An End of a year is always a good reason to reflect back and make some conclusions. Such an honest reflection can be a worthwhile starting point to set goals for the forthcoming year and see what we really want to keep, change or must let go. I’d like to share with you with my most important lessons I’ve learnt in 2o16. There have been so many but I decided to pick the three below. They’re very personal but I hope that once you read them through, they will inspire you to mull over yours as well.
First of all, I’ve understood that it’s ok to feel low sometimes! In the world of Insta, facebook and glossy magazines one might get an impression that everybody is prettier, skinnier, wealthier and happier than us. But the truth is that life can be tough for everybody. Don’t feel guilty if you have a bad day or a week…or a month, whatever the reasons are. The most important thing I did in such moments was saying: Monika, that’s alright, you feel bad and you have the right to feel this way. I accepted my moods and didn’t try to fight them by all means, but I also didn’t nurture the dreary feelings. Why? Because there is a danger of getting stuck in a viscous circle where one negative thought drums up new more dramatic thoughts and visions. So, instead I tried to understand why I feel joyless or miserable and I observed how it naturally goes away if I simply admit the feeling, experience it and then let it go. I didn’t blame anyone or myself and each time it was a great lesson of patience and humility. It takes lots of practise but you can always find out more about zen coaching or meditation if you feel like this is something you’d like to develop yourself.
Time for lesson number two. Very private. Imagine a love story which is even more unbelievable than all those romantic stories in American rom-coms. Well, it happened to me in 2o16. When I think about it now it still seems a bit surreal. Although I was absolutely amazed by the whole plot of events, I decided to say ‘no’ to this ‘love’. Why? Because we women, or at least some of us, naively get ensnared by our own visions of a guy and we don’t notice the warning signs at first. I’m so proud of myself that this time I did notice and I didn’t get tempted by the wrong person. I put myself and my daughter first. If you think that it’s not such a big deal, fine, but remind yourself how difficult it is to leave when you love. It takes a lot of wisdom and inner strength. So I’ve learnt that I’m strong enough to leave and never cry over it, just live my own life. My world and I and my happiness and fulfilment do not depend on anybody but myself. To me it’s been a great feeling of true independence.
Lesson number three. I guess the most important to me at the moment. Most people see me as a very busy woman who multitasks and whose day must be magically more than 24h, because otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to deal with such a number of duties. In fact, I have plenty of them and a crazy schedule, therefore every time I had some time off I thought to myself: hey, you have a weekend off, you can catch up with some work, do more writing, more reading, more studying, more researching. You often wish you had more time, now you have an opportunity to finally do some more and more and more. The sad truth was that my body and mind wasn’t able to do any additional work! And I felt guilty. Very guilty. I felt that if I’m not working in my free time I’m wasting it and falling behind everybody else. I constantly thought what else I could do or improve, what my next projects, studies should be, etc. But if you focus on such matters ALL the time you get drained. There is no brain hygiene. And such a state was exhausting to me. I finally admitted that it’s ok not to work in my free time! I’m learning to simply do nothing at times. Surprisingly, it gives me space for new ideas and helps to look at my life more objectively. To me it’s a new skill. It was a long process before I allowed myself to act this way without feeling guilty and this is something I still will be working on.
When I look at my top three lessons it strikes me again how useful writing down things is, because now I clearly see that they all have something in common. The power of freedom, independence and living on my own terms and this is obviously what has been driving me in life as far as I can remember. All those lessons helped me to get rid of some kind of inner chains that still had been hidden deep inside.
So, what are your lessons? What new do you discover about yourself when you reflect back on 2o16? How will it influence your future decisions in 2o17?
Personal Performance Coach