2016 was a straaange year for me. Not only because of all the strange and not very good things happening in the world (euphemism, I know), but personally too. I had to be much more honest with myself than I’ve ever had to be before. However hard honesty can be, in the end it’s often a good thing. When I look back I find that I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this experience. I don’t doubt that I have much more to learn, but I’ll share the most important things I’ve learned last year with you and I’ll continue to try and follow these lessons in the oncoming years myself.
You don’t need to be perfect.
I am a perfectionist. If something doesn’t go exactly like it’s supposed to go, I tend to see it as a complete failure. I couldn’t be more wrong. It’s completely okay to fail and make mistakes: it’s how we learn. You and I, we don’t need to be perfect. Our imperfections make us who we are, they make us beautiful.
This doesn’t mean you should just stop working on yourself and accept everything you do. You can’t always help making mistakes, but you can learn from them. You can decide to take those experiences with you and let them make you a better version of yourself. Which brings us to the following.
Be who you are, not who you want to be
You might have this ideal in your head of who you’d most like to be. Maybe you’d like to be tougher, maybe you want to be classier and go to the ballet and opera or something completely else. Remember this: just because other people like to do something, doesn’t mean you have to like it too. It doesn’t make you any happier if you force yourself to do things you pretend to like. Accept who you are and what you like, even if it’s something you never dared to do. Talk to your closest friends about it, they might surprise you. Otherwise there’s no shame in liking something no one else likes. As long as you like doing it, it is most likely the right thing for you.
As soon as you’ve accepted what you like (which takes a whole lot of courage), you can maybe try to treat yourself a little nicer. You don’t have to compare yourself to other people all the time. They might seem perfect, but everyone has got their own troubles. You are you and nothing is going to change that. You are just as important as every other human being on this football. It takes time to love yourself, I’m still working on it too. But I think that everyone deserves to be loved, especially by themselves.
Sometimes however, a kind word from another human can go a long way. Remember this in you daily life and try to be kind to people where you can. Even if they do not treat you in an equal way. I’m not saying you should take all the crap people throw at you. Kindness can be in walking away from a heated conversation, in not reacting to anger with anger etc. Mind you, I’ve a lot to learn on this aspect as well, so don’t take me as your example.
There aren’t many things I find harder than patience sometimes. But, from time to time patience is needed. You can’t just click your fingers and go from thinking you have to be perfect to accepting you don’t have to be. The same goes for the other aspects in this post and so many more things in life. In order to achieve this, in order to achieve most things, you need to be patient. This can be incredibly hard to do and be. Practice helps. They don’t call practice a learning method for nothing.
Even though I feel I have learned a lot in this area, I’m sure I’ve still got so much more to learn. It’s going to be hard, as well as incredible. Realising something like this, feels like taking a breath for the first time. It is scary but I cannot wait to learn more.
What did you learn in 2016? What are you still hoping to learn?