Happy New Year! Get Up and Do Something!
It's a new year full of possibilities. It's a fresh start and a chance to reinvent ourselves and try new things. We can leave the past behind us and find joy in the possibility that we can be anything we want to be. It's an exhilarating feeling, but it can be debilitating at the same time. It's like being a kid in a candy store. Having so many delicious options, we agonize over our choices, wondering what would bring us the most satisfaction. For almost any choice that we need to make in our lives, whether it is a new job or a new diet, the truth is that there are probably a variety of options that would make us equally happy but instead of recognizing this fact, we torture ourselves at the possibility that we are missing out on something better. When it comes to deciding what we want, like a child choosing her favorite candy, we should acknowledge that there is no right or wrong answer, but just a choice to be made in this moment. Don't worry. We can change our minds later, or modify our choices in the future but for now, I would argue that, the most important choice that can be made in any given moment, is not what we choose; instead, it is choosing to take action. Agonizing over a choice rather than just picking something and feeling satisfied causes unnecessary stress. So let's do ourselves a favor, the next time we are presented with a choice, let's listen to our gut, hold our breath, make a choice and take action!
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a little indecisive; not because I don't know what I like but because I am swept away by possibilities. I was the kid in the candy store who couldn’t make a choice. I was the college student who couldn’t choose a major. Why? Because two choices could have vastly different outcomes, so how could I let myself be cheated by choosing one thing over another. When forced to make a decision, I am an over analyzer. I dissect my choices, looking at every single option, from every angle. The problem is that this method usually overcomplicates my decisions and I am paralyzed into doing nothing at all or acting based on habit and what is familiar rather than trying something new that might actually lead to a positive change in my life. I don't want to be overwhelmed by choice anymore. Without action there is no progress. Without taking a chance on something new there can be no change. I want freedom from the idea that there is a perfect decision to be made, so that I can keep moving towards my goals.
In addition to letting choices slow me down, I have also let the fear of failure or fear of inadequacy stand in my way. No matter what goal I was moving toward there was always a voice in my head asking me, “what if you’re not good enough, smart enough or strong enough to do this?” Rather than dealing with the worst case scenario or discovering what I was actually capable of, I would be tempted to do nothing. Unfortunately, by not trying, even though I don’t have to deal with the disappointment of making mistakes or feeling less than good enough, I miss out on my purpose in life, my passions and all the excitement that comes from living my life and taking chances. I personally don’t want to miss out on my life because I am too afraid of the challenges that I will face because I am not perfect. No one is perfect. Failure is inevitable, but I never want to lose sight that success is possible.
So this year, rather than make a list of resolutions, I am making a promise to myself to do only one thing. I am committing to taking action. I will not let anxiety dictate my choices. I will try new things and I will celebrate and learn from my mistakes rather than beat myself up about not being perfect. Setbacks are a given in life. So, what? I am not going to let that stop me from trying. I can make a comeback from a mistake but what I will never be able to forgive myself for, is missing out on great opportunities because I am too afraid to take a chance. So, bring it on! Let's get messy! I have a wonderful feeling about what 2015 will bring. For now I will get out of my own way and just keep moving.
With hope and optimism,