What a year 2017 was. It seems as though almost everybody would describe it as the best and worst 365 days they have experienced thus far. Lots of personal growth, trials and tribulations, intense politics, and somehow forward and also backwards progress on the world we surround ourselves in.
As for me, I dedicated 2017 to me, myself, and I. It acted as a vessel for my personal success and the grueling, yet beautiful progress I made on my journey of self love. I learned to not be so much of a pleaser, which was a challenge in itself; I finally learned to invest in myself just as much as I invest in others. I also learned (and am still learning) how to just not sweat the small stuff that probably won't matter in the grand scheme of things. And through all of this growing and feeling, I have learned so many lessons along the way, and the ones listed below are the lessons that have left the greatest impact and impression on me during the year of 2017.
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
The same old thinking will produce the same old results. Stepping out of your comfort zone will help to break the cycle of repeated routine that may be leaving you in a creative rut, or finding yourself feeling "stuck" in regard to your personal improvement and growth.
2. Surround yourself with people who support you and your work/passions.
This seems obvious, but it is very easy to get sucked into relationships that may look good on paper, but in reality do nothing but damage towards you and your personal goals. That's why it is so so so important to have people in your corner to cheer you on and push you to keep going. You can only get so far on your own free will; having positive encouragement to reassure you that you're doing a great job will help to motivate you to stay on your path towards greatness.
3. ...and surround yourself with people who are better than you.
If you can't beat em', just join the party. By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you should only act as a motivator to do better yourself and compete with the people who view as "better" than you. Life should be a constant level up and progression of whatever you are trying to do with yourself. It should be a search for new endeavors to better yourself each and every day, and by seeing other people do good will only motivate you to be better as well.
*Disclaimer* Bettering yourself doesn’t not mean you aren’t amazing how you are, but more so about recognizing areas you can refine and grow within to be the best self you can be. Getting too comfortable or complacent is an easy trap to fall in; try to avoid this so you can look for new ways to increase your value and capacity for knowledge.
4. Practice optimism.
Speak positivity into existence! It will take you so far! What you think, do, and say the most is what will become your reality. Make sure these thoughts, actions, and words are things that will benefit you and others simultaneously.
5. Actively seek new knowledge.
There's a reason people say knowledge is power because the more you learn the less you know. Learning one thing can open new doors to ten other things. This actually can have positive effects on how you view yourself as a friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, co-worker, student, etc. The more knowledge you have the easier it will be to connect with other and understand new perspectives.
Read a book about something you know nothing about. You could discover a new passion. Go to a poetry slam or a story slam. Watch TedTalks online. Knowledge is at the tip of our fingers and it's a disservice to us if we deny ourselves the gift it brings.
6. Live unapologetically.
As long as you aren’t infringing on other people’s happiness or knowingly upsetting somebody, it really doesn’t matter what other people think of you when you’re trying to grow, explore, and discover yourself. The process is unique to you and no one can take that away for you. It is the best feeling in the world to fully be yourself in a world that is trying to change you. We all have a set of fingerprints that no one else has; that in itself is powerful! We were all born unique and different in our own ways and it would be tragic to hide parts of ourselves from the world in fear of judgement.
My hope for 2018 is that everyone finds themselves and builds meaningful relationships with people who reflect their journey of self discovery. Let's find the power to come together and make it a prosperous 2018.