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New Year, Same You

I hate to break it to you, but you are the same person that you were on December 31 of last year. Sure we can have goals for self improvement and we can definitely grow in our efforts to achieve them, but at the end of the day I will always be Amanda Marie Smith.

This was an important revelation for me this year. Sort of a “duh” moment, but some of life’s biggest lessons come from things we already knew. Of course I know that I’m not going to morph into another human being, but growing up in 90s makeover culture really shook me up.

I remember being a teenager thinking that one day I would turn into someone else. One day I would look different; I would be different. It wasn’t just an grow up, or even a glow up, it was about having a complete and total makeover. And I worshiped this as self-help.

It’s strange and painful to articulate but for the longest time I’ve thought that being successful was about change. It was about fixing something that was obviously wrong with me and becoming the person that some magazine suggested. I thought that if I did enough yoga and ate enough tofu maybe I could make an impact on the world one day.

As bonkers as that sounds, I’d put bets on the fact that other people experienced this too. We’ve moved more towards a glow up culture that embraces our individuality, but there’s still the notion that we must change in order to grow. Hence the common phrase, “New Year, New You”.

EoeThis phrase basically says that there’s something wrong with us and we are charged with the task of becoming a completely different person. The competitive girl in me has always openly embraced this seemingly healthy call to action only to be miserably disappointed year after year when I realize that I’m still the same old me.

Doesn’t that seem insanely backwards? Setting an unattainable goal in the name of self-help and then feeling miserable when you fail to achieve it? We do this to ourselves all of the time!

Not only do we end up feeling like a failure, we also miss out on the sweet celebrations of the things we did well. We start to focus more on the fact that we missed the mark on perfection than on the reality that we often made some pretty decent progress.

Being the “same me” doesn’t mean that I have to be stuck. It actually lends itself to quite the opposite. When we are able to accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and all, we can start being more realistic about our goals. We can actually get in the game instead of sitting wishfully on the sidelines. We can embrace both the ebbs and the flows. We can experience life in real time.

So this new years, my resolution is to be as me as I can possibly be. Not new, not different, not reinvented, just me. That’s the 2020 Glow Up. I’m claiming it

1 comment

  1. What led you to becoming a therapist? Sorry if you already posted this somewhere, you can point me in the right direction!

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