I’m suspect of new year’s resolutions—not only because they imply that there’s only one chance for a fresh start each year—but more importantly because they generally are built upon the assumption that there’s something “wrong” with us. Often motivated by a fear that we’re less worthy or less lovable, most resolutions suggest that it’s only through resolving our “imperfections” that we can hope others will accept us, much less allow us to have healthy regard for ourselves.
Obviously this isn’t always the driving force, but more often than not I see resolutions undermining people’s relationships to themselves. It’s estimated that only 8% of us succeed with our new year’s resolution; so not only have we identified things that must change as a condition of being worthy, we’ve doubled down on inadequacy when we fail to fix the alleged shortcomings. All of which only exacerbates our negative stories about ourselves.
The problem isn’t with aspiring to grow and evolve. It’s that the entire premise of changing ourselves based upon our best (but ultimately flawed and irrelevant) guesses about what other people want us to be is utterly nonsensical. If we want to feel more whole and loved, the answer lies in stripping down ego’s attempts to build a “good enough” façade. Rather than allowing the fear-based ego to scramble to cover up our inadequacies with some sort of disguise, we would do well to turn inwards, focusing on revealing and having gratitude for our TRUE selves.
Let’s ask less about what’s wrong with us and more about what’s authentic about us: Who would we be if we stopped preoccupying ourselves with what others expect us to be? What would we do if we gave ourselves permission to do things that inspire us more than the things we feel obliged to do? What would we explore, talk about or share with the world if we weren’t scared of being criticized, shut down or rejected? How would we craft our lives if we weren’t attached to anyone else’s opinion?
By meeting these types of questions, we can set intentions that lovingly encourage alignment of our human experience with the power of our soul, which is always more meaningful than a traditional resolution that often colludes with the insecurities of our ego.