I’m going to be real with you: I’m more than ready to say goodbye to 2019.
Mentally, emotionally, and physically, 2019 kicked me in the butt. Despite all of this, I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way that I’m looking forward to taking with me into the new decade. As I look back on this past decade, I’m honored by the woman I’ve become and how much I’ve grown. Things I once dreamed of are now my reality, and mental blocks that kept me from pursuing long-awaited goals have all been knocked down.
In 2010, I was a newly-married aspiring writer living in a one-bedroom condo with my husband and cat on the northside of Chicago. I thought I knew myself so well back then. I couldn’t have foreseen how a decade’s worth of accomplishments and disappointments would shape me into the woman I am today – a woman who has faced loss, love, rejection, and acceptance.
Today, I am a wife and mom-of-two. I live in a John Hughes suburbia outside of Chicago, and I am a full-time writer. On the journey to where I am today, I’ve learned to say goodbye to things that have held me back. As this next decade unfolds, become the best version of yourself by saying goodbye to these five things that may be hindering your growth:
1. Being too hard on yourself
Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. Sometimes, we look for outside influences to guide us without realizing that we are the most influential to ourselves. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and be grateful for the life that you are living now. Be confident in the decisions you are making and stop seeking outside approval. Be as kind to yourself as you would to any other person in your life. After all, you are the only person you will spend the rest of your life with, so be gentle with your soul.
2. Neglecting your health
This year, I made a doctor, optometrist, and dentist appointment for every member of my family. Even our dog had multiple vet visits. So when I came down with the flu a few weeks ago, I was shocked to realize that I had neglected to make any appointments for myself. I’m usually the one taking care of everyone else, so no one quite knew how to take care of me when I was in bed with a 104-degree fever. This year, I’m going to stop neglecting my physical and emotional health and make them a priority just as I would my morning cup of coffee. I can’t take care of my family’s needs until I take care of mine first.
3. Holding on to bad relationships
If there is someone in your life who brings you down instead of lifting you up, it’s time to reconsider the relationship. Often times, the rivers of negativity run so deep in toxic relationships that you find yourself drowning in resentment. Whether it’s an intimate relationship or an old friendship, life is too short to spend time with those who bring out the worst in you.
This past decade, I’ve had to let go of two toxic friendships in addition to a relationship with a close family member. It was one the scariest and most heart-palpitating things I’ve done, but looking back, letting go and saying goodbye healed my heart and helped to cultivate my inner strength.
4. Comparing yourself to others
Why is it that we base our worth on how other people see us? When we’re bound by everyone else’s opinion, we become imprisoned behind high expectations. Stop comparing your life to someone else’s. As my grandmother always told me: comparison is the killer of happiness.
You’re probably not comparing yourself to a famous celebrity, but to the mom at school drop-off or one of your neighbors. When we tally ourselves against others, it lifts us from the moment in which we are actually living and forcing us to desire a moment in which we are not.
5. Not believing in yourself
We’ve all heard the mantras before. “Let go of fear.” “Follow your dreams.” “Believe in yourself and success will follow.” These inspirational mantras make for catchy Instagram captions, but how many of us really believe them?
How many times a week (or day) do you think to yourself, “What gives me the right to do this? I have no idea what I’m doing.” Maybe you suffer from impostor syndrome, the nagging fear of being found out as not being smart, talented, or experienced enough. Well, guess what? It’s time to call bullsh*t on any thought that you’re not good enough. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? You are stronger and smarter than you can ever imagine.
What are you saying goodbye to in 2020?