Each new year, we often set goals and aspirations to be the best NEW version of ourselves. Sometimes this new version gets lost in the shuffle, and we often lose motivation because it feels like such a stretch to push ourselves to be this brand new person. Let’s face it, if you are not the type that already feels motivated to wake up every morning and run 5 miles, then why would this year be any different?
The trick is to make your goals both realistic and attainable. Recognize your own strength and limitations and readjust your goals to fit more with the person you already are. You can stretch your own limits, but the idea is to be a better version of you, not a whole new and different person! In fact the goal should be to be more genuine, more authentic, and to create goals that allow your true self to shine through.
Be inspired to improve yourself, but also be inspired to be more YOU. If the thought of doing that summer mountain climb up Mount Everest has you jumping out of your skin with fright, then don’t do it. If, on the other hand, you have been athletic and active, and have spent your life training to climb a mountain, then by all means go ahead! Do what makes you feel more alive, authentic, and human.
If you love to sing, but feel scared that no one else will appreciate your voice, don’t let the fear of rejection stop you. Go to a karaoke club, or make a You-Tube video. Even if no one thinks you are the next Idol, you will get points for just putting yourself out there. And it could be fun!
If you wanted to be able to speak or write about an important idea, but are too worried about backlash, how about writing an anonymous post? Another person may find comfort and validation from hearing or reading your words. And freedom of expression allows you to process your thoughts and emotions, and to self-reflect.
Being authentic means finding your inner voice, tapping into your true spirit, and finding an outlet for expression. You do not have to create a new image for yourself or a new personality, find ways to bring to the surface the real you that may be hiding inside.
Let’s think about roadblocks. What is stopping us from genuine self-expression and authenticity? Is it social pressures, is it the media, is it family or peer groups? Obviously, there are certain things that are viewed as offensive, and which we should not express. But if we can find a way to be respectful and diplomatic in our communications, we can also find a way to acceptably put ourselves out there. Conformity often leads to feeling restricted and oppressed, which can contribute to poor self-esteem and a lack of confidence.
Consider goals that enhance your passions, your interests, and your abilities. Maybe you used to love drawing as a kid, or painting with watercolors. Or you have always had a passion for home design, and would like to learn some re-modeling skills. Perhaps you want to take that comedy routine to an open mic, or to Facebook live.
Remember, this new year, 2021, is a time to let your true self shine through. Be real, be true, be authentic, and be YOU.