It’s almost here—the end of 2020. It’s a just a date, but January 1st has always signaled a fresh start for me. Some think it’s silly. That’s okay. You do you. I enjoy closing the chapter on a year and starting a new one.
Granted, there is no guarantee said chapter won’t be a complete disaster—the part of the story when the protagonist gets hammered by life, experiences devastating losses, and hits rock bottom. Been there. Done that. Survived it so far.
But there’s also hope the story takes a positive turn—learning becomes knowledge, opportunities become reality, and the protagonist rocks the life they’re living.
Of course, 2021 brings its own unique storyline. While our experiences over the past year may have been different, I think we can all agree that 2020, as a whole, sucked, and we all hope 2021 improves.
As I look toward next year, I have no intention of making New Year’s Resolutions. (I don’t stick to them, anyway.) But I can reflect on the previous year. Amid the chaos that has been 2020, there is one lesson I relearned. I say relearned, because until the last five years, it wasn’t something I really struggled with. I spent most of my life just doing my own thing, without paying much attention to others. At least not in a way that I compared myself with them.
At some point that changed—probably because of the time I spend on social media—and I consistently negated my own successes, simply because someone else was doing more.
Someone else was reading more books.
Someone else was writing more books.
Someone else had more followers.
Someone else was a better writer, a better marketer, a better graphic designer.
I am all for friendly competition. I believe friendly competition can be a great motivator. But what I’ve been doing—the constant negative comparison to posts and pictures on social media—has done nothing but stifle my voice, my creativity, and above all, my soul.
Recognizing a problem is half the battle, and I recognized the only person I’m really in competition with is the person I was yesterday. No one else has the same life as me. No one else has the same path to forge through. The same responsibilities. The same baggage to unpack. The same lessons to be learned. The same background. The same knowledge. The same demands on their time. We are all our own unique packages of past, present, and future on individual journeys. Our goals may be the same, but our paths are vastly different.
As I get ready to release my third book, I find I’m excited again—something that’s been missing for a while. Not only am I excited about its release, but I’m also excited to get started on the next book.
I have no idea what 2021 will bring, but I plan to keep forging ahead on this path like I’ve done for the last five years—one lesson, one book, one post at a time.