Each year, I usually make New Year Resolutions. I know that some people don't bother or they make fun of it; but for me, I think it's an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself and grow as a person.
Last year, I read this beautiful piece around this time and it really inspired me. I must have been scrolling through Instagram and this really caught my eye and resonated with me. So I did a bit of research on it online, and I discovered it's written by the English author Neil Gaiman on his blog.
''I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing the world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect. whatever it is: art, or love, or work, or family, or life.
Whatever it is you’re of doing, do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” – Neil Gaiman
For many years, I would set New Year resolutions but I never really followed through with them. I think in hindsight, the goals I used to set were actually really unrealistic because they were dependent on other people or situations to change.
I now know that these are the worst kind of New Year goals. They're not really goals, they're more like hopes. I realise now that if you want real change, you need to make that change within yourself. Don't rely on anyone else or situational factors to bring about that change. In the past, I wasn't really brave enough to actually set deadlines and action plans for them because it meant I might potentially be failing something that I really wanted.
That's why I really loved the philosophy behind this New Year's Resolution. It inspired me to go out there and create things and make a real effort in the things that I'm passionate about. It also makes me feel like if things don't go the way I hoped they would, that that is perfectly acceptable too!
Earlier this year (2018), I made this my New Year Resolution. I set out to create the things I loved, and leave the things that weren't meant for me behind. I knew that in order to actually achieve even an inch of what I wanted, I needed to give myself the permission to make mistakes. Trust me, this is difficult for me!
So did I make mistakes this year? Yep, I definitely made plenty of mistakes. Some mistakes were really painful. Some mistakes were actually a learning curve. And some mistakes seemed like a mistake but they turned out really well. That's the funny thing about 'mistakes', you won't know which choices were mistakes at the start. You can only tell in hindsight.
I learned so much about myself by allowing myself the space to grow and make these mistakes. There's so much freedom in attempting something and if it's not going to plan or going the way you'd like it to, you can honestly say to yourself that you've left no stone unturned. Any negative outcome I've had so far, I'm learning to perceive it in a different way. Instead of perceiving it as something that shouldn't have happened or a waste of time, I am learning to see it as my personal learning experience which builds my character and an opportunity for me to do better next time. :)
I feel proud to have grown as a person this year. I feel proud that I'm not the same person I was last year. I want to keep growing into the person that I can be proud of. I want to keep pushing myself mentally and emotionally into next year too.
This permission to make mistakes has actually given me such a gift. I've been able to attend beauty expos and get a press pass at London Fashion Week and meet the founders and hear their stories. I've been able to attend lots of cool business events and network with like-minded people who are actively pursuing their own goals/dreams. I've also been able to speak on panels about female entrepreneurship and even pitched at a demo day (something I would never have done last year!).
Some of these things would have terrified the 'old' me. I would feel like I needed more time to work on myself or to plan every detail so that I could have the 'perfect outcome'. But now, I feel like I'm free to make mistakes. I feel free to show up and make a complete fool of myself because at least I showed up and made the effort.
On a more personal level, opening myself up to mistakes has extended to me broadening my world too. This year, I met some truly incredible people in the most unique of places. I believe it was the Dalai Lama that said that when you listen to other people, you're actually opening yourself up to learning something new, but when you're doing the talking, you're just repeating what you already know. This is so true! This year, I've learned so much from just listening to other people. It's inspired me and helped me to grow so much. I'm looking forward to learning more and more next year.
So my wish for you and myself in 2019 is to continue to make mistakes. Treat yourself kindly like you would for others. Be brave when you're out of your comfort zone. Be courageous and let the things that weren't meant for you go. Learn to accept the mistakes and rejections along the way. It's all part of the process in getting you where you're meant to be!