You don't have to jump off a mountainside, but you can push the limits of your fears, whether they are emotional, mental, or physical.
The last few years have decreased confidence in most folks, created fears and limitations, cast a shadow on the future.
We've almost forgotten the control we do have over our lives.
If you want to own 2023, you need a relationship with you.
As Americans, we tend to need to give ourselves permission to "waste time" on outside interests and personal growth as if it's a luxury and not a necessity.
Study videos and literature regarding subjects of interest whether it's the paranormal, geology, American history, outlaws of the West, physics....
Learn a new language, take guitar lessons, go back to school or acquire new skills. Join a permaculture group, do some home renovations, try your hand at sewing. Want to be expert one subject? Want to win Trivial Pursuit? Want to mentor others? Learn!
I watched a lot of videos of women making it on their own, renovating, learning to use tools, taking their home and their lives in their own hands. There are great teachers, mentors, and examples out there.
- Give yourself permission to do nothing -
You gotta love our Mediterranean friends. They get the concept of how beautiful it is to do nothing. A day is not complete without a moment at a table, coffee in hand, watching the world go by. They have phrases in the language regarding this time-tested necessity.
Doing nothing, however, does not mean sitting on a sofa watching TV, in front of a computer on social media sites, or gaming. It's not about engaging the mind in technical tasks while resting the body.
It means literally resting the soul and that means meditative mind wandering without a time clock or guilt nagging you.
I blow bubbles as my "brainstorming," or fold paper planes, take zoom photos of plants in the garden, shoot baskets with a kid's hoop and basketball in my office. I love to dance, so I put on some 80s tunes and really get into it, eyes closed, lips moving to the lyrics.
Go outdoors for your breakfast. Take a walk with no distractions, just observe. Take a nap. Play with a jigsaw puzzle while sipping a delicious coffee, relaxing music in the background. Sit at a cafe outdoors and people watch.
Be okay with meditation. It's not an obligation, it's like brushing your teeth - it resets all the systems.
- Give yourself permission to say "NO!"
It's easy to focus your life on others, their needs, responsibilities, bosses, children, family, friends, partners, associates....
Sometimes, saying "yes" to every request is really one of three problems -
1. You want to seem like you can do everything and are the responsible one.
2. You need to control processes and don't trust others to do it right.
3. Others needs are a distraction from your own issues.
- Give yourself permission to widen your experiences -
Life on autopilot is easy, but is it really living? The same routine every day, the same network, the same locations, the same activities can stop your growth.
Some call this "sleep mode."
To break the survival mindset, try novel experiences. Drive home down a street you never explored, join a meetup group for hikers, look at your city's calendar of events and go to something, try dining alone in a restaurant, spend an afternoon in an art museum, go to a shooting range. Maybe one night a week you have breakfast for supper, try a new TV series, sleep naked. Just mix it up.
Try something once, you don't have to fall in love, do it great, or even understand it - just file that away in your archives.
You know how when you fall in love, it's the things you learn about each other that keep it interesting? "I never knew your dad was a twin," "you went to boot camp?" "I didn't know you competed in pageants."
Well, the same goes for yourself. You want to fall in love with you? Plump your life up with experiences that make you say, "wow, I did that!"
Above all else, when opportunities knock, let them in. You don't have to master them, "succeed," or even enjoy it. Simply show yourself you're willing to try new possibilities. And sometimes, an opportunity to manage a team becomes a networking experience that down the road leads you to a dream job with another company thanks to a coworker who ends up moving on and remembers you.
When we look at our lives in retrospect, we realize if one thing hadn't happened,, all the other stuff wouldn't have fallen into place. These are blessings. We don't know what the blessings will be when the launching opportunity occurs.
But, whatever you say "yes" to, remember it opened a new path with little surprises along the way that may have led down other paths to a goal you never imagined.
- Give yourself permission to try something "impossible" -
Want to learn and get certified on a computer program? How about interviewing for a job you think is way too far above you? Maybe beat your time at a mile's run or climb the highest peak in your state. How about a 60-pound weight loss? Maybe up and move to a tropical climate...
I remember one time I was daydreaming about buying my own home. I didn't have any means to do so. It was an impossible task. It took my ex 23 years to pay ours/his off.
I made a vision board. I put up a photo of a reasonable house (grew up in big homes, really like cottage style with a big yard).
There was love on the board too and financial security, healthy foods growing in my own garden, career in the film industry, and road trips.
Instead of tucking away the impossible dream, I did not let myself see any other outcome. I would have my own home. I would have those things. I would NEVER walk away from knowing deep in my heart, they were mine to take.
Today, all these things are mine.
Sometimes what seems impossible is just a deed that so intimidates us that we say, "that happens to others, not me." It's an easy way out of actually trying.
How many times have you wanted to lose weight and thought that you "can't" lose weight when the truth is thinking you want to lose weight and actually doing it are two different animals. You could lose weight, you didn't do the work.
- Give yourself permission to be genuinely you -
This is perhaps one of the hardest things to do. The easiest way to get a job, be promoted, find someone to love, get a circle of friends is to be part of the flock. You become something recognizable instead of something "unknown."
You may express yourself in your commitments, such as helping clean the environment, rescue animals, be a hospice worker, build homes for the homeless. Whatever your conviction is, act on it.
By day, you may be a great legal assistant, by weekend you might be a fire tower lookout volunteer.
- Give yourself permission to live your best life -
No apologies. You may break out in 2023 and do really well while others are suffering financially, health, relationships. You can't shrink to fit and pull back, hide your light under a bushel, or any other regression.
Be the trailblazer.
Perhaps the best way to help others is to show them how it's done. And, more importantly, that it CAN be done.
A lot of dieters learn that, as they focus on health and make good choices and begin to drop weight, friends and family can work overtime to eat in front of you, ask you to just chill and have a beer, or even shy a way from you.
You become a reminder of what they aren't doing and they see it as showing off.
You can do that shrink-to-fit, take the easy way out, be nonthreatening, but then you can also be one of those success cases that isn't on a super YouTube channel as an influencer or fitness instructor, but just a regular person like them that refocused.
Stay fit. For you. For them.
You don't need to preach or offer unsolicited advice. Just wait for them to get used to the fact it's actually possible, and then they will ask, "how the hell did you do it?"
I'm reminded of something a CPR coach said, "if you fall off a boat, do you want your rescuer to jump off the boat to help you, or stay on the safe deck and toss you a line?"
Stay on deck for you. For everyone who might reach out for help.
You may not be able to handle the economy, politics, weather, crime, pandemics, but you can handle you.
It's time for YOU.
2023 is your clay. Dig your paws in it and shape it into your own vision.