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You are enough: A Take on New Year’s Resolutions

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

The New Year is a holiday that congratulates our world for another trip around the sun, another beginning, another year. People symbolically celebrate by writing resolutions on aspects of their lives upon which they’d like to improve. While I’m a huge fan of self-improvement, I’ve noticed a general desire for people to change based on certain beauty standards and unrealistic expectations for lifestyles. This? I’m decidedly not a huge fan of.

Not being skinny enough, so my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Not being pretty enough, so I have to get better at makeup. Not being strong enough, so I have to hit the gym every day.

Is it just a constant battle of being [blank] enough?

This is true of our culture outside of the New year, but this holiday exacerbates the need to fundamentally change as a person. With the presence of social media, it can become so easy to be overwhelmed by the seemingly ideal lives people portray. And listen, I know this whole topic of conversation has been beaten to death. Personally, I used to think it was stupid to be jealous of a lifestyle that is unattainable without a trust fund. That was until I started wondering why I wasn’t in Bali living it up with some insanely blue water. I mean, I consciously know it’s total nonsense to make my New Year’s resolution “leave the country to travel and do yoga on the beaches of Hawaii every day,” but people post pictures of the ocean which has shades of blue I’ve never even seen before. I don’t even LIKE the beach, and Instagram has me feeling FOMO. Absolutely absurd.

Image credit to @jayalvarrez on Instagram. Do you see that water? Unreal. Also, if you want more complaints about this FOMO culture, head over to this Youtube video.

We are feeling FOMO for… what reason exactly? When deciding what to make our resolution, we tend to consider what we have to work on to attain a better quality of life. It seems as though in an effort to achieve introspection, people instead focus on self-deprecation. In her TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability,” Brené Brown noted an interesting trend. When she asked people about human interaction in areas of connection and inclusion, people talked about disconnection and exclusion. She found it particularly fascinating that when talking about this disconnection, they discussed shame. Shame is the state of not feeling worthy of connection. It seemed to me that people have their own personal shames they bounce off of in order to “resolve” themselves for the New Year.

Instead of making resolutions to avoid disconnection, I recommend working on the antidote to shame entirely: vulnerability. My girl Brené has utterly changed my perspective of what it means to grow as a person. True resolution comes from doing something you’re afraid to do. This can be done in big and small ways. If there is a hobby you’ve always wanted to take up but feel like it’s too late in the game, do it anyway. It can feel incredibly vulnerable to try something new, but you have no idea what heights you can reach until you try. That’s really, REALLY cheesy, but it is the truth! No one can put a cap on what you are able to do.

There are also silent ways to be vulnerable. I didn’t realize that bravery can be as simple as being honest with yourself until I read Jen Sincero’s You Are a BadassIn one of her chapters, she discusses how the subconscious can prevent you from what you consciously want. This idea was confusing at first, but she gave a few examples and it made me uncomfy knowing how much I related to it. To quote just one of the scenarios, “Conscious Mind: I long to find and marry my soul mate. Subconscious Mind: Intimacy leads to pain and suffering. Finger: Ringless.” Yikes, am I right? That example, along with others, made me realize how many subconscious beliefs I’d repressed, and how they were limiting me from achieving some of my goals. My New Year’s resolution? Unearthing what I’m secretly afraid of. It’s terrifying how much I’ve dug up so far, to say the least, but as Jen says, “…it’s not your fault that you’re messed up. It’s your fault if you stay messed up.” 

Resolutions aren’t supposed to remind you of whatever feelings of inadequacy you may harbor. As a goal-oriented person, I believe resolutions are meant to remind you that you are absolutely adequate. You are enough, so you are capable. You are capable, so you can grow. It’s pretty hard to grow if you don’t think you can do it in the first place. Maybe your subconscious beliefs have been just that, and it’s time to follow Jen’s advice and unlearn them. Whatever your resolution is, I want you to know that you are enough. You can do this.

Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor