We are a month into a new year and everyone is talking about resolutions and goals for the next 365 days. What if simply flipping the calendar isn’t enough to erase the discouragement of the past? What if everyone’s new found motivation is making you feel resentful that you aren’t in the same place? Over the course of any career (regardless of the type of work that you do), it’s normal to have times of great accomplishment and success and periods of disappointment. While discontent is uncomfortable, it often can be an amazing catalyst to propel you forward to something even greater in the long term. Until that day though, here are some strategies that can help you to embrace where you are.
Create a “good for you” file
I was given some advice in my very first professional job, from an amazing woman and mentor. She said to take every thank you note and every positive email, and save it in a “good for you” file. When you are feeling discouraged, get out all of these kudos and reflect on all you have already accomplished.
Conduct a community audit
Comparison to others robs you of joy. If the people you are spending time with, or the way that you are spending your time is not making you feel good about yourself...get rid of it. This not only applies to people you know in real life, but to your social media feeds as well. Surround yourself with people and endeavors that make you feel worthy and energized.
Set intentions instead of resolutions
Resolutions can have a negative connotation. They are firm and rigid, and if you stumble just once you can feel like you have blown it for the whole year. I challenge you to reframe how you think about goal setting, and set intentions instead. Intentions are flexible, and allow for grace. Intentions enable you to improve and change while still being gentle with yourself.
Discouragement is mostly a temporary state of being, but that doesn’t mean you must grin and bare it. Allow yourself a little time to wallow, and then try to move yourself and your work back to a place of contentment and fulfillment.