It’s the new year again and everyone is beginning to come up with New Year’s resolutions from making a one word phrase to eating healthy to losing weight, or stopping a bad habit. And it makes me wonder, what is the point? Why do we wait until the New Year to decide to become a “New Me”? Since when do dates determine what a person does during the course of their life? This is something I have pondered for quite sometime. Often, I see many people try to commit to some sort of goal in the new year and often, they fail. I believe that looking towards a future plan or accomplishment based upon a calendar date is daunting and hurtful in the long run. Why make a plan and hope it works? What could be different?
I think back to a wise friend that found himself out of a situation where he was constantly plagued by anxiety. He had a hard time dealing with life and at times he felt at the rock bottom. But one day, he just took a risk and decided to go with it. No plan, no idea what his goal was, and no idea how he was getting there. The best part of this was that when he just decided to take a step forward, he was able to face his anxiety head on without any fear of the consequences. Of course, it took him a long while to decide and many conversations, faith, and risk to make the move. But after taking the risk, he was able to get on his feet and move forward in ways I have never seen before, nor did I expect. He told me that what helped him through was not knowing the results, but by being real with those around him and seeking to be a more authentic self.
The fear of not having a plan is sometimes we don’t know where we are going to land. Taking risks to improve our lives without knowing the risks can be very frightening. But I think that is the beauty of it, we don’t really know what will happen unless we give it a genuine shot. I think by becoming more authentic in ourselves, we discover the courage to take big risks because it means that we are willing to fail regardless of the consequences. But by becoming more genuine in who we are and who we want to grow into, failure will only seem like a bump in the road to the path of true happiness.
So I say, I’m not going to be a “new me” this year, because I know that means I will only be a “new me” for next year. I will set myself up for failure and never seize the growth I am looking for. Instead, I seek to become an “authentic me” every year no matter what happens. I will always be me no matter how I change. Success and failure will be a part of life no matter where I go, but by becoming the “authentic me”, I can grow stronger through my own trials, tribulations, and successes, no matter how great or small. And you can do the same. So I say, give up the “new me” idea and move forward to the “authentic me.”
Written by: Jasper Gates, LPC-Intern