Out with the Old, in with the New

As another holiday season comes to an end, you’ve likely begun asking yourself the question that is practically universal this time of year: what positive changes can I make in the new year?

Maybe you’ll vow to join a gym and shed those pesky 10 pounds, or clean out the closets that somewhere along the way turned into a hoarder’s dream. Or maybe this will be the year you’ll finally ditch that ho-hum job and pursue a career that excites you.

You set big goals, state your New Year’s resolutions out loud, and decide that this year, you’re going to stick to them no matter what.

But January passes by, then February, and next thing you know, the kids are on spring break, the snow is melting, and – if you’re anything like most humans – you have yet to take a single step toward achieving your goals. Why is that?

It may have something to do with the story you’re telling yourself. We all have them: stories we’ve concocted from a young age that explain who we are, what we’re capable of, and more crucially, what we’re not capable of.

Maybe your story is that you’re not able to lose the weight, or you don’t have time to clean out the closets, or you’re just not organized enough to do so. Maybe you’ve told yourself you lack the skills and confidence to land your dream job, so why bother trying? No matter the topic, you come up with all sorts of reasons to support its premise, and then use these reasons to justify your lack of action. The result is often the same: nothing changes.

But there’s great news! Much of what we’ve decided to be true about ourselves is actually nonsense, based on our circumstances and the expectations of society, of our parents, of ourselves… basically, on everything but facts. We hang onto our stories because they are familiar, and familiarity feels safe. But it can also keep us stuck. So imagine what might happen if you were to let go of the old and familiar, and draft a new, inspiring narrative for yourself? You wrote your story once! You can do it again.

Jen Sincero, in her hilarious and insightful book “You Are A Badass,” offers easy-to-navigate advice on getting this done. She explains that a close examination of your story will reveal the extent to which it’s based on hooey; that by digging into its premise, and questioning its basis and validity, you’ll likely start to poke some big ol’ holes in it through which your inherent badass-ness is waiting to emerge. She suggests trying to see yourself “through the eyes of someone who… believes in you leaps and bounds.” Which can be tough, but is totally doable.

Just ask Brooke Castillo, whose podcast series “The Life Coach School” provides hours of (free!) coaching on how to believe new things – and even better, how to believe in yourself. Through her tried-and-true methods and relatable themes, she reveals that this isn’t just possible, but necessary if you want to believe without a doubt that you’re capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. Because the truth is, you are.

So as the new year unfolds, consider shedding the old stories that hold you back, and writing new, empowering ones that drive you forward.

This year, consider a resolution that will make all others stick, no matter what: resolve to believe in yourself.

And through it all, remember: you’ve so got this. Because the truth is, you do.

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Are you looking for a new job, or do you have jobs to fill? Contact Kristen Mansfield of Bluewater Associates, a skilled and passionate recruiter with a long history of successful placements, and a big believer in the notion that rewriting your story can lead to amazing things!

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