My word for 2024 is BELIEVE. The power to believe feels like an answer to the ups-and-downs of 2023. While there was no one big incident, there was a multitude of ‘paper cutting’ moments that under-cut my sense of self. At the end of the year, I felt exhausted by the roller coaster of internal emotions and the stress of holding it all together. “Who am I to complain?” I’ve asked myself. My life is blessed and joyous, and fuller than what I could ever imagine. Yet I can feel it – this palpable sense that something inside doesn’t feel right. As I step into 2024, I’m choosing first to believe my insides. I know there are areas that are out of alignment. This is how I arrive at the word ‘believe’ as my mantra word for the year.
The power to believe begins with an unwavering understanding that needs to be acknowledged without judgment. Believing doesn’t require permission, support, or confirmation from others. It’s about accepting what’s in front, inside, or around and acknowledging the truth for what it is. The power to believe also recognizes that the current state doesn’t have to be the future state.
The good news is that this isn’t my first rodeo with these uneasy feelings. I’ve lived through the chaos of my twenties and the uncertainties of my thirties. Now in my mid-forties, I’m committed to put all those lessons to practice. I will stare this moment in the eye and find myself on the other side, lighter, more confident, and further along my journey of purpose. I’m invoking three tried and true ways to foster the power to believe.
Focus on the positive
This focus on the positive isn’t to discount the discontentment or overshadow the uncertainty. The focus on the positive is to align back to what is good and feels good. I’m focusing on something personal in order to stay connected what is true for me. In this case, it’s my openness to trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone.
Identify ways to change a situation
Frustration, fear, resentment, and powerlessness cultivate when we feel out of control. However, these feelings can be upended when we take back some portion of control. Committing to doing even just one thing invites some semblance of that power back. I committed to walking three times a week once the weather broke in early October. I’ve now added an additional physical activity approximately once a week. I now feel more in control of how I feel and look physically, knowing that consistency is key and the journey to wellness is not the one-hundred-meter dash.
Pace yourself; it’s a marathon, not a race
Change is slow and sometimes it’s a tedious process. The power to believe in oneself is a long game. It requires resilience, persistence, and fortitude every day. As I interrogate my insides, I know that change happens steadily as I work on one thing and then the next. While there are days it feels like I’m behind or completely off course, it’s my intention to stay focused on my purpose. I’m on a journey and I’m in no rush to finish.