Each year we look back and think to ourselves, what changes will we make this year? Perhaps, “changes” isn’t the right word because to become the person we want to be, we must acknowledge where we currently are. That’s why this year, I am focusing on what I am trading in. Recognizing where I am, what holds me back, and where I’m ready to go. Here are my top 5 things I’m trading in… in 2023.
1. Self-doubt for self-belief
It’s time we stop holding ourselves back by not believing in ourselves. In 2023, it’s time to trade in self-doubt for self-belief. And not just any self-belief, weaponized self-belief. What does it mean to weaponize self-belief? It means when you receive hate or criticism from others, you defend yourself with your own sense of self-belief. Others doubt you? Believe in yourself even more. With the fortitude to remember that you are stronger than anything you face, you can prove to yourself that you are stronger than you believe.
As a micro influencer on Twitter, I receive hate from people often. I like to call it “sass” from people. It always seems like the person sassing me, could very well scroll past my posts without adding their negativity. I have empathy for these people, because in hating on others, they lose the opportunity to truly be there for themselves. They aren’t focused on building community and think that simply existing makes them worthy of recognition. On Twitter, they’ll even RT their own sassy comments. It took me a lot of time to realize that when faced with this kind of uncalled for criticism, showing up for myself and standing up for what I believe in was all that was necessary. Simply, it was necessary to believe in myself.
2. Fear for gratitude
In 2019, I had a mental health relapse. I stopped eating, showering, and sleeping. I was in a constant state of fear during this psychosis. I was too scared to eat, shower, and sleep. This led to three hospitalizations. One was for a month and I was being considered for instuitionalization, because I was so fearful and refused medication. It took years to find the inner peace that I was missing, and once I did- I found gratitude.
Not just any gratitude, an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I would go for a walk on the beach in the sun listening to music and think back to when I was trapped inside the hospital never knowing if I would go outside again. That brought tears to my eyes. I think for most of us, there’s always more we are striving for or wishing for in our lives. This moment of freedom and gratitude reminded me of how far I came, even if I didn’t already accomplish everything I desire to do.
The overwhelming gratitude continued when I thought back to my constant state of fear. One day, I was in the shower when I realized I wasn’t afraid anymore. I had ate mindfully that day and had slept well. I knew that in constantly striving for more and pushing myself to do better than yesterday, everyday- I recognized that I had to realize that I was happy in the present moment. That all I had been through was worth it, because it led me to a present moment of gratitude (felt in every fiber of my being). Grateful to be alive after being suicidal. Grateful to be exactly who I am. Grateful for how far I have come, even if I still strive for more.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
3. Scarcity for generosity
Sometimes we don’t even realize when we have a scarcity mindset. We think what we have isn’t enough and most troubling, we feel we aren’t enough. We feel like for everything we have to do, we don’t have enough time. Shifting gears, we can reframe to a growth mindset. Knowing that if we feel less than, we can learn new skills at any time to improve. But what if it’s a feeling of inadequacy that is dysmorphic? Not just a fixed mindset? We feel like we aren’t good enough- not in terms of skills, but because of our mental health. This is where generosity comes in.
We must be generous when giving ourselves grace. We must be generous with our self-compassion. We must be generous with how we utilize the time we have. We must be generous with the love we give ourselves. We must remind ourselves not to pour from an empty cup, or a half full cup, or from the cup at all- but to be so full that we give from our own overflow. In being generous to ourselves in these ways, we can become generous with others. What starts inside us, has ripple effects on the whole world- especially our own ecosystems.
4. Heaviness for upliftment
Sometimes we let the world get to us- in little ways and big ways. We take on other people’s emotional weight of past traumas when they project them onto us and we hold on to them even after we lose these people from our lives. Other people’s pain was never meant for us. The problem with taking on other people’s hardship, is that we don’t take on their joy. No matter how empathetic we are, we are not meant to hold on to pain that does not belong to us. The way to heal our pain is our own work and the answers are in the things that bring us alive that only we experience.
I wish for you today, as you read this, that you let go of the pain that doesn’t belong to you. Whether it’s your mother’s or your ex’s, send it back, because that is the inner work of healing that only they can do for themselves. Your work starts with you and ends with you. We each get to decide how we heal for ourselves. So trade that heaviness for upliftment. You deserve it. We all do.
5. Toxicity for inner peace
Along the lines of letting go of pain that doesn’t belong to you, it’s time to release toxicity. In 2023, I will be detoxing those toxic products that are bad for the environment, animals, and us. I will be looking for vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly products instead of toxic products. In deciding this, I realized relationships are the same way. Emotions are the same way. I refuse to hold on to emotions that feel like poison in my veins. I refuse to restore relationships that make me feel like I’m empty or abused. For the longest time, I thought healing meant accepting everything as it is and tolerating what caused me pain. I thought forgiveness meant letting people who hurt me continue to hurt me.
I’ve seen that this isn’t true. I can forgive someone and release them from my life. I can love someone with all of my heart and choose to no longer let them hurt me. I can be enraged by the way someone treats me and decide that I can still find inner peace by taking actions that show myself I care for myself in the same way I would care for others. Maybe you haven’t learned these lessons yet or maybe these lessons seem like common sense to you. No matter where you are when you read this, I wish inner peace for you too. The kind of inner peace that brings a sense of sanctuary to wherever you are right now with a generous grace you gift to yourself going forward.
Now ask yourself what you want from yourself in 2023
What are you trading in? Trade in what hasn’t worked for you in 2022 (or your entire life) and exchange it for the things that will propel you forward. The things that will bring your life meaning. The things that will make you feel gratitude for all you already have and who you already are. I’m rooting for you.
If you’d like to join a community devoted to mindful mental health and suicide prevention, I have you covered! Say hello in our general chat and share what you are grateful for in our gratitude channel! Join us here!
Share one thing you are trading in… in 2023 in the comments!
2 Comments Add yours
For me it’s “Fear for freedom.” I’ve let myself isolate so deeply by being afraid of everything all the time that I pushed all my friends away. I am going to stop letting my “what ifs” get in the way of my “I wants” and be free to be me 🙂
Love this! Hoping you are still working on trading it in!