What motivates our New Year’s Resolutions is to seek some form of self-improvement.
But here’s the challenge. Positive change and growth require courage. Courage to confront our fears, our guilt, our shame. So much of what holds us back from growth are the fears that hold us in place. Or the shame and guilt that comes with acknowledging that we need to be someone different in order to be better or happier.
I took some big decisions in 2019 about my professional and personal life. Perhaps you did, too. Scary, one might say. But necessary for the sake of one’s long-term happiness.
But I survived those changes. So did you. We all do in retrospect. The fear and shame manifested but subsided. A new normal began to emerge. With growth as a by-product.
For example, I started being more vulnerable with close friends and family. I told them things I never shared before. What I got in return was their own stories and a closer connection. So beautiful.
I also fucked some things up majorly as I tried to change. Fail-learn-grow, fail-learn-grow seems like a cycle without end. And not always in a comfortable way.
We’re all like onions. There are many layers to be peeled to develop a true sense of self. What do we want? What do we need? What is the idealized version of ourselves? Where are the gaps between our ideal selves and actual selves that we need to work to fill?
So 2020 will be a continuation of 2019, asking myself more of these anxiety-provoking questions in search of growth and positive change.
If you’re like me, some answers will be ugly. They will require confronting my flaws and failures and past traumas.
That’s where courage is required. If we can find the courage, then growth can follow.