Happy New Year! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I suggest looking back at the past year and evaluating what went well for you and what did not. I don’t mean that you like or don’t like how events turned out; for example, this is not about the great job promotion or the terrible vacation. I mean take a look at how you felt, coped, and behaved this past year. We learn about ourselves when we honestly evaluate and compare both what we consider our successes and what we consider our not-successes.
Let me get more specific about how I define success. When you felt sad or emotionally hurt, did you recognize those feelings? Did you acknowledge their existence? Did you express them in a healthy way such as crying, talking about them, or journaling them? Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions? Success!
We don’t like to feel sad or admit emotional hurt. The reality is we do have these emotions and experiences. We cannot avoid them. It’s all part of being human. You are successful when you recognize, name, and acknowledge your feelings. You are successful when you express them in a healthy and constructive way. That’s self-awareness and honesty, and that’s genuine success.
I’m guessing you answered ‘no’ to at least one of the questions in that earlier paragraph. Here’s where the honest evaluation part becomes essential. If you answered ‘no’ to one or more of those questions, then ... Success! You’re giving yourself an honest evaluation. That is definitely success.
Honest evaluation is not at all about finding ways to judge ourselves or be hard on ourselves or find fault with ourselves. Honest evaluation is about looking at where we need to grow or improve, so we can then take the steps to do the growing and improving.
Use the new self-awareness you gain from this honest evaluation to create your resolutions for growth and improvement. A ‘no’ answer to a question in that earlier paragraph means you’re ready to evaluate how you would like to react in the future to a similar situation. This sets you up for greater success in this New Year.
Did you catch all 4 of my challenges to you?
My first challenge to you is to honestly evaluate how you define success. Success is not about having what we consider a great outcome; we control very little of that. You are successful when you recognize, name, and acknowledge your feelings. You are successful when you express them in a healthy and constructive way. Those are things we can learn and are within our ability to control.
My second challenge to you is to honestly evaluate this past year using this definition of success.
My third challenge to you is to see there is success in simply accomplishing the honest evaluation and that it’s not about judgement or finding fault.
My fourth challenge to you is to use your new self-awareness from the honest evaluation to create your New Year’s resolutions, so you set yourself up for greater success in this New Year. Success!
I pray you have a successful New Year!
If you would like some assistance with an honest emotional evaluation, consider contacting a mental health professional, such as me. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make.