It’s 2019! Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? All those desires cloaked in wishful thinking that you may vaguely attempt for a few weeks before the next vacation, personal drama or life event takes precedence and you are lost, once again?
I’m here to tell you, you DO NOT NEED A “NEW YOU”.
You already contain the elements you need within you. Sound hokey? Like Deepak Chopra feel-good rubbish?
Well, too bad. It’s true.
The message that you need a “new you” dominates in popular magazines, on diet websites, and it sure does a good job selling stuff that coincides with our ideal image of ourselves. Want to get fit? Then you need a new pair of leggings/headphones/trainer. And maybe you do need those things to help you. There is nothing wrong with that. But if you’re getting things in the hope that you will suddenly become an avid runner even though you run only when chased, then I’m afraid it’s not going to go well.
In our attempts to change our habits for better ones, we often lose and grow frustrated, wondering why we failed yet again. The “New You” wasn’t better and you are still the same old you. So better continue with the old habits and beliefs right? And now you get to feel bad about yourself to boot.
The OLD YOU is already good enough. In fact, the old you is your secret superpower. The OLD YOU knows itself, it’s flaws and imperfections, like an old married couple who know each others’ quirks like the wrinkles on their foreheads.
You are all you need. Once you realize this, and stop punishing yourself for being not enough, you can harness your strengths in order to push yourself in the ways you need to.
Perhaps you are amazing at organizing and list-making. You can shop and meal-prep for the week in order to stay on track with healthy eating. Perhaps you are good at making friends and love socializing? Maybe this translates to a new workout or class that makes joyful movement a real aspect of your life.
Most of us think that change comes from outside of us- like a new dress/diet/relationship that will suddenly transform you. If I only had the right _______, I would be __________. Our minds are intrinsically trained to focus on the negatives, or what we perceive to be negatives or lacks. We think “I hate my frizzy hair” instead of “I love my thick and unruly hair”. Radical self-acceptance is a necessary arbiter of change. You can’t begin to change something when you can’t accept its there.
As a health coach, I strive to see each client for who they are now, not who they hope to be. I can highlight their strengths and use them to the client’s advantage. Small changes, when applied diligently and with care, can yield huge results. And the only person who knows what’s changing? YOU. The very same, old YOU.
So, no, you don’t need a NEW you. You need to wisen up to all that the old you offers. Accepting your limitations and obstacles doesn’t make you less than; it makes you human and whole. And from that interesting, fertile place, you can sow the seeds of change from the ground up. Growth is required and may be painful. But that’s ok too. Discomfort is only that.
The old you knows this. All you have to do is listen.
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