It's the first day of the rest of my life, not to mention the first day of a new year, happy 2020, and the first day of a new decade.
I was talking to some friends, Monica and Brenda, about how we were going to start the new year. As coaches, we are always looking to continue working on becoming our best selves. Brenda mentioned that she comes up with a "word of the year" and I thought, what an awesome idea, I'm going to get in on this too.
So here it is, after great thought and mulling over, my first ever word of the year, the word that just feels right, the word that will guide me through this year is...drumroll please...
After giving it a lot of thought, ACCEPTING felt like the right word for me this year, it resonates with me. Here are just some of the ways I connect with this word.
Some of you may be familiar with the AA saying "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference." Regardless of religious beliefs, I am drawn to the phrase "accept the things we cannot change." WOW. When I think about this, I feel the enormity of it, how we are powerless sometimes, how life just happens and sometimes we can't control it. Within that powerlessness is a sense of peace for me. I don't have to give up control, because I never had it. Some things are just out of my control, so I don't have to worry about them, stress over them, drive myself crazy because of them, it's going to happen and I have to accept that. My kids are going to get older, they are going to get more independent and they are going to need me less. There's nothing I can do about that, and honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way. So I accept the things I cannot change, and I'm okay with that. By accepting this, I am comfortable with it, there is no need to struggle with it. What situations will you be accepting this year?
Accepting also opens me up to new adventures, new options, new opportunities, and new relationships. While in college a friend of mine found himself in a rut. He was starting to feel lonely and was getting down on himself. He decided to accept (say yes) invitations that came his way. When he was invited to a party, to go for a drink, or a new job...he accepted. Years later, he is still accepting new experiences, new adventures and new people that cross his path. Now who doesn't want that? So with my word of the year on the tip of my tongue, I'm going to accept things that scare me, accept new experiences, accept possibilities and accept those leaps of faith that come my way. What invites will you accept this year?
I want to be accepting of others as well. I may not know their history, I may not understand the why of their decisions, I may not walk in their shoes, but everyone has a story. There was a reason the guy cut me off to get through the light. There was a reason that the woman didn't acknowledge that she bumped into me. There was a reason the cashier was being rude. I accept that I don't know what it is, and I accept that for them, it is all they can offer at that time. Maybe someone was sick and he needed to get them to the doctor, maybe she had been hurt and was afraid of people, maybe her baby kept her up all night but she needed to work to earn money. I choose to accept people for who they are, what they can offer at the time and what they bring of themselves to my life. I accept that everyone I meet teaches me something and I'm thankful. What will you accept in others?
I attended a workshop with Sharon Pearson of The Coaching Institute awhile ago where she talked about the need to acknowledge, accept and activate (I'm sure I'm paraphrasing) behaviors when a change is desired. As I embrace my word this year, I plan on acknowledging my behavior, accepting where I went wrong (and right), and taking action where needed. Recently I was about to fly off the handle with my daughter. I knew that I was losing control (consider it acknowledged). Then, I accepted that I was out of control and I started to think about why. I understood that I was tired and hungry, I hadn't taken care of myself and didn't have the inner strength to deal with the issue at hand. Instead of pushing through and reacting poorly, I took the action of giving myself time. I told her I needed a break before dealing with anything. I stepped away, took a deep breath, and told myself to calm down. Sooner than later, I was able to step back into the role of a good mom and deal with the issue at hand. Accepting what I was going through gave me the chance to see my behavior and helped me make a positive change. What behavior are you accepting about yourself?
When thinking about accepting things, the number one thing I will be accepting is myself. Brene Brown said "The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect." Wow, lots to unpack. I accept who am I with all my imperfections, wrinkles, and rolls. I'm not the fastest, the tallest, the smartest, the prettiest, the list goes on and on and on... and I accept that. I know who I am. I know who I see when I look in the mirror, I accept me with all my faults, that's how I learn. I accept me with all my scars, they are badges of honor of the things I've tried (and sometimes failed) at. I accept me with all my wrinkles and rolls, I've enjoyed life, especially chocolate. I accept me. I am vulnerable, I am authentic, I am imperfect and I am growing. Acceptance gave me time, it gave me vision and it gave me the strength to be me and be better. What are you self-accepting?
So now you know my word of the year, my thoughts of how it resonates with me, my feelings of how it connects with me and my goals on how to live it.
I'd love to hear yours.