Like pretty much everyone else that you watch on YouTube, I was going to sit down and film my 2017 New Years Resolutions this week. Just off the top of my head right now, I can think of a list longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, of life-changing, self-improving, highly responsible things that I was going to promise to stick to this year that would change me for the better.
I was going to tell you that I want to save more money, because I’m too irresponsible with my spending habits and will never be able to afford any property at this rate. I was going to say that I’d push myself further and work harder than ever to achieve my career goals, because so far I’ve failed to hit any of them properly. And of course, I was totally going to lose about fifty stone, because that's just what girls do when January rolls around. Cool.
But then, when I wrote it all down and started to look at this huge list of life changing habits that I was setting out to do over twelve months, the alarm bells started ringing. Suddenly, the NY resolutions weren’t as full of positive vibes as I’d anticipated, and actually, it revealed itself to just be a very vulnerable list of my own insecurities.
Every part of my life that I felt was insignificant and wasn’t yet good enough and needed to be changed asap in one neat, colour coded list. Which, when you think about it like that, isn’t a particularly fun thing to share with 27,000 subscribers.
Anyone who watches my videos will know that I have about ten life criseses a day. Maybe ten an hour sometimes. And I’ve realised recently that the main reason for those endless breakdowns and hours of self-questioning and self-doubt, are down to one thing - the pressure that I’m constantly putting on myself. On. Myself.
It’s hard to figure out where this pressure has actually come from - no one’s expecting it of me, and no one else specifically is putting it onto me. It’s a thing that, thanks to one society-related reason or another, I’ve created in my own head to make myself question where I’m up to and where I’m heading with every single aspect of my life. And because there’s so much pressure in my own head, everything I’m questioning becomes a self fulfilling prophecy of failure. Basically.
It’s taken nearly 26 years to learn this very simple fact, but taking a step back when you feel like this is the best thing you can do. Look at the bigger picture, and you realise that all of this self doubt, and the nagging desire to improve every single part of your life - it all comes from comparison. Comparison IS THE WORST.
You compare yourself to your parents who, at your age, were married, settled with children, working steady jobs and living in a three bedroom house that they officially owned with their hard earned money. Meanwhile, in my life…
You compare yourself to your mates, who’re making a fortune in their very intelligent job, happily engaged and residing with bae in a cute little flat that they’re splitting a mortage with in their steady, loving relationship, where all they do is make homemade soup and go on lovely holidays together. Meanwhile in my life…
You compare yourself to every single person you follow on social media. That blogger you’ve got on Instagram who did yoga at 5am in a pair of £90 leggings, before walking her pomeranian down the Kings Road in a pair of Louboutins that were hashtag spon. Meanwhile in my life…
If you didn’t know a single thing about how anyone else is doing - financially, romantically, appearance-wise, would you be more satisfied with where you yourself are up to? If you were someone else and you met you, would you tell them that they’re stuck in a rut, not making enough money, carrying too much thigh weight and not using their time wisely enough? Or would you tell them that they were a good person, a good laugh who’s a good friend with good taste in socks and the kind of girl that you wanna hang out with?
Here’s the message that I’m trying to put across: don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself credit where credit’s due, and don’t frame your qualities as things that forever need improving. Remember that you have these qualities, and they’re already huge achievements in themselves. You’re funny. You’re a great friend to pals who you care about. You’re constantly working hard, and you always give everything a good go. You like sitting in ugly, fleecey pyjamas watching Bridget Jones on ITV2, and if you like spending your spare time doing that, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
You have a job, or you’re learning and growing. You’re earning money, standing on your own two feet or working hard to make sure that you soon will be. And that in itself is SO GREAT. You’re doing great. Wherever you’re at, you’re doing great.
By all means, strive for your goals and your dreams - that’s super important for personal growth and development. But setting yourself unattainable goals or beating yourself up when they are attainable and you just don’t do them - this is when the goals and dreams turn into something negative, and you resent yourself even more for not achieving enough. It’s all about affirmations, not resolutions.
You don’t need to change, you shouldn’t feel obliged to change or feel obliged to improve - you’re already fab and strong and beautiful as you are. Just always be aware that you can keep growing and improving - if you consciously choose to rather than feel as though you have to.
You know what, it’s hard enough to get through every single day without hating yourself, when society is constantly telling you that you SHOULD hate yourself and want to change every single thing about yourself. So just remember that these changes aren’t obligatory, remember that you’re doing okay. We’re all doing okay, if not better than okay. And actually, okay is pretty good right now.
🐤 TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/lucyjanewood
📷 INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/lucyjanewood
💻 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lucywoodyout...
📕 BLOG: http://www.lucyjanewood.com
👻 SNAPCHAT: lucyjanewood
📝 EMAIL: email@example.com