My 2020, much like everyone else’s, was ROUGH to say the least. Juggling between school, my mental health, my wellbeing, and moving my place of residence(in the middle of a PANDEMIC), I had a really tough time and I definitely wish I had done things differently to change a couple of major and minor outcomes in my life. Of course, we all make mistakes and sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves for the decisions we make because they could’ve been better. However, instead of dwelling on what could’ve been done, it’s best to focus on what you can do better on now for the future.
Here are 5 things that I, personally, plan to do differently this year:
- Trust in myself.
One of my biggest personal struggles last year (and for the majority of my life), was believing in myself. Too often I would give up when things would get hard at school and at home, but then also feel bad because I felt I could do it somewhere inside me but I just didn’t. That little, pessimistic voice in my head had grabbed hold of a megaphone and told me that if things were too hard it was because I was lacking and I should just give up. For this year, my plan is to keep pushing myself to perform to a standard higher than I currently hold myself capable of. I’ve known that there are certain things I can excel at if I tried, but my lack of self-esteem has always gotten the best of me. This year, I will make sure I perceive myself more positively.
- Not being too hard on myself.
Another ongoing personal struggle I’ve suffered greatly from is beating myself up over every situation I’m in that goes wrong. Frankly speaking, it’s just become a really bad habit. A habit so bad it triggers the worst part of my depression: self-hatred. Self-hatred is the worst type of hate there is because the one person that should always have your back is yourself. But, what if the person that’s supposed to catch you when you fall is actually the one that pushes you to the ground? Even worse, they keep you there and consistently beat upon you. This is something that I’ve always struggled to control, so this year my plan is to forgive myself for everything that I’ve held against myself and for everything that I may hold against myself.
- Not settling for disadvantageous situations.
In 2020, I found myself quite frequently being guilty of things that were not in my power to control nor comprehend. For example, I was, quite literally, expected to read the mind of my ‘friend’ because, apparently, if we were really ‘friends’ we should have a proper understanding of one another that allows us to be on the same page at ALL times. Even reading it back to myself, I find the situation to be pretty ridiculous, however, I ended up apologizing for my behaviour when I believed, for once, that the situation I was in was not my fault. For 2021, I don’t want to let myself be walked all over by others.
- Be forgiving but not too forgiving.
This point follows number 3. While I did explain to my friend how I felt it was unfair that she expected more from me than I was capable of giving (and she did apologize), she did not show any signs of changing her behaviour afterwards. Perhaps I’m overthinking her attitude but her apology felt more like she was apologizing because she was uncomfortable and not for hurting feelings. I let it go and, initially, forgave her but red flags in her behaviour kept revealing themselves and I started realizing she probably didn’t care too much about my feelings from before. I was letting her walk all over me for the sake of her being my ‘friend’ and before too long I realized I started holding an unhealthy resentment towards her. Instead of holding resentment for others, I’ll cut off the behaviour the moment I feel that my feelings aren’t being respected in order to respect myself.
- Loving myself.
By following the other things on this list, I will work towards valuing and appreciating myself more. The person who did me the most wrong in 2020 was actually myself because I saw the circumstances I had let myself be in and, like a bystander, I did nothing when I actually began suffering because of them. For 2021, I will value and respect myself first and foremost before anyone or anything else. My feelings of self-worth are more important than false friendships and poor grades. I’ll learn to love different aspects of myself and draw in positive energy with my positive attitude.
For 2021, the hope for us all is to feel valued and to, simply, enjoy life.