We made it!
One of the most challenging years in recent memory is almost over.
It was a crazy roller coaster ride filled with highs and lows for everyone. Collectively, we experienced losses but also gained insight into ourselves and what we truly consider valuable. So many people answered the call to re-evaluate their lives and priorities. Going forward, many things will be different. Some by choice, and some by necessity.
One thing I love about humanity is that we tend to keep hope alive in our hearts even when things seem a little grim around us. Personally, I think that's a pretty awesome character trait. Since the New Year is generally a time to set goals and release what no longer serves us, I've created a list of 5 things to leave behind in 2020. If you want to create a better life for yourself in 2021, then this is the list for you!
1. People pleasing
Listen up empaths, sensitives, and overall nice individuals: people pleasing is keeping you from expressing your true self. There are many reasons why people-pleasing might be your subconscious go-to activity. Sometimes, it's a survival technique. If you make others happy, then you'll fit in and be accepted. You may also be afraid that your true self isn't good enough, others won't like it, and you'll be shunned. Either way, it's a desire to avoid being alone that fuels people-pleasing. To leave this behind, find ways to love and accept yourself. Feeling comfortable with yourself and looking for ways to genuinely connect with others helps you lose the fear of being alone or rejected.
2. Disconnecting from your own wants and needs
This one goes hand-in-hand with people pleasing. If you ignore your own wants and needs to serve others, then feeling lost is often the result. You may get to the point where you're so disconnected that you feel like you don't matter, you're unsure about your purpose in life, and generally unhappy. You didn't lose yourself all at once, so finding yourself is a process that takes time. To begin, be honest about why you're really doing things for other people. Is it about acceptance, or could it be that it's the easier path in life to serve others than think about yourself? Either way, re-discovering your own wants and needs requires courage and total honesty. You may have to try lots of things and check-in with yourself afterward. Did it make you happy? What's your preference? Finding your passion again is a process, so don't worry about doing it "right". There's no right or wrong. It's about finding what really appeals to you. This brings me to the next thing to leave behind.
This is a big one. Perfectionism is a learned behavior. For some, it began in childhood with the fear or belief that you wouldn't be loved or accepted by your family or friends unless you were "perfect". For others, it's due to Polarized Thinking which is considered to be a cognitive distortion This is the faulty belief that there are only 2 available answers or choices. Perfectionism adds the extra condition that only one of them is "right". The fear of being wrong (which means you're not perfect) often leads to being stuck because you refuse to make a choice at all. Instead, you wait for external circumstances to force you into a choice. Unfortunately, this only increases the feeling that your life is out of control and you feel even more pressure to make the "right" choice. Let's leave this one behind, shall we?
4. Trying to do everything yourself
Empaths and sensitive people are famous for this one. Psychologists report that extreme independence is considered a trauma based survival behavior. If you do everything yourself, then you don't have to trust anyone else, or face the possibility that they'll disappoint you. Unfortunately, this creates a wall between yourself and others. It can also lead to burnout and overwhelm because of your inability to ask for help. One other destructive factor with this tendency is that it also blocks the natural flow of your giving and receiving balance. You may reject help and prefer to only give because that puts you in control. Receiving is a passive activity and it often makes people feel vulnerable. Learning to ask for help when you need it, and then allowing yourself to receive it are acts of incredible bravery and strength.
5. Guilt, shame, and regret
These emotions more than any others deserve to be left behind in 2020. If you think of emotions as having a certain vibration, then these 3 have a low vibration. Emotions like joy, happiness, and love are some of the highest. Leaving behind emotions that are filling you with fear or doubt can be incredibly freeing. Your confidence, self-worth, and general outlook on the world becomes lighter and brighter. Couldn't we all use some of that right now?
Although it's impossible to predict what 2021 may bring, we can all continue to work on ourselves and be the best human we can be. I believe that we're all incredibly talented and magical. We all have a purpose, and I hope that 2021 is the year that you find it and share it with others. However, if you need a little help with that, then I'm only a phone call away.
Happy New Year!
BONUS CONTENT: I've created a 2020 Release Ritual to help you welcome in the New Year with a fresh perspective and clean slate. Get it HERE
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April Darley N.D. is an Emotional Strength Coach specializing in helping Empaths/Highly Sensitive People (HSP's) feel better, and function better by releasing stress, anxiety, pain, and sabotaging behavior. Through the combination of coaching and emotional release techniques, you'll learn how to step into your own power, comfortably deal with life's challenges, and stay calm and balanced.