How do you reflect on a year? How do you say goodbye to one year and welcome another?
As I sat down to write this month’s post, I realized many of the things I was pondering all have the same common element – they all challenge and bend my initial perspective. Here are a few lessons I learned this month and how shifting perspective can change everything.
What if instead of looking to Instagram for validation that you are right, or normal, or on track – what if you are the benchmark for your own life? When I saw the 10-year challenge start going around I was excited because I always thought it was silly to compare last year with this year. One year isn’t that long when you think about it. So, I loved the idea that as a culture we were zooming out and really looking at a longer-term perspective of our growth. How cool would it be to set 5- or 10-year resolutions/goals/challenges and then use the new year as a progress check in point, instead of what seems like a final tabulation. Then of course the trolls started chiming in and burst the bubble of fun we were all having and now many (okay, I) feel stupid for doing it in the first place.
But I don’t. I mean I do, but I also don’t, because that silly activity really helped highlight how far I’ve come to get to where I’m at. It helped me realize that the hard things I was working through back then set me up to be exactly where I needed to be now. I think the most unexpected part of that exercise was noticing what hadn’t changed. What relationships, values, and activities were still in my life. The ten-year challenge was almost like a colander that sifted all the junk out of the way so I could see what was most important to me. Having that clarity feels reassuring. Like when the GPS stops recalculating.
One of the bonuses of being a Coach is that I get to learn and be inspired by my clients more than they realize. One sent me the lyrics to a song that helped her have a breakthrough – ‘through all of the chaos you were writing a symphony’. It got me thinking – what if we zoomed out even further than 10 years and saw each year as a note in our greater “symphony”? What if we don’t just tolerate the problems and bumps and hiccups -- what if we NEED them? Maybe they are exactly what makes it sound so beautiful.
The other day I was having a session with my coach (because coaches have coaches too!). We were talking about pressure to be ‘awesome’ or ‘amazing’ all the time. I wasn’t feeling amazing, but I felt like I needed to portray this image and he said ‘what if you are amazing because you don’t feel it and you keep doing things anyway? That perspective kinda rocked my world. I love this perspective of gratitude because it’s genuine without being inauthentic. It’s all part of the symphony.
Try it, it can be eye-opening. Take something you feel bad/guilty/anxiety/whatever is going on and fill in the blank. ‘I am amazing because _________’.
Perspective changes can be so powerful. Being genuine and honest can be liberating. And sometimes a new year is just a flip of a calendar page rather than an awakening – and that’s okay too.