Most of us look forward to the New Year because we believe it promises new things, new beginnings and new opportunities. A positive outlook is always good. We should always be looking forward.
But before you obsess over your 2014 New Year’s resolutions or get caught up with your worries and anxieties for the future (be it about money, job opportunities, scholarship opportunities or relationship matters), why not pause for a minute (or even longer), sit back and reflect?
Check out these five tips to spark a good start for 2014:
1. You are stronger than you think you are.
Every time you feel like giving up, remind yourself that you are strong. That nothing is too difficult for you to accomplish. Don’t give up on yourself, ever. People are out there who love you — people who haven’t given up on you. Remind yourself that you are strong and that the challenges ahead are milestones that will only make you a better and stronger person. Be grateful for how far you have come and all that you have gone through. Be grateful for all that you have and all you aspire to become.
2. You don’t always have control over everything.
Feeling in control is assuring; it offers a sense of security and allows one to feel safe and powerful. But, never let your happiness depend on this perceived control, for it is fleeting. Life is in motion and things always change. You can’t keep an eye on everything, and you do not have the power to dictate what other people do.
Stop thinking that everything revolves around you, because nothing does. True freedom is not so much about having endless options, but about possessing the ability to let go. So, do it. Let go and stop being so uptight about the things that you can’t control.
3. Don’t waste time trying to make others like you.
When we feel attacked, wronged, misunderstood or humiliated, we immediately grow defensive. The reaction to speak up, fight back and protect ourselves is a natural instinct. But, those who are determined will continue to hate you if they desire to do so. Some people just won’t listen to you; they won’t try to understand. People only see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe.
4. You deserve to be happy.
Too often, we falsely believe that our purpose in life is to make everyone around us happy. We learn from a young age that making our parents angry will lead to punishment and that upsetting a friend may end a friendship. But it’s just as important to realize that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. But regardless of your inability to please everyone, you deserve to be happy. You simply need to choose to be happy.
5. Dare to be different.
Perhaps you hate the limelight because it makes you feel jittery, or you simply prefer not to stick out in the crowd. If you try to hide the qualities that make you a unique individual, you run the risk of falling into the ordinary.
Truthfully, being ordinary is boring. Life is too short to stay on the safe side. Don’t settle for average — go for more. Give yourself a chance; the risk of embarrassing yourself or failing is never as severe as the cost of never trying at all. Nobody can help you become the person who you’re meant to be — you will have to fight for it yourself. But first, you need to let go of your fears and insecurities.