It’s that time of the year when most of us get reflective and start making those New Year’s resolutions, which often only last a week or so. It’s safe to say 2017 has been a very turbulent and far from boring year for me. A year full of changes and new opportunities. A year of painful goodbyes but also happy hellos. For many reasons it could have been the worst year ever. Nevertheless it became a year of growth, gratitude and continued discovery of my identity, rebuilding my self-esteem in the process. I have no concrete New Year’s resolutions. Yet I like to share some of the valuable lessons I have learned in 2017, which I will take gratefully with me into the New Year, making sure it will be a year to reflect on for all the right reasons.
Don’t be afraid to start over, no matter what age. I was petrified and very low earlier this year, having to start all over with low confidence. Anyhow I learned quickly it was a brand new opportunity to rebuild what and who I truly want in my life. I learned that people aren’t always going to be there for you. That’s why it’s so vital you learn how to handle things on your own. Learn to love your own company. Make sure you restore yourself when alone. My best day of 2017 was the day I decided my life is my own. No more apologies and no more excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or to blame. By understanding that I am the only one fully responsible for my quality of life, it was the day my life really did start. Mind you it only took me 44 years!!
Learn to let go
Learn to let go. Not everyone in your life is meant to stay till the end. Not everyone you love will love you back. Not everyone you trust will be loyal. Some people only come into our life to be lessons learned. Learn to move on, a little stronger and wiser. Remember that growth isn’t for everybody. Some people just want to stay the same forever and that’s fine too. Learning to be alone is such a valuable lesson. Never be upset too long that things didn’t work out. Be glad you learned something to make you succeed and be happier next time. And how bloody exciting is it, that the best experiences in our lives are yet to happen!
Know your self-worth
Refuse to let little things and little people take up residence in your mind. Be bigger than that. The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to walk away fast. However, never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit. The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us. The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about. Self-worth is totally necessary to your true happiness. If you don’t feel good about you, it’s hard to feel good about anything else. Be kind to you. Make yourself a priority now and then. It really isn’t selfish. Be your own role model and never try and find your self-worth through the eyes of others.
Show grattitude to those that matter
Look out for the people who look out for you. Loyalty really is everything. Make sure you surround yourself with people that make things happen. Refuse to be around those kind of people that judge or talk about what other people do. Be happy to be around the kind of people who have dreams and support others. Those kind of people that are not afraid to compliment you, be happy for you and vice versa. People that take time out to be with you. I really couldn’t be happier with my children, my Dutch family and my close circle of friends. The ones that have been there for years and years, but also the new ones I have been fortunate to befriend in 2017. Too many lovely, inspiring, funny, creative and supportive people to mention personally. You all made me realise life is only as good as the people you get to share it with.
Do not allow negative people to turn you into one of them. Whatever you do, don’t get stuck on the one thing that ruins your day. Just smile, give it the middle finger and move on. Life is too short to waste on negativity. Ignore those negative people that try and bring you own. They feed on your reaction and if they see you being affected by what they do or say they will keep doing it. You will never win an argument with negative people. They only hear what suits them and listen only to respond. Be around people that are fun. People that are excited to be alive. People willing to take chances and new opportunities. Why be around anything less? Surround yourself with like-minded people that are happy and accepting of where they are in life and making the most out of every day, yet also working hard to better themselves. People with good hearts and the right attitude to life.
Enjoy your journey
I was often so caught up in my destination or in a situation that I forgot to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people I have met on my way. I forgot to celebrate achievements, however big or small they were. Yet appreciation is such a good feeling. Keep stepping forward, even if it feels like baby steps. Take on those new opportunities. Make time to meet lots of new people. Go to different places. Educate yourself. Refuse to step backward into so called safety as growth and comfort do not coexist. The only way to succeed is using your strength through continuous effort and struggle and by being grateful for how far you have come.
Think less – do more
We often want something so badly that we ruin it before it even begins. Fantasising. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve. Have a little faith. Stop thinking about what could go wrong and instead be excited about what could go right. Just be happy with what you already have and be excited about what you want. Stop looking back asking: “Why?”, but look forward and saying: “Why not?” In my case it’s definitely not good to look back because I will trip over what’s right in front of me. The benefits of being clumsy and scatty! So like me, embrace the glorious mess that you are. But be patient and have faith that everything will all come together in the end.
In a nutshell
Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your own happiness. Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama-filled past. Above all love yourself enough to move on. You are the only person in life responsible for your happiness. Be grateful for lessons learnt and keep the good people close to your heart.
I hope you can all reflect on a wonderful 2017 and are as excited as me to start 2018.
Lots of love, Essy xxx