E026: 3 Things I'm Focusing On in 2021
There are 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021: Consistency, Self-acceptance, and Confrontation/Communication.
Amy: [00:00:37] As we go into 2021, everyone is setting New Year's resolutions and deciding on what habits they want to create or break. I have been down that road many times, many, many times. Honestly, it's never, ever worked for me. I always end up breaking it within a week's time, if not shorter. And even last year, I had a long list of resolutions that I wanted to stick to this year.
I'm saying, fuck it, no resolutions for me. However, I do like the idea of a new year, a new start because we need it this year. It’s definitely needed this year. So, instead of focusing on resolutions this year, I'm going to be focusing on three themes that I want to continue with throughout the year. Here they are.
Number one. Consistency. I'm really, really, really, really, really, really not great at this. It's honestly surprising that I've been able to be so consistent with this podcast. Thanks so much to my editor, that she is there to support me. Plus, my other team members who are there to support me when my energy levels go down or I'm just having a really hard day or week or month.
And I have a support system that really helps me stay consistent in a lot of areas of my business, although I can't get them to do everything.
So, I'm really focusing on being consistent.
Now, number two is very closely related to number one, and that is self-acceptance.
[00:02:19] Now, as women, we don't work on the same circadian rhythm as men. We have hormones that are way different than men. And we have our monthly flow, or our period, if you want to be more direct. Our energy levels change with the way that our hormones spike and simmer down and we bleed and all that fun stuff.
So, being kind to myself and understanding that we work a little differently as women than men do, it's really important. That being said, if you're a man, or if you identify as non-binary, that doesn't mean that you don't need to be self-accepting. I mean, like, “Duh.” But there's other ways that you can frame it to help you be kinder to yourself. I want you to know how important this is in the 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021.
Now, another thing that happens with someone who suffers or experiences long-term mental illness like myself, is that we live in a world of able-bodiedness. Now, both physically and mentally, ableism is a thing. And for me, because my mental illness isn't visible, and because I've also worked really, really, really hard on making it bearable for me, as well as managed in a way that allows me to show up like I've never been able to.
When I do have the bad days, I tend to default into some really bad self-hatred talk.
And I know we've all been there. I know we all hate it, but what I do to remind myself to be self-accepting and self-understanding is my favorite mantra. I think I've mentioned it before and that's “everything is impermanent.” Because we get wrapped up into this idea that we are going to achieve a destination when it comes to well, so many things, but especially our mental health that we're going to be one day calm, cool, and collected. And that it’s going to last forever.
[00:04:24] It's a pipe dream, to put it simply. And it's something that I don't any more aspire to. It's unrealistic and it's setting myself up for failure. And it's going to set your up for failure if that's something that you decide to focus on in your life.
This is really relevant when it comes to other areas such business goals or relationship goals. We get this idea that if we finally get that boyfriend or that we finally quit our job we're going to be peachy keen jelly bean. And that's just not the case. And the following is why self-acceptance is one of the 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021.
Practicing self-acceptance is so important, but it's not easy, and that's why it's one of the things I'm focusing on in 2021.
We live in a society that thrives on our self hatred. So many industries basically encourage you to be hard on yourselves. Even the self-help development industry can be quite toxic. Especially for people that are neuro-typical and physically fine, psychologically fine. Which in fairness, there's maybe like four people in the entire world that fit into that category.
But the reality is, a lot of the industries that we put our money into and that we are subjected to on a regular basis, want us to be unhappy. For me, that's a huge driving force to not allow that to happen. I don't want a marketing scheme to be able to shape my life. I don't want culture and society to tell me that I shouldn't love myself because I can't be productive.
[00:05:55] It's absolutely insane. Does that mean that I don't allow it to happen? No, it happens very often. In fact, today I spent two hours calming down an anxiety attack that I had. What was the cause? I don't know, to be honest, I don't really know. But what I did do is I accepted in that moment that I wasn't where I wanted to be.
