Here we are at the start of a brand new year. And like most years, many people have already made countless resolutions to stop smoking, lose weight, save more, spend less, get active…and the list goes on. If that’s you, and you’ve had a successful few days since the New Year began, fantastic! Keep up the good work! You’re awesome!
But if in just these first few days you’ve already snuck a cigarette, ate some left-over Christmas cookies, purchased something on your credit card, or opted for a night on the couch instead of the gym, that’s ok too. You’re still awesome!
As a matter of fact, we’re ALL awesome! That’s right—we’re good enough just as we are.
Yes, resolutions for self-improvement can be positive, but many of our resolutions, goals, and/or intentions are not about achieving the things we think. Often, these resolutions are just smoke screens for our own self-deprecation. We find something about ourselves unacceptable, and so we set out to change it. But instead of seeking self-improvement, perhaps what we really need to focus on is self-acceptance.
What if we just accepted ourselves as is?
Dr. Leon Seltzer Ph.D. at Psychology Today states that when we truly accept ourselves we become empowered. Not self-centered, but empowered, which are very different things. Self-centered people become weak over time. When we’re empowered we become stronger, more confident, and in control of our own lives.
When we accept ourselves we also find freedom. We stop comparing ourselves to others, and let go of our apparent flaws and short-comings that we get so hung up on. When we don’t have as many hang-ups, we live more care-free. And this leads to another thing—happiness.
Happiness occurs when we learn to accept ourselves, flaws and all. This turns our negative focus around to a positive one. We focus on the enjoyable things in life and count our blessings rather than our lack.
Resolutions, goals, and intentions are all great tools for self-improvements (and these are good things), but if you don’t change a single thing, just remember you are more than good enough just as you are.
Love yourself. Love others. And may 2016 be the year you live empowered, free, and full of joy.
Happy New Year!