Lynn Scheurell
About the Author
Making the most of human nature since 1998, Lynn Scheurell believes that business is your highest calling made manifest through service. Changing the world starts by understanding your motivations, inspirations and purpose – in other words, changing the world starts within you. And then you apply your intensity through strategic business models, systems and focused action to create conscious, and often dramatic, results. Accelerate your personal transformation to generate better business results. To learn more, see www.MyCreativeCatalyst.com