This year has been a year of learning!
I feel like 2018 has been a big year for me and that I have done a lot of growing, so rather than set myself goals for next year which knowing me will be unachievable, I thought it would be nice to reflect on that growth instead by thinking about what I have learnt about myself.
There is such a thing as taking on too much.
This is a hard one for me to admit because I like to be perpetually able to work on a thousand high quality projects and to be good at everything all of the time, but the older I get the more I am increasingly aware that it’s not always sustainable to do this. There are times over the year where I definitely had too many plates spinning which has been to the detriment of my own wellbeing and I recognise that in hindsight. Next years goal is to recognise it at the time and to be able to start saying no!
Being honest is good for me.
I like to pretend, even as somebody who speaks so openly about mental health, that I am fine all of the time. Nobody is fine all of the time and I don’t know why I hold myself to such unrealistic standards when I don’t at all expect the same of anybody else. At 28 years of age I am finally starting to say when I’m not quite 100% and that’s a huge achievement for me. But it pays off. People can’t help if they don’t know.
It’s okay to ask for help.
In a follow up point, this year was the first time I ever said that I needed time off work for my mental health and I am super proud of myself. I asked for help from work, I asked for help from my friends and I asked for help from mental health services. I am not generally so proactive about seeking support because as much as I preach the opposite to everyone else, I am someone who puts a brave face on everything and pretends that I am okay 100% of time like I’m some sort of superhuman. I’m getting better at listening to myself.
My voice is important.
This isn’t necessarily something new that I’ve learnt, but maybe something I needed to be reminded of. In this incredible world where we have so many amazing advocates speaking out about mental health it can be easy to think your voice matters less or is getting lost in the crowd. I’ve had so many wonderful messages from people over the last year that remind me how much of a difference I can make, as an individual and as part of the collective movement.
I am good enough.
This is a big one for me. I have always struggled with chronic imposter syndrome that unfortunately has only got worse the more achievements I get (I feel like it should really be the other way around!) as each time it makes me feel unworthy and doubt my abilities more. I am realising, increasingly, that these positive things wouldn’t just keep happening to me for nothing. That maybe, I really am enough.
Here’s to more lessons in 2019!