Wednesday

Why you shouldn't try to have it all in the New Year

Did you know making resolutions to work out daily, achieve a rewarding career, and succeed in meaningful relationships, may be setting you up for a year of anxiety and disappointment. Sure, achieving those resolutions sounds appealing, but trying to have it all is a fool's errand. Not that we're suggesting your incapable or undeserving, but these acts are fraught with excessive pressure. You are essentially giving yourself a pass to convert these perfectionistic expectations into reality.

Through a barrage of external messages, and maybe a few too many reruns of Sex and the City, we have confused the myth of "having it all" with an actual possibility. We accept the idea that we should be able to fulfill all of our lofty expectations, because there so many opportunities at our perfectly manicured fingertips. Unfortunately, when dealing with shoulds, you are usually served a side dish of guilt and anxiety. We get laser focused on satisfying these insatiable demands, that we distort our sense of reality. We are left feeling like we are always falling a little bit short, or slightly inadequate.

Let's get a few things straight. First off, there is no one out there living a perfect life. That person who seems like she has it all together, is still human. Just because you are not aware of her challenges does not mean she is immune to hardship. Humans are multifaceted, so keep in mind that just because one side of the gemstone looks glossy, doesn't mean the other sides are without flaws.

Second, people who seem the most successful are working really hard for it. We're obviously not suggesting that natural talent doesn't exist, but even the strongest acorn won't grow into an oak tree without a nourishing environment. Figure out what you do well and run with it. Use your talents to set yourself apart, and then work hard to fill in the rest. There is no such thing as an overnight success, so stop wasting time envying your ass-kicking colleagues, and get to work.

That being said, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so by comparing yourself to a prosperous counterpart, you are setting yourself up for despair. Even if she is well-adjusted and self-actualized, it does not mean you would feel the same way if you followed her exact journey. People get their needs met in different ways, so even if you checked off the same boxes on her satisfaction check list, you still wouldn't feel equally as fulfilled.

So the bottom line is this, perfection does not exist. Instead of trying to have it all this year, how about giving yourself permission to be enough? Focus on strengthening your sense of self, and gratifying your authentic needs, and you'll see the emergence of a genuine happiness which will make 2017 one of your bests.

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