As 2018 comes to a close, I would like to use this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I hope you have all achieved everything you set out at the beginning of the year and I pray long may this continue. For those who did not have the best of years, use these last few days to restructure and attack 2019 with a fresh mindset.
Me personally, this year has been nothing short of extraordinary, I graduated with a fantastic degree, secured my first full time job and finally began to believe in my ability as a writer. I know some of this may seem like typical events for a graduate, but from what I am used to, these milestones are ones I have grown to cherish.
Things have not always been this simple, rewind back to last year and my perspective was completely different. In 2017, life had beaten me mercilessly, I was struggling academically, had not attained any of my personal goals and sensed a lot of negativity surrounding my private life. With these experiences weighing on my shoulders, I entered 2018 crippled by uncertainty and insecurity. The biggest of these being that, I did not think I was good enough at anything I did. I began to shy away from many activities and distanced myself from things I previously thrived in.
For someone that ‘flexes’ a somewhat relaxed and unfazed bravado, I was hurting. My confidence was low; however, my pride was high, which made it extremely hard to talk to anyone about this. I found myself in this unending cycle of wanting better but not knowing how to access this so called better. On Numerous occasions, I tried to will myself into just getting on with it, but how could I run away from this obstacle of myself. So, I decided to make a change.
The first time I vocalised this change was at the 31st night service in church. It was roughly 11:36, the atmosphere was spirit filled, every angle I turned to consisted of people deeply professing their undying wishes to Christ, I decided to join in rather than just watch idle. My prayer went along the lines of:
“Lord fix me, I am broken, and I know I cannot do any of this without you. Use me, motivate me and change me”.
Quick disclaimer before anyone gets carried away, this was not a magical one-time prayer, where once I finished things became clear and my life changed. This was like any prayer I had ever prayed however, this time felt different. I don’t know if the atmosphere contributed in any format. This time I believed my prayer, to my core I believed it, I believed it would work not just today but for a long period to come.
I returned back to university in January and over time things just seemed to align perfectly. I started meeting different people in my life who began pushing me in ways I could not fathom. I was unconsciously trying new things and becoming confident. I no longer feared the feeling of failing and this allowed me to growth.
This is my experience of how I tackled my greatest insecurity in 2018. Below are some tips that guided me throughout the year, I will certainly be implementing these in 2019.
Top tips for 2019
- Trust God – I know this may sound cliché, but talk to God, have genuine conversations. Not everything must be prayer format just talk. My recommendations would be get the book “Our daily Bread”, the daily messages helped me make my good days great and make the bad ones manageable.
- Work Hard – Hard work honestly pays off, I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in the library, researching or even reading this year. All I can say is everything I’ve worked hard for has paid off.
- Trust yourself – Be authentic and stay true to yourself. Nobody knows you or your skill set better than you. Trust in yourself and in all you do.
- Pick the right crowd – Surround yourself with likeminded people who are doing well and want to see you do well. Ignore the narrative, you should only have one friendship groups, network step outside your circle because this encourages your growth. I am truly lucky to have a fantastic support system who allows me to be unapologetically me.
- Dream big – Make 2019 your year of possibility, nothing should be too great for you to achieve. I am setting myself a challenge to do at least one thing I should not even dare to achieve. For the sake of transparency my challenge is to put down a deposit for a flat.
- Explore – Don’t stay in the same place from the beginning of this year, Travel whether this be physically or mentally. Just make sure you end this year with stories you did not start the year of with.
- Enjoy – I cannot stress enough enjoy 2019. Have fun, feel good and be you all year around. I plan on taking all the positives with the negatives and l invite you to come along with me. Roll on 2019!!!!!!!!!!