Already, and actually for the last couple of weeks, I’m seeing post after post on New Year’s Resolutions ~ in emails, on blogs, and on Facebook ~ and I can totally relate. I, too, find myself feeling that dual edged sword of enthusiasm (hope) and anxiety (fear) that somehow gets magnified with the beginning of the new year.
It’s true that I have a lot of plans for 2016 ~ personal and professional ~ and a lot of projects that I really want to complete. This is my year (that’s practically becoming my mantra). This is my year to finish and launch the audio version of my novel, Shadows Present. This is the year I’m going to finish my first nonfiction title, record it, and publish both. This is the year I’m going to launch and grow my digital product and content creation business, offering products and content that will help people to be happier, to have more love, peace, joy, and success in their lives. This is my year.
I realize that I’ve been bestowing that belief on others for some time now ~ and to good effect: students, friends, and family members who were nervous about their chances for getting that job or internship they really wanted, that house, that relationship, that step up to something better. They did what they could, working toward the goal, excited and scared at the same time (kinda like I am here, gearing up for 2016).
And my response for some years has always been: You’ll have it ~ in fact, it’s yours already. This is your year (even if it was late in the year at the time). In every case, they took in the sincerity and certainty in my voice, and it bolstered their own belief in that vision that only they could see clearly. And more often than not, their belief eventually became their reality. I’ve seen it happen time after time.
That’s the really cool thing about belief ~ it’s like love: a gift that you can give freely and to as many as you like without depleting your own supply (in fact, it usually increases what you have left ~ kinda like sourdough bread starter).
The odd thing is, it somehow seems less effective when you’re the one telling yourself, attempting to bolster your own confidence, your own belief. It’s like the scalp massage or mani/pedi you give yourself ~ it’s just not the same. It doesn’t feel as good, the effect isn’t as relaxing or as pretty, and, if you have to do it yourself, even if it’s quick and easy, sometimes you’ll just skip it.
Makes sense. After all, you’re not a masseuse or a nail technician, so you’re not as adept as they. You haven’t had much (or any!) practice that would let you discover what works best, is most relaxing, or the quickest route to long lasting, beautiful nails.
If you’re like me, you have the same two problems when it comes to confidence and active belief in yourself, your value, and what you have to offer the world. So, here are two solutions to this problem.
1. Get a belief buddy ~ or six, what Pam Grout, in her book E-Cubed, calls her “power posse.” These are the people who bolster your confidence and belief in yourself and your goals. You know at least one other person with whom you can share this gift of boosting each others confidence and belief (Hint: it’s that person who came immediately to mind when you read that last bit).
Actually, you probably know several ~ but start with that one, that person you know would be just as certain and sincere. (And by the way, it’s okay if the person who came to mind isn’t your significant other. That actually happens a lot, and it doesn’t make you disloyal or make him or her less valuable to you and the wholeness of your life.) But do get your belief buddy and tell her (or him) how you can augment and boost each others confidence and belief ~ and start doing that.
2. Start treating yourself like you treat others. Call it self care, mindfulness, what have you ~ I’ll bet it beats the way you treat yourself now. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably more actively critical of yourself ~ your appearance, your weight, your age, your lack of whatever ~ than you are of anyone else. Stop doing that.
I get it. Believe me. But it’s time to stop with the “you’re not _____ enough” bit. You wouldn’t say those things to other people, even people you don’t like! Stop saying them to yourself. It’s your year. Remind yourself of that ~ and do it every time that critical voice starts up in your head.
It’s your year. You can do this. You will do this. In fact, you’ve already done it ~ now you just have to keep it up. Those tiny little words, those short little mili-second sentences, are either the bright side or the dark side of the doubling pennies, the compound interest Jeff Olson talks about in The Slight Edge. And every time you say them to yourself, you add weight to either the positive or the negative side of your confidence scales. Since it’s your choice, why not go for the positive?
It’s Your Year. Yes, I know I said it’s MY year, but that’s the beauty of the system ~ it can be both at the same time.
2016 is literally around the corner. You don’t have to start with the new year, it’s just a convenient “fresh start” point. You could start now, days before the year’s turning. Or in February or next December if that’s when you happen on this article.
The point is: it’s YOUR Year. Claim it, and get started. I’ll be right here doing the same.
See you on the beach.