Forget the New Year's resolutionsAs 2015 fades into 2016, this is the perfect time to think about what you want your life to look like in the coming year. I am not just talking about New Years' resolutions. We have all made and broken resolutions more times than we can remember. I want to ask you to think about a bigger, more important question. What is missing from your life? What would enhance your life?
For some of you, this might include finding the courage to pursue a new job, start dating again, open yourself to more community or new friendships, or getting involved in a club, church, or other non-profit. These goals may have even been things that have been on your mind for a while. But inertia, laziness, fear, or insecurity have been getting in the way.
We often just keep doing what we have been doing. Ultimately, we are creatures of habit. We talk to the same friends at parties, sit in the same seats at church, order the same food at restaurants, and keep showing up at our jobs long after we have become dissatisfied with them. It is human to seek comfort and avoid unknown situations because if we do something new, we stand a bigger chance of failing.
Try something new even if there's a chance you may failBut what would be worth doing even if you failed? Brene Brown posed this question in her book Daring Greatly. I think it is an extremely helpful question to ask yourself--especially as you consider making changes in your life.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to try out a team sport. I had no experience in the sport, and in fact I was generally more of an academic person than an athletic one. It took some time for me to talk myself into showing up, being vulnerable to meeting new people, and possibly failing at the sport I knew nothing about. But I knew that my energy and interest kept drawing me toward roller derby, so I eventually went for it.
The first night I showed up, I put on my gear the wrong way. Someone corrected me. I was a little embarrassed, but I was determined to make this derby thing work. I wasn't very good for a while. I had trouble learning the rules. I had trouble staying upright. But with every failure, I kept telling myself to keep going. I told myself if I just kept showing up, I would eventually figure things out.
Despite my initial inadequacy, I was learning from day one about my own stamina and my ability to use my body in physical ways. I grew in confidence not just as I grew better at the sport, but also as I kept going time and again when I wanted to stop, to quit, to sit on my couch and watch tv instead of spending 2 hours practicing with my new derby team. My failures only made my successive successes that much sweeter.
You are worth taking a chance onI can say that the decision to play a new sport was worth it even if I fail to ever become really good at roller derby. What I learned about myself and my new derby community were worth it by themselves.
Living life means taking chances and being vulnerable. It's scary and sometimes painful, but the only other option is to live a safe but dull and limited life. If I had chosen that safe route, I never would have learned as much about myself and never would have been able to reach my own potential. I also would not have made as many new friends.
Instead of making a list of New Year's resolutions this year, ask yourself,
What is worth doing this year even if I fail?Pursue the changes you want (even if you might fail) because it is worth it. You are worth it. Your life is worth it.
If you are struggling with pain or feeling stuck in your life, professional counseling can help. You can contact our Houston therapists by phone at 713 - 591 -3612, via email at nancy @ wilsoncounsleing. org or visit the Wilson Counseling website at www.wilsoncounseling.org to find out more. Help is just a phone call away!