Allow yourself to notice when you are engaging in comparisons. This includes comparing yourself to others, your past self, or your “ideal self.” For example, I used to run competitively. Five decades later, I am not able to run nearly as fast as I used to. I allow myself to notice and embrace the difference and focus on sheer enjoyment of movement and exercise. In my not so distant past I may have gotten angry and given up running altogether. I have clients tell me they notice their friends are, “handling their lives better than they are.” The reality is we don’t actually know how anyone is truly feeling. The person you believe is “calm and collected” may actually be a burning inferno of emotion and uneasiness on the inside. The idea here is to become aware that you are engaging in comparison. Gently embrace this idea and inform yourself that what you believe may not be true. As you allow this realization to permeate your consciousness see what new insights and ideas you uncover.
Understand your fears for what they are. Fear imposes limitations and can keep you from living a life of infinite possibilities. Perhaps you want to try something, like start a business, or learn a new skill. Fear dictates, “I am afraid to fail." The question you can ask at this point is, “am I willing to test my belief and consider the possibility that I will not fail?” If you never try, you will be guaranteeing the failure you fear. The difference between can and can’t is the letter “t”. In this case the letter “t” stands for TRY. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Do not let fear stop you from your passion.
Live your life in the NOW. Fears originate and are sustained in projections about the future. We are never afraid of what we don’t know; (because there is absolutely NO thing to know), we are always afraid of what we THINK we know. I was chatting with a man who expressed his fear of going on his “first vacation ever.” He conveyed his belief that “he is totally incapable of being able to have fun and relax." I asked him if he could PROVE and GUARANTEE this belief would still be true a day, week, or a month from now. He thought for a while and said, “No”. I asked him to consider that since he could not prove or guarantee his belief, if he could see it's arbitrary nature. He shook his head yes, and after a bit of reflection, stated that he is actually starting to feel excited about his trip. His arbitrary belief in the past projected into his future, simultaneously ruining his present moment. Notice that when you are afraid, you are in a future that hasn’t happened yet. A wise teacher once told me, “you can’t breathe tomorrow’s air today.” Allow yourself to start to apply this principle to your own life, and observe what happens.
Love and be kind to yourself. So much of our suffering is internal self degradation. We don’t need nor do we want others to hurt us. It is ironic that we are often willing to abuse ourselves. Many people engage in this behavior whether consciously or not. Here is an analogy I can offer. If someone is hitting you with a steel pipe, you are in trouble. To get that person to stop, you must somehow find a way to get the pipe away from them. That is not going to be easy. If you are hitting yourself with a steel pipe, the good news is all you need to do is simply drop the pipe. The simple act of noticing is the key here As you notice the habit of picking up and putting down the pipe, the more likely you will find yourself putting it down. The idea behind this is, awareness heals.
Let your past be where it is… In the past. Much of our suffering is a result of looking back and saying, “if only." Take this opportunity to reflect about something you regret. Ask yourself if could you could have done anything differently. You may answer yes, but if that was absolutely true you certainly would have. Reality dictates that whatever happened in that moment was the only thing that could have happened. What you will begin to notice is "if only" thinking perpetuates needless self abuse You can not undue what happened, you can learn from it while fostering a more loving relationship with yourself right now.
I offer these ideas for you to consider applying in your life in 2019. Take notice of what happens when you do. It is my prayer that you have a beautiful and fulfilling New Year.