We might feel obligated to make New Year’s resolutions … but they’re often the same old promises or endeavors.
I put “write a book” on my list every year as far back as 1990; and Hampton Roads didn’t publish my first book “Naked Relationships” until 2002.
What takes us so long to get what we want — whether it’s losing 20 pounds, breaking a habit or changing careers? Fear.
Fear is the only thing that holds us back, or trips us up as we’re trying to move forward. We might “fail” because of a lack of desire, effort, follow-through, or understanding of what we truly want. But in every case, the “lack” is rooted in fear.
You might do a stand-up job of documenting your goal (year after year, like I did) to lose 20 pounds, but still lack the motivation to eat less and burn more calories. With all the hoopla on dieting, who knew it was so simple! Smile.
But what if you weren’t afraid to order a meal at your favorite restaurant and share it or take half of it home? If you knew you could have just as much fun, and look like your best self, eating half as much food, you’d do it, right?
What stops you is fear — maybe fear that you can’t really be thin (only miserable trying to be), fear that you’ll just gain the weight back when you have no pleasure left in your life, fear that you’d have to continue to exercise every day, fear that you’d have no excuse to avoid intimacy — and just end up with a broken heart, again.
I wasn’t afraid to write a book. I was afraid to learn that I couldn’t write a good book. Maybe you’re afraid to get rejected or have a lousy relationship. And let’s be naked here, you might get rejected or find yourself in a lousy relationship in the process of learning to have a healthy one.
You stumbled while you learned to walk, too; but it didn’t make you any less precious. Falling down doesn’t make you bad; it makes you human. You don’t have to be afraid of it.
The sooner you fall, the sooner you can get back on your feet! And the sooner you can see what you’re made of and learn to trust yourself.
Let’s look at another scenario: Maybe you’ve talked about going back to school for the last six years … mostly because society said you should, and you were afraid to even entertain your real dream. If you don’t really want to go to school, take it off the list. Put something on there that excites you.
Before you write anything in ink, though:
1. Does it align with your values?
2. Will it help you grow into your potential?
3. Does it serve your highest good — not your child’s or spouse’s?
4. Is it what you really want — not what somebody else wants?
5. Is it intended to reflect that you ARE good enough (not try to prove that you are)?
6. Is it what you would choose if you couldn’t fail?
If it stands up to the test, commit. Then, make sure you don’t have any conflicting beliefs. If you do, change your beliefs — not your resolutions!
If you’re afraid you can’t earn a living as an artist, change your belief. You can, but you have to believe it; otherwise, you’ll lack the motivation to spend time painting. You’ll be too self-conscious to flow. And you might stay home in front of the TV rather than participate in an art festival that would fuel and fund your passion.
You “succeed,” not by realizing the goal, but by realizing your true self.
So, if you base your beliefs and resolutions on the truth of who you are, you can’t fail. And you have nothing to be afraid of.