The past 12 months were like a roller coaster. For every mountain peak, there were 2 or 3 lows. I’m not the type who puffs my chest out when I do something great. I’m confident and I know that I’m just as smart and well-versed as the Ivy-league grad. I choose to be more of a silent winner I guess. As much as I succeeded in some areas, I took the L in others. 2014 was definitely a year of mental/emotional growth and dealing with #thehumbling. For years, I’ve been resistant to change. But in this case, it was necessary. My life needed it. So it’s only right that 2015 will be a year of action and manifesting those changes into reality. My way of putting a solid plan down is to write about it in a way that could help the next person.
Take more breaks
I’m a workaholic. I don’t get to take much time off because of how my job is structured. Last month, I went to a spa and allowed myself 90 minutes to just chill. I’d planned to go on vacation over the summer but it didn’t happen. Entrepreneurial burnout is real! It’s no way to get over it other than to press pause. It’s a big help when you have people that can understand when you need time away. I set up a few trips to take in the first few months of the new year. Taking time away gives your mind and body the opportunity to rejuvenate.
Be more honest with family/friends
Having a stoic resolve has made me feel protected in a way. But I tend to let certain irritants fester. Then the slightest trigger will cause me to black all the way out. Sometimes it’s on the right person – sometimes it’s misplaced. But we all reach that point where we’re tired of giving people free passes. It’s also hard to apologize when I’m entitled to be upset. From now on, I’ll confront my issues with the person who deserves it. With age and experience comes not caring about hurt feelings because your feelings matter more. Additionally, holding onto things always manifests itself physically for me. I discovered that it’s possible for me to get my heart device removed by the spring. The key to that is being able to not internalize negativity. So this is a new habit I’ll implore constantly.
Take my own advice
Writers tend to offer up insightful perspective and wisdom for friends, family, and readers yet our own lives are often upside down. Truthfully, some of my better posts came from being on the fence about a question or situation. I write from the point of view of what I wish I knew and what I learned. Yet I didn’t listen to my own writing. Asking someone else for advice may help you see other sides of a situation. However, in most cases, we already know what we want to do. Even if my gut is wrong, I can live with the consequences of a decision that was solely mine.
Stick with therapy
Mental health is a platform I continue to talk about as it relates to young black men. I can speak about it because I know what it feels like. The depression, the insomnia, the denial, I’ve been there. I started regular therapy sessions after an interaction with the police left me fuming and embarrassed. For reasons that are universal for black men, I avoided therapy for a long time. One thing I know now is that testimonies are all about authenticity. You can’t have a story of restoration without being completely stripped down. I was linked up with a great therapist who’s becoming more helpful with each session. It may be the best investment in me I’ve ever made.
You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.
I decided to stop making lists for my life.
Ironic, I know. Lists set high expectations. When you can’t meet the expectations (even if you’re the one who set them), you’re bound to feel defeat and be disappointed in yourself. One thing I was told is that I’m way too hard on myself. I put so much pressure on myself to be something more, someone better. Blame that on the athlete in me. I came across this post about the mistakes we make when we get tunnel vision on what we think happiness is supposed to be. When you work on yourself and stop harping on a timeline, you free yourself up to simply “be”.
What weaknesses will you work on for the next 12 months?