And this leads me into my final thing that I am focusing on. This again is interconnected with all of them. I'm going to give two terms, but they really go hand in hand. The third of the 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021 is confrontation/communication.
I have spent most of my life running.
I am a perpetual experiencer of anxiety from a very young age. And I imagine a lot of people listening to this feel very similar to me. In this last year, anxiety has been at an all time high for obvious reasons. And a lot of our maladaptive practices really encourage us most of the time, subconsciously, to run away from our problems.
It might not be a physical running. It might be psychological running. For instance, we turn to drugs or meaningless sex or depersonalization, or this dreaded Instagram scroll. Instead of confronting or communicating with the person or the situation. Or even it’s ourselves that is perhaps the basis or foundation for a lot of the anxiety we're experiencing.
Because we are conditioned to run away from our anxiety and our hurt and our pain, or to ignore it, we create this persistent feeling of disconnection within ourselves. And we also create persistent maladaptive or unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with it. So that’s why it’s one of the 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021.
[00:08:10] A lot of the time, our mind creates a result that is 400 million times. Worse than what actually happens. Today I'll lead you through an example. I woke up with really intense anxiety. And it, I believe, may have something to do with the fact that I'm going to interview a former chief of policemen.
Now, this episode is going to come out later this year.
But I'm going to share something with you right now. I have a very complicated relationship with authority figures. Especially male authority figures. I cannot even get into the nitty-gritty of this. But, because he is also a cop or was a cop and because of everything that is happening, every single element of energy in my body was like, “Cancel the appointment. Don't do this. Say you're sick. Do it at a later date. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
And let me tell you, I was so close to doing this five or six times. But what I challenged myself to do was to sit with the anxiety. I knew that it was something that wasn't going to actually cause a threat to my actual life and that it was something that my ego was dealing with. Because of my ego is why there are 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021.
It's not my “self,” it's not who I believe and know to be Amy. It was something else, a protective mechanism. Something within me said, “Hey, you're being threatened, and it's better to run away right now than to deal with your situation.”
But what that is doing is creating an extended period of anxiety because I wasn't going to cancel the interview.
I was simply going to say let's reschedule. Yes, I could put it out of my mind for a week or two. But the next time that it was going to show up on my schedule, assuming he re-booked, the exact same thing was going to happen. But most likely the fears and anxiety were going to get bigger and bigger and stronger. And it was going to be harder to push through that.
[00:10:30] Now, this takes a level of self-awareness because there are certain things that are a threat to your life. A lot of anxiety is valid. Actually, no. All anxiety is valid. However anxiety is a mechanism that helps us keep in survival mode. This was not something I needed to do to survive.
This was something that I needed to do to thrive, to create a brand, to help me execute my podcast, stay consistent (which was my first word), and show up in a way that felt good to who I am and the identity and personality that I want to be.
Now, it's complicated. Life is complicated. Anxiety is complicated. And the new year it's going to be complicated. But consistency, self-awareness, and confrontation/communication are the 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021.
I think it's really nice that a lot of us think that 2021 is just gonna sweep away everything that happened in 2020.
For the individuals that are able to be honest with themselves, that's not the case. Let's stop running away. Let's start confronting or communicating with ourselves, our loved ones, our families, our community members, and whoever we need to communicate with to help us overcome and to shift from a place of survival into thriving.
Thank you so much for listening. I hope you guys have an amazing new year. For me, I know that I am going to do my best. I have no idea what I'm going to be doing, no idea what the landscape of where I live is going to look like in a month's time as I'm recording this at the end of November.
[00:12:22] But all I know is this. There are 3 things I’m focusing on in 2021. I'm committed to being consistent, to showing self-love and self-understanding, and to communicating and confronting a lot of my demons and anxiety and behaviors that I no longer wish to be a part of me.
Happy New Years, Happy Holidays. And as always, if you need to chat, you can reach email@example.com hit me up on Instagram. My username is Amy.Demone, and I hope each and every single person listening to this is going to have one hell of an amazing new year.