It is the start of a new year and we find ourselves thinking about what we would like to accomplish or things that we would like to improve about ourselves. It is almost like a ritual with every unfolding of the year that we begin to list our resolutions as well. I was just listening to a leadership training by John Maxwell and one thing that caught my attention was this, “ You cannot change until you have fully accepted who you are.” This is a very powerful concept especially at a time when we are all trying to make our new year’s resolution.
If we analyze this statement, to achieve acceptance of something we must first be knowledgeable about it. Before we accept, we should first know ourselves. It sounds almost easy. When faced with a questionnaire about our favorite color, or our favorite book or movie, it is easy to answer right? But for some, aside from the basic questions, we find ourselves stumped for answers.What are our strengths and weaknesses, What are our dreams, goals, passions, What makes us happy or sad. Even those that are difficult to admit like the bad parts of us, we have to acknowledge them as part of us. For example, I know that I’m bad when it comes to focus. I have ADHD-like tendencies so its hard for me to sit still. Tasks that involve those or things of that nature will always be a challenge for me. I also get loud and inappropriate at all the wrong times and I don’t have the best social graces. These are the parts that I know and acknowledge about myself.
But instead of taking this knowledge as an advantage, I would use it to compare myself to others. I always wished I was a little bit more graceful or dignified and meek. I used to look at those people and wished I could be more like them. I felt that I was a bad version of even myself. Many of us today struggle with this hate. We are so quick to criticize and see the worst in ourselves. We are so quick to compare. I was constantly running through a wall and beating myself up. I was running into frustrations after frustrations because the reality is we are never gonna be that other person. It’s like wanting an apple when what you’ve got is an orange. The sooner we accept this , the sooner we can move on from this wall that hinders us.
My ADHD mentality is what makes me creative and be the best at my field. I know that now. I know that I have to be conscious not to be loud at inappropriate times but I know that this is my personality and there are times where its okay for me to own it. Even when making my videos. There was a time when I didn’t want to take a video of myself or pictures of myself. I was self conscious of the sound of my own voice or the awkward facial expressions or if my hair isn’t perfect that day.
There’s so many areas about myself that like others I am insecure about. But I know I have to push past them and allow myself to develop. The goal of the change is to help us be the best version and not to change into someone we’re completely not. But before we can do this, we have to first, know ourselves and then accept ourselves. The best piece of advice you will ever receive is to love yourself. We are not the model in the magazine or the actor on tv or that athlete in the news. They are also facing their own challenges and working towards it.
Take the time to really know yourself and accept it, love it.Embrace it. Your are awesome in your own way. If you make changes, make changes to be the best version of YOU. When we have freedom to be ourselves, that’s when we all fit together as a whole.