04 Jan 2017

January 1st is just another day. It’s just a random date that someone decided was the beginning of a calendar year and how we would mark the passage of time. But who can deny how good it feels to have a clean slate?!

We get to look forward to the renewed possibility of becoming a “better” version of ourselves. Perhaps a more svelte version of ourselves…

But we don’t just love new beginnings because of how fresh it feels. It’s also because we feel lighter, and it’s not because our new year’s resolution is #MORESALADS. It’s the most opportune time to purge ourselves of the mistakes of the past year and only take with us the lessons we learned from them.

Here are 10 things I’m sweeping away with the confetti in 2016 :

1/ MAKING DECISIONS BY DEFAULT
I’m the kind of person who likes having a plethora of choices and keeping my options open. I feel like making a decision limits me when in reality NOT making one is what will ultimately limit me and makes it more likely that someone else (or fate!) will make the decision FOR me.

2/ FIXATING ON THINGS OUT OF MY CONTROL
I’ve been raised to believe that with enough elbow grease and determination I can make anything work. While that makes for a good work ethic, it’s not always realistic. Instead of focusing on things I cannot change, I’ll put my efforts towards the things that ARE in my control.

3/ FEAR OF FAILURE
Each failure mentally gets added to an ever-growing pile in the back of mind, like dirty laundry. It seems insurmountably in comparison to my successes but it’s time to throw that mindset out with the wash and accept that failure goes hand-in-hand with success. It’s how we learn and grow.

4/ GOING IT ALONE
It’s always been hard for me to admit when I need help whether it’s in the form of emotional support or asking someone to take a photo (or 20) of me leaping in the air. It makes me feel weak; a burden, but I have to accept that leaning on loved ones makes the road less lonely. We can’t do everything ourselves and we don’t have to.

5/ FORCING CHANGE
When I want something, it’s like I have a one-track mind and I need it to happen immediately. I may want to have moved on from a painful experience or I may want to be more patient (or patient at all) but I may not be ready and I have to accept that it can’t be forced. Things happen when they're supposed to.

6/ INDULGING THE EGO
For a while, I was really fixated on trying to control perception – being a bestseller instead of creating work that I believed was great. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what other people think of me and the things I do. It’s all ego and that should never be the driving factor in decision-making.

7/ RESISTING
Often I find myself digging my heels in, trying to slow down the inevitable. I put so much energy into resisting that I make myself miserable when I need to just let go. 2017 is for getting in sync with my life and going with the flow versus swimming against the current like a salmon in denial.

8/ OBSESSING OVER THE UNKNOWN
I have come to accept that I am not coordinated enough to be a back-up dancer in a Madonna music video. Also, that I am not omniscient. I can plan, strategize, and research as much as I want, but I can’t know everything or predict the future. This year I’m committing myself to doing more and (over)thinking less.

9/ EXCESSIVE WORRYING
Being over-confident can prevent us from reaching our full potential so a little concern can be a good thing. It can push us to be more prepared and go the extra mile but I’m letting go of excessive worrying. It’s superstitious and doesn’t change what’s meant to be.

10/ UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Being ambitious is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there’s never a short supply of motivation but it also means I beat myself up for not achieving all of my lofty goals immediately. This year, I will be kinder to myself and know that irregardless of what I do (or do NOT do), I am enough.

ETC is the overflow of thoughts in the mind of Teri Yeung. It’s a place full of stories of travel adventures, imparted lessons learned from life’s achievements and failures, behind-the-scenes of projects and experiments, and anything else that inspires excitement and joy.

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