New Year, New You?

‘We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves’  – Eric Hoffer.

We’re already a couple of days into a new year and with any luck, you’re not hating yourself yet. You’re probably keeping your resolutions and if you’re not then you have altered them so ‘technically’ you haven’t broken them because the specifics ‘don’t count’. I hear you.

I’m your new best friend though because I am here to inform you that it doesn’t matter at all if you’re not sticking to your new year regime because in the end, it’s not important. What is important is honouring your failures, acknowledging your empty promises and channelling them into something far more substantial: the truth.

Each New Year’s Eve I try to think up all the amazing things I can change about myself for the following year, all the things I’ll start doing for other people too. I’m going to run a marathon, I’m going to get more involved in ‘stuff’, I’ll do a handstand every day and I’ll help the less fortunate. I’ll be a sprinting, multitasking – gymnastic – Mother Teresa. I’ll be unstoppable. Look at me go. It’s all well and good for the first month as I convince myself I’m on top of things but by March I’m a mess with zero energy to do any of the things I originally wanted and equally as little heart left to begin again.


We all do it time after time. We create this perfect idea of who we should be in our heads and it is always self deprecating. It’s an accumulation of all the things we believe we should be and never a look at all the things we are. The things which make us, us, are a mixture of positive and negative traits but we search ourselves looking for the flaws. Why do we do this? In order to ‘improve’. It’s not improving us, however, it’s actually setting us up for a failure we can’t handle, a failure that doesn’t encourage us to learn. Usually this is because we are scavenging our souls looking for a quick fix to our insecurities. Our minds think like this: ‘If I erase this terrible trait, all my good ones will shine through’.

Quit beating yourself up, you shouldn’t run a marathon because you think it will cure you, you should run it because you are capable and willing to learn from it. You are not broken, you are whole and you can accept the challenge. If you don’t succeed then it’s not your time and you can begin again knowing that you are all the better for it. Living isn’t about relying on the world to fix you, it’s about how a little part of you can fix the world. If you’re honest, you don’t win or lose – you make a difference.

If you want to prosper you need to start acknowledging the already amazing qualities you possess, then you will realise that maybe there isn’t that much you need to remove. If there is something which you want to improve, do so because you want to become a better version of yourself – not a better person. We spend our days comparing ourselves to those around us, the internet is a land of constant insecurity monsters ready to make you feel awful about your choices, ideas, personality and appearance. It also makes us jealous and jealousy is pointless. ‘Jealousy is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’ – Carrie Fisher. If you’re going to make a difference you need to do so because you want to influence, not overthrow.

So this year I decided I’d take another approach. I wouldn’t force myself to complete a thousand different tasks, I wouldn’t even make myself do one, if my heart wasn’t truly in it. This way, I would know if I was pursuing something which would honestly make me happy. I’m not saying you should just drop everything you set your heart on, on the contrary, I’m begging you to be honest with yourself about firstly, how much you are currently able to handle and secondly, what you really want to pursue. After you have done this, realise it is okay to take your time with these things, don’t fix it all on a ‘New Year’ because this time next year you’ll be here scavenging your soul all over again. I’m going to work on my writing because it is truly good for me and I hope it will be good for those who read it.

Step back and tell yourself the truth, because only with the truth, can you make a difference.

Words : Erin Grant

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Twitter & Instagram : @papermachemind


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