I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do take this quiet time at the end of the year to reflect and acknowledge all the learning, growth and stumbles of the past year. 2019 has been a year of intense growth for me both personally and professionally. I came into this year as a woman completely overwhelmed and lost in motherhood. My 2nd child was 6 months old and I was obstinately unwilling to recognize that I was struggling with postpartum depression AND that it was not “mild” in any sense of the word.
And I’m ending the year in a completely different place. Somehow I’ve come out the other side of this year more confident and comfortable with who I am than ever before in my life. I’ve stretched myself further and thinner than I thought possible. I have shattered long held beliefs about myself that I am unwilling to ever let creep back into my mind & being. It’s been a truly transformative year, and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned.
1. Surround Yourself with Good People AND Listen to Them
I have surrounded myself with beautiful, kind, smart, impressive, lovely people. The people I interact with on a regular basis are people that I strive to be like. When you surround yourself with good people, you inevitably start seeing more good in yourself. Each person in your life is a tiny mirror.
When we find those “good” people, they lift us up. They give us strength, they give us love, they give us their belief in us. The trick is we have to LISTEN and BELIEVE them. I’ve always believed people who cut me down; the ones who said I was too much of this or not enough of that, but I’ve never let myself really hear the good until recently. As I look back on this year, this was the first step for me. I had to let the good in. I had no well of good to give myself, and I wasn’t going to be able to fill it up alone. I had to stop deflecting and let it in.
2. Get Comfortable Feeling Like an Imposter
This may sound crazy, but at first letting all that good in felt almost physically painful. It was so easy for me to beat myself up and hold myself back. Letting in the good meant I then had to do something with it. I had to actually try, and this is where the tried and true “fake it until you make it” comes into play.
I am moving into 2020 as the President of Impact 100, the Chief Operating Officer of MACKEY, a person who does workouts regularly, a happy mom and a person who has creative energy. While all of these roles still feel a bit surreal, they don’t feel daunting. When I said yes to being President of Impact 100 I literally couldn’t believe the words came out of my mouth. I’ve spent the last year grappling with my self-doubt and anxiety about it. When I said yes to becoming a healthier person I thought I’d probably just fail again, but with each week and month I felt stronger and more capable.
To move forward in life we have to be willing to be uncomfortable and manage the waves of self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
3. Be a Baby
This may seem counterintuitive, but to move from where we are to where we want to be we need to be baby like. We need to let go of what we “know”, understand that iteration and failure is part of the process, and build a system for incremental changes that add up to huge leaps. Seriously, we don’t give babies enough credit. They go from not being able to hold their head up to walking within a year. If you want to transform your life, your work, or anything really, ya gotta become a baby.
4. Find Your Anchors and Hold on Tight
Like anything, change gets easier the more you do it. As you become more comfortable with change and more adept to moving through it, new and different roadblocks come up. The way to overcome those roadblocks is to understand deeply what your anchor points are. Some call them values, we use the word intention at MACKEY, but I am a visual person, so I like to think of them as anchors. These are the things that hold me to the earth. For me it is authenticity, vulnerability, creativity and love. To explore your anchors you can check out Mackey McNeill’s manifest workbook.
5. YES is as POWERFUL as No
There are an infinite number of possibilities out there and I HATE saying no. To me, it feels like I am closing a door I can never open again. So, I developed my list of what I am a YES for.
In my life, I am a YES for my family’s happiness, MACKEY’s growth & ability to change the world, the success and advancement of Impact 100, and my development as a human & leader. By creating a strong list of what I am a YES for I can filter my opportunities and decision points, but through a lens that feels more positive and creates more energy.
6. You are NEVER Done
Lastly, you are never done. As uncomfortable as it is to say this, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished this year. BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t have to go back through all of these steps on a regular basis. I am confronted by my own beliefs, constraints and limitations daily, and what I now know is this: if you are a human who has chosen a path of growth, being confronted and challenged is just part of the process.
And to conclude, I’m going to throw in #7. BE GRATEFUL. Be grateful for it all, the good and the bad. Most importantly though, be grateful for the people in your life and love the heck out of them.
Happy New Year everyone! SG