As we wind down the first month of 2017, I would like to reflect on the good that this past year has brought me. It was so easy toward the end of the year to feel down about things I didn’t accomplish, but with the new year in tow, I’ve learned to appreciate the growth I found. Below are the best things I learned in 2016:
Your Measure of Yourself is the Only One that Matters
So many of us (myself included) are constantly fighting to better ourselves. Nothing wrong there, unless that uphill climb is accompanied by the weight of others. Your opinions on other people’s real or perceived thoughts should never pull you down, because it’s hard enough out there. Come back to center and ask yourself how YOU feel about you. That’s the only measure that pushes you to being the best you can be.
You are Made to Take on What’s in Front of You
If you’re like me, you believe everything happens for a reason. This is a great sentiment, until you have to accept it about your challenges as well. Purpose maintains even through the heartbreak and loss all of us feel when we lose sight of our path. Never fear, building back from that broken road is a part of your journey. Find purpose in the fight, and step forward knowing you are ready to overcome.
You are Better than No One, but No One is Better than You
My Mother has been saying this to me since I was little, but I discovered it in a new light this year. In a society that is full of people fighting to be relevant and pushing each other down, one thing rings clear. There is room here for all of us. Just because I came from a certain place or look a certain way, I don’t get to start 10 steps ahead or behind. Every person’s life, thoughts and actions are valid because they are true to who they are. Diversity is a beautiful thing, because it challenges and grows us.
Make Choices That Reflect Your Hopes Instead of Fears
This was probably the biggest one for me. Many times throughout the year, I was faced with decisions to choose between two wavering factors. No matter the direction, there was uncertainty ahead. It was in those moments that I struggled, then realized we are meant to live outside our anxieties and fear. Although the tides will forever change, we should move toward the future we dream of, not away from one we’re scared of. In that I have found courage to chase after the life I would otherwise shy away from, and it has been liberating.
As brilliant the fight may be, life will never look exactly how you want it to. However, with a little hope, we can all be a part of what makes this year better than the one before. Here’s to 2017, a new challenge, and that silver lining that’s always lingering!
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