Happy New Year!
And welcome to the annual pressure-filled month of self-improvement.
We go through this every January, don’t we? The ads for every diet imaginable, the exhortations on social media to “start the new year right”, change your habits, get to the gym, make your resolutions, and, of course, set those goals for the new year.
It’s a new year… time for a “new you”.
Or so they say.
It’s a big, fat lie.
What if, instead of looking at all the things “wrong” with you that you must/have to/need to “fix”, you looked at yourself and simply said, “I accept you the way you are.”
I mean it.
The most important thing you can do for yourself this month is accept yourself the way you are.
Because, ironically, accepting yourself the way you are is the easiest and healthiest way to bring out your best.
It’s not constant pressure to be perfect.
It’s not beating yourself up.
It’s not the daily bout of self-criticism when you aren’t meeting the ideal you’ve set for yourself.
What if you looked at those extra pounds and said, “I love my body right now”?
What if you looked at the 2023 goals you didn’t reach and said, “It’s okay”?
What if you looked at the things that you did “wrong” over the holidays and said, “I’m good”?
What if you took a look at all the things you criticize yourself for and said “I’m fine the way I am”?
What if you looked at the imperfect human being that you are and said, “I’m human; I’m happy to have flaws because they help me have more empathy and understanding for others”?
No, I’m neither kidding nor crazy!
The best kind of change happens when you accept yourself the way you are, when you turn off that inner judge that is constantly telling you what you’ve done wrong and embrace yourself.
Your inner judge is only causing you anxiety, frustration, and anger.
And guess what? We NEVER perform our best when you are anxious, frustrated, angry, or afraid!
So, here it is:
You have permission to accept yourself the way you are right now.
You have permission to ignore all the pressure to make yourself into a new person this month.
You have permission to accept yourself the way you are.
Yes, by all means, set your goals, pick your word for the year, and do whatever else you WANT to do to support yourself.
Without beating yourself up.
Without pressuring yourself to do things you really don’t want to do (maybe right now or maybe not ever).
Without making yourself crazy.
Look in the mirror and admire who you see there.
Because you’re pretty terrific. Right now. Even without your makeup on.
Tara Brach wrote a book called “Radical Acceptance”, which I highly recommend. You can apply the title immediately to yourself.
Practice radical self-acceptance. Starting today.
Then… see what changes! 😊