The start of each year, and especially a new decade, sparks lots of chatter about self-improvement. You know – New Year, New You. From food and fitness to travel and savings’ plans, the start of each year seems to motivate people to make changes to their lives. Maybe it’s because most people work better with deadlines?
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions but this year, I started a new job which gave me the freedom to consider how I wanted to be function in my new work space; about how to put my best foot forward.
But what I have come to realise is you can’t control what other people think of you. It really is a waste of energy to mull over every interaction. Our communications with others are always governed in some extent to people’s preconceived notions – about a person, place or issue. That’s just human nature.
It is refreshing when you meet new people – professionally or personally – to be able to connect on an equal footing , a clean slate, a tablua rosa. But that is no guarantee that every interaction is gong to leave you feeling 100% content.
The challenge is not only to be aware that you can’t control what other people think of you but to also accept that. It’s a liberating space to be in. And working Mums are the worst (or best depending on your perspective) at judging themselves by other people’s standards. Buying food for the cake stall – you don’t care enough, staying up til 1am making a cake- you’re an over achiever.
One of the yoga mantra’s I use is accept, release, let go. It’s a good wee exercise to do when your brain is cluttered with “what ifs?” or “if onlys.” It seems a simple enough thing to do but I find it pretty hard. I guess we all like to feel that if we try our best and be kind, things will work out. But that’s not life. Life isn’t always fair, people don’t always behave in ways we expect them to and not everyone is going to like you.
So instead of making resolutions to change, maybe it’s better to accept where we are and stop beating ourselves up about being “better” versions of ourselves all the time. To accept that if you are doing the best you can, then that’s enough. You are enough.