Happy 2022 everybody! I hope you declared your new year's resolutions and are well on your way to being even more kick-ass humans on this planet.
This post is a whole year late and also posted just in time. Yes, an entire year. I kid you not. From fears of failure to Googling how I could do it better - a.k.a analysis paralysis - it took me a year to do this. [Sigh]. I tried so hard to be perfect. But the fear of failing made it hard for me to be focused and disciplined enough to sit down, try, and just do it.
As I type this, my heart is pounding, and I have butterflies in my stomach. My mind is fighting the negative what-if questions in the background. What if I fail? What if no one reads it? Who am I even trying to fool with this? I am not a writer...
I have also been distracted five times today trying to write this. I am a master procrastinator when I am afraid. I will Pinterest, check Twitter and Instagram. I will chase the butterflies in my head because I am afraid. Most of us have coping mechanisms to avoid facing the unknowns of task completion – adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real struggle.
But today I am resolute. I must do this today because the year has passed, and I am tired of fantasizing about my potential. I want to live it. We bring the best of ourselves when we are doing things we are passionate about. We are meant to grow and flourish like butterflies, but most times we stay as caterpillars and never living our true selves as we are meant to be.
Dealing with my naivety and subconscious fearsI have lived with the guilt and torture of not living my potential for such a long time. As a child, I believed that whatever you broadcast to the world on that stroke of midnight would come true. The veiled truth about new year’s resolutions is that it’s more complicated than that. It takes more than the universe for resolutions to manifest. Statistically speaking, most of us are more likely to let go of a proclaimed resolution within the first month of the year. 46% of us are like to push through till the middle of the year. And 4% successfully finish the year as planned. As a young adult, I would make ten resolutions a year and be satisfied with accomplishing some of them. I would forget some and only remember them at the end of another year. Some had SMART goals and some were pie in the sky at best. I did not realize is that this lack of planning inadvertently created a psychological cycle of stunted growth and a deep fear of failure. I have desired to do this post and more for many years, but I was trapped in a rinse and repeat cycle. I would declare I would make a perfect blog and podcast space. Then spend another year fantasizing about it. I even registered and started paying for the domain in late 2020. I had resolved my first post would be up by the 10th of January 2021. Well, this did not happen because here we are.
Becoming the real me
Funnily enough, in not accomplishing my resolution to live more authentically and start my life as a content creator, I vicariously helped others work on achieving their dreams. I found myself advising colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers alike to live more, love more, try new things, switch careers and start businesses. In all that advice I gave, I could hear my muffled subconscious voice screaming for me to follow the advice too.
The veiled truth about acknowledging your depression and also failed resolutions, is how hard it is to admit it. I won awards, spearheaded great projects, and influenced others. I can admit now that I spent most of the past decade utterly depressed.
I was in a deep hole of depression and as the years dragged on, the more advice (solicited and unsolicited) I gave and the deeper the hole became. I was stagnant and withering away. I could lay the blame on a myriad of factors. A poorly-developed work-life balance, family drama, and studies. Yeah, the world did not make it easy, but I made it harder myself too. I suffocated myself to be perfect for others and paralyzed my personal dreams of growth. I doubted the advice I gave to others and as much as I saw them believing in it. I became an internalised negative self-talker at my worst.
The truth is you can only grow when you allow yourself to, and you must know yourself to grow. I knew this - I have read a few John C. Maxwell quotes. Only now do I honestly see it and understand it.
The past two weeks I resolved I could never be perfect. And the standard of perfection is relative anyway. Tittering on forty-one years and I finally accept this about me and life.
Here’s to unveiling truths as we grow in our realness, I hope you can join me in the journey.