By: Brianne Hogan, Guest Blogger
Like many people, I tend to get super reflective around this time of year. Not only because it’s the end of one, but also my birthday is in December, so it’s a bit of a double-whammy for me.
As I was navel-gazing and ruminating 2014’s events, I discovered a pretty disturbing thought pattern of mine: I was thinking of all the things I didn’t achieve and all the “should have, would have, could have’s.” Instead of giving myself props for all of the awesome things I did accomplish this year, I found myself focusing on the negative. And then, afterward, I was not feeling particularly awesome about 2014. But I wanted to change that because a) it felt icky and no one should feel icky as we head into the New Year and b) we owe it ourselves to celebrate who we are.
We’re usually taught to downplay our accomplishments and remain humble and modest. Overachievers, like me, usually tend to focus on the “have nots” rather than the incredible things we do have. Maybe certain things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, but I had to remind myself that there is always something to be proud of. I realized that I owed it to my experiences from this year, and to myself, to honor them, to dress them up in fancy clothing and dance with them. Why? Because it feels good to do so.
Here goes: I’m proud of myself because I dared to dream this year in multiple ways. I opened myself to new romantic relationships and allowed myself to be vulnerable, to be soft, to be completely myself under wobbly, exposed circumstances. My heart may have been ultimately broken (twice) but at least I dared myself to be open to love – something I hadn’t done for a very long time. I’m proud for asserting myself after these relationships ended. I now know what I want, what I crave, what I deserve in future relationships, and because of these experiences this year, I am more confident that I will be able to find the perfect partnership in the future.
I’m proud of myself because I dared to play bigger than ever before in my professional life. What may have looked like “baby steps” to some were major building blocks to me, and I’m proud that I took risks to get to where I am right now, at the end of 2014. I’m proud of pitching more publications than ever before (including this one!) and I’m proud that so many people have resonated with my writing (like you guys!). I’m proud that I am able to make a living from what I love most in the world. I’m proud to recognize that “success” looks and feels different to everyone. The only important thing to know about success is how it looks and feels like to me.
When we take the time to celebrate ourselves, we take the time to reconnect with ourselves. Doing so gives us the chance to observe how far we’ve come, and, baby, we’ve come a long way! I guarantee if you look back at where you were during this time last year – personally, professionally – you will be able to see the leaps and bounds you’ve made in only twelve short months. Don’t discriminate how “big” or “small” your milestones were; they were your milestones and they are priceless.
So when you reflect on the events of 2014, refrain from the “would have, could have, should haves” and instead focus on your brilliant and beautiful achievements.
Blow out the candles on a spectacular year and be prepared for an even brighter one. And remember: you are worth celebrating.
What do YOU have to celebrate about you this year? Tell us here!
Brianne is a writer based in Toronto. Her instincts and love of adventure have led her to interesting jobs (grass cutter and wine seller, to name a few), as well long-terms stays in beautiful cities (New York City, Vancouver and Florence). Follow Brianne on Twitter: www.twitter.com/briannehogan & check out more on Tumblr briannehogan.tumblr.com
image via rewired-life.com