If you’re a worrier, your holiday list, like mine, is likely endless. In an effort to be proactive this year, though, I’ve set about finding actionable items for personal change. I’m older, and in theory, I should be getting wiser; so looking for strategies for self-improvement is important to me. This requires some painful examination into what Dr. Phil calls your “authentic self”. By examining the real you, you’re more open to change.
I want to share some of what I’ve found, in hopes that you can approach the holiday with a renewed spirit for personal growth.
I expect too much. Inevitably, every year I go into the holiday thinking my boss will surely recognize my efforts, and give me that nice raise. Or, that my mother will offer to cook this year, since I’ve hosted the last several years. I dream about a boyfriend who carefully selects a gift, personal to only me. Yeah, (insert crickets noise) … these aren’t happening! But this year I’m letting go of expectations, and instead I’m embracing gratitude.
I’m going to learn to say “no” more often. Every year, I end up overcommitting myself to work parties, neighborhood parties, cookie exchanges, and on and on. By the time the holidays arrive, I’m physically and mentally exhausted.
My dad is a recovering alcoholic, who has a great gift for saying “no.” What I admire most about it is his 100% authentic delivery. Every single time someone tries to offer him a holiday cocktail, he not only shares a kind “no,” but he shares his entire addiction story, with pride. Perhaps in an attempt to offer hope to another struggling person. He’s never relapsed, and I’ve always attributed it to his easy ability to just say “no.”
Avoid judgement. One of the things I’ve focused on most in the last several years is empathy.
I noticed with the increase of social media came an increase in everyone’s ability to judge and hate. This really forced me to do a lot of personal transformation toward positivity.
I’m entering this holiday season with a wide open mind, and a wide open heart. I’m going to tackle my anxiety disorder head on by continuing to study new and unique ways I can be the change I want to see in the world. May your holiday season be blessed with some self-growth too.
Jennifer shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at: www.spiritfinder.org