I am 29 years old and about to turn 30 in May.
Throughout my 29 years, I’ve carried a story about myself. A story about who I am, how I act, what I do, and what defines me.
But I finally had a moment last year where I asked myself why I’d been waiting around for my life to get better? I kept thinking that something magical or different would happen to me in the future and that I would just become a happier person.
I thought that if I got internet famous, a job promotion, a boyfriend or even a whole new wardrobe that all my problems would be solved.
I was waiting for my external world to change to make me feel better when in reality, I needed to look at myself (how I saw myself and the core beliefs that shaped my day-to-day).
In the past, on the surface, I would say that I’m someone who is generally optimistic, an entrepreneur at heart, kind & friendly, a marketer at Google and Asian American.
However, those “identities” barely scratched the surface for how I was truly feeling.
What are the stories that you carry about yourself?
Below are the internal stories I’d carried for the past year:
- I’m behind in life. I’m almost 30 years old and I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to do in my career and I am single! No husband and no family in sight.
- I’m a nobody. Why would anyone care to read or watch content that I create?
- I can’t seem to get dating right.
- What do I have to offer when there are already SO many people already doing creative and interesting work?
- What if I fail? Would people think less of me?
- My life is just OK. Why aren’t I doing more?
We all have stories in our head about who we are. But oftentimes, we feel like we don’t have control over those stories.
We feel like we are set in our ways and there’s nothing we can do about it. This isn’t true.
We all have the power to change the direction of our lives. At any time in our life, we have the power to start creating and living the life we’ve always wanted.
But how? How can we change who we fundamentally have been?
I’ll share “how” below, but first let me explain where I’m starting from to see if my story feels anything similar to what you’re experiencing right now.
This year I’m taking on this challenge. And not in a gimmicky way to try to sell you something or tell you that “your life will be completely different in LESS THAN 30 DAYS!” No. I’m much more interested in an honest, practical and realistic approach.
This year, I wanted to stop being the victim (blaming the world, blaming my circumstances or blaming timing) and start being the person I’ve always dreamed of being.
To be honest, the person I’ve dreamed of being isn’t anything that’s too radical. I want to be someone who is:
- Not attached to external validation – is in full control of my own happiness and not reliant on external conditions
- Carefree – doesn’t take life too seriously
- Unbothered by other people’s opinions – for too long I’ve put too much of a priority and emphasis on what others think about me
- Generous – more generous with my time, money and kindness.
- More confident in myself – becoming my own biggest cheerleader and advocate. Knowing my worth.
- Tries more often – I’ve held myself back from trying new things (like creating my own blog!) because of the fear that it won’t work out.
In order to become the dream version of myself, I’m committed to making a plan for 2022 of HOW I can up-level myself and my life (and if you’re feeling the same way, I hope you’ll join me!).
How to let go of your past self and become a “new you”
Take the time to reflect on your core beliefs before taking any action. It’s important to know where you’re starting from before trying to make any changes.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What parts of my life am I happy with? (e.g. community, money, love, career, health, etc)
- What parts of my life am I unhappy with?
- For the parts of my life that I’m unhappy with, why am I unhappy? (do I feel like I haven’t accomplished enough? do I feel less than because I haven’t found someone to be with? do I want to be doing something completely different than my current job?)
- What are my core beliefs when it comes to these areas of my life? I’m (e.g. if we were talking about money, do I believe that “Money is really hard to come by and I’m never going to be rich” or if we were talking about health “I am terrible at exercising. I always mess up when I try to participate in a workout class.”)
- What do I want to let go of? (e.g. let go fear, let go of my insecurities, let go of my need to people-please, etc)
- Do an “I am” exercise. Write down words/phrases that describe how you feel today (I am confident, I am insecure, I am scared to go out of my comfort zone, I am a great musician, etc).
- Do another “I am” exercise and write down words/phrases that describe how you want to feel in the future! Go to town here. Don’t hold back. Write anything and everything that comes to mind.
This is a great beginning to moving towards becoming the person you want to be!
I went through these questions and felt like I had a much clearer direction for what was holding me back and what I could improve on.
A majority of us are living our life by default. We have these subconscious beliefs and internal programs that make us act and think the way we do.
Despite what you may currently believe, our thoughts have a profound effect on our everyday lives. Our thoughts and general attitude affect our reality.
Did you know that 95% of our thoughts are repetitive AND that 85% of those thoughts are negative? This means that if you’re prone to thinking negatively, you’re most likely repeating the same negative thoughts in your head every single day.
So step 1 to becoming a “new you” is to monitor and be aware of the thoughts that you’re thinking. Take note of what thoughts commonly pop up. Do you tend to be self critical? What is your inner dialogue?
When I did this exercise, I began to realize how critical or harsh I was on myself. For example, I realized that if I made a mistake, I would replay that mistake over and over and say things (internally) like “how could you make such a dumb mistake?” Or if I didn’t get a quick response from a friend or coworker, I would think “you’re just not a priority to them.”
Unintentionally, I was defaulting to being my own inner critic. Instead of being kind and compassionate to myself, I was being judgmental and harsh. Instead of being encouraging and positive (like I would be to my friends and family), I only focused on the negative.
It’s really easy to be harsh on yourself. It’s easy to only notice your flaws or think about what’s “wrong” with you.
But what if, for once, you began reaching for what went well. What if you reached for words of encouragement and praise?
What if your daily thoughts started sounding like “I am really good at my job!” or “I am loved by many” or “I am capable.”
As an experiment, just try to think more positively for 1 week. See how positive thinking affects your general happiness.
So who is this post for?
If you’re like me, and someone who feels a little behind in life. Or you’re someone who wants to begin LIVING in a way that makes you happy and proud then this post (and generally my blog) is for you.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned and that’s ok. It’s ok if you don’t know what kind of career you want, it’s ok if you’re still figuring out dating, it’s ok if your lifestyle is different than your friends’ and it’s ok to not have everything figured out.
Especially today, with social media, it’s easy to feel like everyone is off doing great things and living an amazing life while you’re stuck at home struggling to get through the day.
Originally, I was hesitant to commit to trying to make such a big change this year because I thought that I was “too old.” When I looked around at who was successful, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me or who talked about the things I wanted to write about.
I told myself I was too old to start a blog, too old to make a big change (I’m moving to New York in March and don’t know anyone in the city) and too old to make my dreams happen (as cheezy as that sounds).
But I chose not to use “age” or “fear of failure” as an excuse. It’s too easy to come up with excuses and reasons not to pursue what you’ve always wanted.
You are never too old to try! I want to be the kind of person who is willing to put themselves out there and take a risk (no matter how small or big).
So my question to you is “Who do you want to be this year?”